Saturday, October 11, 2008

His middle name was......

Every now and then pangs of pain shoot through me. Memories of my father. For the most part, I've been pretty ok with things, a little teary eyed here or a very depressed/shocked-still-in-denial-moment-there. Not a day has gone by since April 20th that I haven't thought of my dad at least one time throughout the day. There's always something that reminds me of him. Today it just happened to be my son. And it's not the first time our boy has triggered this.

Our little guy is still having a hard time with it. He's about like me, tears here and there, wanting something to call his own that was his grandpa's just so he can have something he touched or used. I cannot tell you how I wish I could just help my son understand and feel even the slightest bit better about things although I'm still trying to understand and feel again. I've certainly grown more humble over the last 5 1/2 months.

So, I am now an employee at the school...after years of trying. Our son was very adamant about me not touching him and letting everyone know that "I am his mom"...sort of thing. It's comical really. I have respected those wishes because I certainly don't want other kids taking liberties and picking on him at will. School is hard enough. And so far it's worked out ok...he even lets me tousle his hair now and all the kids in his class are always happy to see B's Mom! So it's all good.

But today he did something completely out of character for him right before he was going to go in from recess. I was getting the classes lined up and he came up. His face looked 'devastated', pained, and like he was about ready to cry. The kid NEVER comes near me at recess and when I say never, I mean him and I don't even say hi to each other before he goes in. It's that line of respect that I'm waiting for him to break. Anyway, he blurted out that there were some kids calling him Elmo....I was quite confused by this because it was such a minor thing. He said he didn't want them to call him that and wanted me to ask them to stop.

I told him I would of course because he looked so distraught by it. Needless to say, I made one of the girls cry just by asking her why she was calling him that and felt terrible because I was completely confused and really didn't see what was so horrible about son who never tattles unless he's feeling on the verge of tears or complete frustration. Then I thought that maybe it was because he gets called various names by his older bothered me a great deal for the rest of the day. It just wasn't like him to be so....irritated.

Well, it took every fiber of my being not to walk to his classroom for the next couple hours and find out what was going on with him. But I refused to be the doting mom and decided that I would have to just hang tough until 2:00...I just had a horrible feeling that there was more to this than I realized. I actually started walking to his class two times between my own classes but turned just nagged at me...

So finally 2:00 came around, I went to his classroom and within 5 minutes, he told me what was going on and did I ever feel stupid. I asked him why he was so upset by this and if the little girls talked to him at all....the first words out of his mouth in a quiet voice accompanied by moist eyes were, "Elmo was Grandpa's middle name and I thought they were making fun of it and I didn't like it." Man did I feel like an idiot but I do have one thing that I can counter that with....all my life, I was told that my father's middle name was wasn't until about a month or so before he died that I was given the real story behind his name...and yes, his middle name was Elmo. Somehow it had gotten written wrong on his baptismal certificate. It was always Edmond to me....when he said they were calling him Elmo, I immediately thought of Elmo the muppet and thought it was cute that they came up with such a sweet name...although what I think is sweet is definitely not something my son would concur with.

It all suddenly made great sense to me and I immediately called the two girls over and explained things to them and it was like a shadow crossed both their faces and then a light went on....they understood and I apologized if I had upset them, they both smiled a little smile and gave me a nod...shy little things they are....but Honestly, I didn't yell at them...I just asked a question and the little girls lip was quivering almost immediately....then she started to well up with tears and man...I felt like such a meany. But it's all good now.

However, days like today....beautiful fall colors surrounding me, I can't help not thinking about my father. He would have loved it here today. I took a drive on my lunch to the scenic overlook, the long way back to our house on a road that follows the river...the smell, the colors....I felt my father today, he was near me....Things are easier but at the same time, so very hard when it hits.

Thanks for listening....

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