Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: It's Okay, Honey

Sunday, January 11, 2009

It's Okay, Honey

I strapped Erik in the Jeep one morning last week to take him to school and then indulge in a hair appointment at the salon across town. I realized that after I had vacuumed up the petrified fruit snacks from the back seat of my vehicle the day before, I had forgotten to turn one of the dome lights off. Because of this, the engine would not fire up. Instead, it tried its best to turn over, creating repetitive waves of noise that accompany a slow, low-voltage death. I bit my lip to keep expletives from escaping and smacked the steering wheel. I glanced over my shoulder at Erik, and the flesh of his face had molded into scarlet crinkles. Tears were squirting from his eyes. It was obvious the combination of strange noises coming from the car he loves so much and my sudden drop in mood had sent him into a hysterical fit. I told him to hold on and tried a few more times to get the thing started while he shook with fear. I rolled my eyes and pulled the key from the ignition, sagging back into my seat. What a way to start the day.

Between heaving sobs, Erik seemed to attempt to reassure himself. Strangely, he seemed to be using words I might have said to him in the past during an upsetting situation.

"It's okay, honey. It's okay, honey. It's okay, honey."

It was strange to hear him chanting this phrase over and over. I felt horrible. Finally, I gave up on the whole thing, walked around the vehicle, and opened his door. He looked up at me. Tears continued to roll down his face. He asked to go to school. I said that I would try my best to get us there but asked if he wanted to run around outside for a bit. He seemed relieved. After I extracted him from his car seat, he ran off into the front yard while I called everybody I could think of who could transport us across town in time.

I heard Erik's voice again from the yard as he sprinted around on his long, clumsy legs. His toes caught on rocks and cracks in the sidewalk, threatening to topple him over, but he defied gravity and righted himself repeatedly as I winced each time. I yelled at him to watch where he was going. I listened more intently with the ear that wasn't pressed to my phone and heard him continue to reassure himself. He seemed to be chanting once again.

"I'm so happy today. I'm so happy today. I'm so happy today."

The agitation lasted for a couple of days before it began to fade. He asked me hundreds of times if the Jeep was broken. Finally, the questions ceased and morphed into repetitive statements. He still insists on knowing which car we will be driving when we leave the house, with or without him.

As time goes on, I seem to be witnessing the birth of little obsessions fueled by his blooming anxiety.

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Blogger LivingforGod said...

Thank you for your kind words! God loves you, Erik, and Brian very much. I can see Erik's sweetness through your posts. You're a wonderful mom and are blessed with patience (rare virtue nowadays :)). Erik and you singing "Don't You Know That God Loves You" together is so precious. What great memories you guys are making together!!!

Love, hugs, & prayers,

2:58 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

I feel your pain,
My car battery died unforgivingly and without warning on the way to school a few months back. I am STILL hearing "the cars not broken anymore mummy." "is the car broken?" "Daddy fixed the car, didnt he?" most times we go out and he insists on telling complete strangers "we had to buy a new Van cause my mummys car was broken, but Daddy fixed it now and we will put the baby in the Van and its not brokened..."

2:39 PM  
Anonymous Erik's Auntie Dee~ta said...

"As time goes on, I seem to be witnessing the birth of little obsessions fueled by his blooming anxiety."

This last quote of yours just made my BIG Auntie heart sink!!

I can't wait to see my sweet and precious nephew!!!

BIG Hugs,

3:33 PM  

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