Thursday, December 15, 2005


This week has felt like running into doorframes, tripping, stubbing toes—you know, when things just won't run smoothly despite your best efforts. I was so sure, after getting good drugs for her yesterday, that we'd see her smoothly launched back to school early this morning. That was before she showed up in the morning kitchen with a startlingly large, red, hot, swollen rash on her leg. In the bathroom, hearing me express my frustration (decently, mind you) with how our day wasn't going, she said with a little smile, "That's why I always leave extra room for let-downs. Life has a lot of let-downs." It stopped me cold. Of course. It's all in the expectations.

Later on the drive to the doctor's again to check out the rash, we headed straight for the full moon. Looming pearly and large in the lavender-blue sky, I found myself wishing for our camera. Especially when it hovered in the upper branches of the dark spruces as we drove past the park. I told her how much I appreciated her resilience and good cheer at times like this, and she said, "I don't know what else to do but be cheerful. Otherwise, you'd just be miserable." How can I learn to be that emotionally pragmatic? I guess she's teaching me now.

All's well that ends well: she's safely ensconced at school now, in time for her two holiday performances today. Diagnosis: allergic reaction to a spider bite, treatable with a little cream and cold compresses. So now I'm crossing my fingers that we're through the rough patch, while trying to leave a little extra room for let-downs.


Blogger Dale said...

Glad she's doing better!

I grew up with that Stevenson, too; I had never heard the word "counterpane," so I thought it was a made-up word for a made-up country, and vaguely associated it with being up against a window-pane, looking through to another world. I was astonished & a little disappointed when I learned it was a real word :-)

12/15/2005 12:12 PM  
Blogger MB said...

Me, too! Thanks, Dale.

I can see that, after having come up with such a charming definition for the word, you might find the actual one less than adequate. The perils of an inventive mind...

12/15/2005 12:35 PM  
Blogger snowsparkle said...

pearls of wisdom from your remarkable daughter. her boyant nature is lovely. thanks for sharing this vignette. glad she's feeling better (how i got the notion your ill child was a son, I have no idea.) As you said... the perils of an inventive (and probably in my case inattentive) mind. cheers... snowsparkle

12/15/2005 12:43 PM  
Blogger rdl said...

Out of the mouths of babes. She sounds like a special little girl.

12/15/2005 6:26 PM  
Blogger Patry Francis said...

What a wonderful child you have! Sounds like a regular little "mini-moose".

12/15/2005 8:46 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

moose, glad to read this ... crossing fingers too

12/15/2005 11:29 PM  
Blogger Tamar said...

I cannot get over the things your child said! Priceless. What a treasure.

12/16/2005 3:26 AM  
Blogger Jean said...

My goodness, a young philosopher! Of course exceptional parents often have exceptional children :-)

12/16/2005 6:04 AM  
Blogger T L Reynolds said...

What amazing perspective she has! Sometimes I think children are less affected by their discomfort than we are.
I have to add that "extra room for let-downs" is the best indirect advice I've come across in awhile.

12/16/2005 7:37 AM  
Blogger Rexroth's Daughter said...

I may have missed it when you first introduced us to your lovely child, but how old is this wise-beyond-years person?

12/16/2005 8:24 AM  
Blogger zhoen said...

Took me until I was 27 before I figured out the cheerfulness power. I had the let-down thing pat at about 6.

You were not alone, last week was being nibbled to death by geese week.
Be careful if you put up christmas lights, I've taken care of three patients with broken bones from that activity. So, well, it really could be worse. Your girl deserves a box of gold stars.

12/16/2005 2:22 PM  
Blogger MB said...

Thank you all for your wonderful comments, each of which I enjoyed. And forgive me for not responding individually—things are frenetic, today.

She is an honor and a privilege to parent and, mixed in with her brilliant, silly, spacy, ten-year old self, is a wise soul that pops up for regular visits. Raised as I was in a household weighted toward grim seriousness, her innate balance and good cheer seem nearly miraculous to me.

12/16/2005 2:54 PM  
Blogger GEL said...

I'm glad she's okay. Allergies, particularly in the form of awful rashes, run strongly in our family. I'm that genetic link and wish so strongly that I had not passed that on.

12/23/2005 10:50 AM  
Blogger MB said...

Silverm00n, thank you for your good thoughts. I'm afraid she gets it from both sides of our family! If wishes were horses we'd ride across Texas!

1/02/2006 1:23 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home