Friday, August 20, 2010

Storm Clouds and the Cloths of Heaven

It has been nice here, by the lake. We have been swimming, fishing, grilling, and watching frogs and groundhogs and owls at night. Crickets and sunsets, that sort of thing.

A storm was brewing, though, and when the barometer drops my son's head starts throbbing and scraping the inside of his skull, like an animal that wants out. Sometimes it takes us an hour of screaming, tantrums. flailing, to figure out what is wrong. Then we turn the lights out and lie close to him, waiting for him to sleep.

He likes to hear poetry, so I read it. Anne Sexton, Emily Dickinson, John Updike, Yeats. He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven. We read that one a lot.

The six year old comes in and out of the darkened room, because he can. We used to close the door, but the family counselor has asked us to 'meet the needs of the family in the context of the family,' in other words, don't lock the other kids out while you disappear into the one child seems to need you. So Eden climbs on the bed and kisses his brother on the forehead. He looks me and asks, "why do we all feel so bad when Jude is upset?"

"Because we wish we could fix it, and we can't," I say, because I have no good answers, except that love hurts, and I am sorry about that, truly I am. He wants to know why the room is dark. I explain that the type of headache Jude has makes light painful to him. In fact, the world is always just  a little too loud, a little too bright for Jude.
"You can just say migraine. I know what that is."  With that he is gone.

I can still here the thunder outside, rumbling off in the distance. I do wish I could fix it, bear the pain like Jesus, but I am not Jesus, just a mom with no super powers, just love and some wishes. It seems so lacking, as strongly as I feel, it seems like I could move a mountain, but all I can do is wait for it to end.

I read to him some more, not sure what he understands besides the sound of my voice. I wish for the cloths of heaven, but I am poor, so I lay my cloths down right here. It is raining now, and he is asleep. Tread lightly, my love, I whisper,
for you tread upon my dreams.