Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Another Brick in the Wall

Friday, July 24, 2009

Another Brick in the Wall

I'm having a pretty serious bout of depression again. As I have written before, it cycles in and out of my life. I can usually feel it coming. It always passes, but it takes a little time. It seems to be mostly endogenous, not really a direct result of what's going on in my life at the moment, although certain situations can intensify things. I have barely been able to function for the last few days. I can't concentrate, and my child is becoming bored due to my recent lack of creativity, despite my attempt at outings to see friends or to play at the park. I have been trying to hold on this week, knowing Erik will attend vacation Bible school Monday. The heat is not helping me at all. After the coolness of morning is absorbed by the dry, heated air of the day, I'm spent.

Today I looked over at Erik and told him that we were going out for a while on an "adventure" to the store. I apologized to him for my lack of motivation and the fact I hadn't been a very good mother for the past couple of days. Truthfully, he hasn't seemed to really absorb much of what I say out loud in the past. Besides, I talk to myself quite often, and he has (understandably) learned to tune me out at times. In this case, I wasn't really expecting an answer at all.

He stopped in his tracks, turned to look at me, and smiled sweetly.

He said, "No, you are a good mom!"

He crawled up in my lap and cuddled with me. My eyes watered. It seemed like such a strange thing to say in the middle of his odd, made-up game he was intent on playing alone. In fact, his statement sounded foreign to me with the perfect intonation an adult would tend to use. He seemed to be channeling someone else, as I sometimes suspect he does.

He then looked up at me and said, "Hey, Mom, I have to go potty."

I almost fell over.


He answered that he did. He has never told me this before. He followed me to the bathroom and allowed me to assist him without any fuss at all. I sat on the edge of the bathtub next to him and continued chatting with him as he successfully used the toilet. I tried to contain my excitement.

I said, "Yeah, I do love you an awful lot. I try to take really good care of you."

He smiled and replied, "Yeah. You take care of me when I am spitting orange."

Again, I was amazed. The first time he remembers throwing up was after he had eaten some segments of an orange, which came up all over his hands and the toy truck he was holding at the time. Therefore, he refers to vomiting as "spitting orange." He also apparently remembers that I was there holding him while he was violently ill, stroking his hair and putting my cheek against his clammy forehead. The way he smiled telling me this made it appear as if he were relating a fond memory of a vacation or a visit to a dear relative, not violently upchucking the contents of his stomach. Strangely, it seemed to be a pleasant memory for him.

On days like today, a brick in that awful, dark wall between us crumbles without warning, and one more shaft of sunlight spikes into my world. I live for moments like this, and it seems they come when I need them the most.

Erik seems to see and hear things other children don't. These strange things in his own world interfere with what he would typically understand or learn. However, what's important is that there is no longer any doubt in my mind that he remembers all of the little things I do for him because I love him.

And that he loves me right back.

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Blogger Laura said...

You are a good mom!

It's funny, what they remember. Michaela always says, "I love you mom, you took care of me when...."

Hugs and love to you both!

4:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gua said,

What a guy.... what a mysterious mind he has, and how lucky he is to have such a mom!

Love, Mom

7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Children need to know our emotions...Erik is helping by seeing you in this honest light.

Big Auntie Kat

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Children respond to our fragile moments. Erik recognized you in that honest light and had a unique way of calming you!

Aunt Kat

10:44 AM  
Blogger Tes said...

plain and simply. YOU ROCK! you just don't have to rock all the time and he knows that, love is unconditional.

10:48 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Thanks y'all! And HELLO Auntie Kat!

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Nancy. Gee. No need to be repetitious in a slightly different sentence. I will be more confident the message was received next time. Erik - good job in the potty, young sir.

Auntie Kat

8:14 PM  
Blogger TrappedInColorado said...

I get a case of watery eye syndrome when I read your posts sometimes. This was no exception.

7:05 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

That's amazing and beautiful, Nance. You ARE a terrific mom! Never doubt that. This was a touching story - thank you for sharing this. :)

7:32 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Just wanted to let you know that I am always rooting for you. I think you are great.

Erik is doing awesome and says some amazingly profound things. He is so in tune with you and that has everything to do with you and the love that you show him. Be easy on yourself.

Thinking of you Nancy and hoping that things start looking up.

6:13 AM  
Anonymous tara said...

It's amazing how I always feel like I get a glimpse of my life when I read your posts. Payton remembers things like Erik just did....things no one would think of fondly....but for some reason they remember it and appreciate it!
You're a fantastic mom, Nancy! Love reading your posts - always warms my heart.

7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*crying* This just melted my heart!

Moms love, but I think we forget that's its possible that our children could love us more.

My daughter recently shared with me and it meant so much. Look for my email! ;)

12:03 AM  

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