Thursday, October 17, 2013

not fine

I'm not going to lie. I am kind of, a little bit, mostly writing so I do not go downstairs into my pantry and consume exceptionally large amounts of chocolate. Ever since my inspiration diet a few weeks back, I've stopped chocolating the crap out of my feelings...But tonight I just really want chocolate. And cake. And chocolate cake with white icing. And yellow cake with chocolate icing. I'm doing a terrible job distracting myself from chocolate, so I am just going to go grab some and I will be right back.

Okay, so clearly this craving for chocolate is my bodies way of healing itself after surgery. And now as I eat animal crackers and chocolate toffee bits I see how wise it is that I am not ignoring science and evolution hard at work.

I'm fine! How are you?

Here's the gig. That's a perfectly appropriate response to the Starbucks barista or the bagger at the grocery store or your neighbor that you mostly just have a waving relationship with.

But there is a growing breed of I'm Finers- Frequently I'm fineing to friends and family too. All the time. You don't want to sound negative or ungrateful. You don't want to be an annoying, energy-sucking complainer. A pathetic downer. And so the Fine stuffs down the real feelings deep deep inside. It's numbing. It's like boozing or overeating or pills. And each time you fine when you aren't, you chip just a little piece of precious you away. You are telling the inside you, I don't care how you really feel. You're not important. Feelings are sweet precious little children, and when ignored- they act out in other and sometimes vicious ways. 

If you are not careful, one day you fine so long, you start to not even know how you really feel in the first place. You start to lose what makes you real.

I'm so happy! I'm so blessed! I'm fine! How are you? You say-- while inside you are just a little bit crying. And you want to come off happy and hopeful and positive, but sometimes it's just an act. It's not the real you - and the real and unhappy you is so much better than the pretend and happy one.

I think we're all entitled to a little complaint and vent and expressions of verbal confusion sometimes. We don't have to love everything all the time. Everything doesn't need to be a blessing. Sometimes our silver lining isn't there. Everything isn't awesome. It just can't be. 

In the blog I don't lie, I can't write fiction. But sometimes in my real life I do. I'm great! How are you? Awesome! That's awesome! And for all I know, me and the other person are two big fat liars missing out on a beautiful and human chance to connect and truly exchange.

Instead of being big fat liars together, let's just tell our truths. Let's belong to the same thing.

Instead of Physical Therapy today, I was jumped on by eleventy hundred little 3 year olds. I wore an xxs preschool doctor uniform jacket that I then had to peel off painfully slow. I picked up Parker 123,456 times. I emptied the dish washer. I lugged my huge camera everywhere and lifted all 4 million pounds to my face every time I wanted to take a picture. Who needs to go to an Therapy office when you can work your muscles in the privacy of your own home?

It came to me today while watching Parker during Speech...

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Cool magnetic push pull puzzle designed to help kids how to point.

Other kids! Structured activities! We desperately need this. NOW. So I texted the awesome owner of Grey's preschool and asked if we could come by after speech.

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And there was so much wonder and curiousity in Parker's eyes I could just swell over. My boy just has this essence about him. A calm and happy joy that feels like medicine to me sometimes.

And to see my boy so accepted into a group. To see him with all the kids together and happy just made me so over the top happy. And there was one little boy in the class...and that's all it takes --and I think God always provides at least one in every class- the one little boy who sees what I see in my boys. 
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This little guy LOVED Parker. He said his name a hundred times today. He didn't mind unanswered questions or little eye contact. He didn't care at all. He talked to Parker as if it were a back and forth conversation- and I just wasn't privied to Parker's end. 

Parker, Do you want to play cars with me? Parker wants to play cars with me! Parker, look at me! Parker you are such a cute little baby! (Big bear hug).
I think Parker wants to play with the peg boards with me now. Parker! Let's go sit at the table.

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But sometimes I am not fine...It's hard to let go- again. To watch Parker get the far away look in his eyes and not be able to get his attention. It's hard to see other children interacting so naturally. He looks at others with a slight curiousity that is absent with Greyson, but Parker is still most content in his own company in his own little head. 

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Sometimes I have to gently remind myself. This is him. Love him for him, and let go of who you expected him to be. Not everyone is the smartest, fastest, most popular best at everything. I certainly am not. And it took me many years, but I no longer need or want to be any of those things anyway. 





  1. I am so glad that there is always one. Even though I have a "typical" child, I still worry when I send him to preschool that he will be the one left out because he is so sensitive.

  2. Short comment to say that at age 2 most kids just do "parallel play" - they don't play with each other at that age but more side by side.
    I love the look on his face with the peg board. He is just so darn cute!
    Please know that your boys have an online contingent of silent cheerleaders with them every day. You too!

  3. Ok Friend, first I couldn't be a fixer & now I can't be a finer???! Those were my things, man! It's tough, this whole "feeling feelings".
    I actually laughed at myself yesterday. I was boo-hooing to a friend about how stressful school is. I am in an accelerated on-line program to finish my degree & it is very consuming. I still have @ 18 months left. I said - I hate this! It's such a lot. And it's not like I have to do it for a week - 18 months! - but it will be fine. - I really said that. Then we both laughed.
    I do feel guilty about being ungrateful. My life is so good, I have no business complaining. Its fine. I'm working on it.
    Thanks for callin me out ;)
    Love & happiness to you sweet momma. Jennifer

  4. Sometimes I feel like a liar when I give the "I am fine" response to people. You are exactly right. I am denying the place I am, at that exact moment, and often after giving that response I walk away feeling sick. It would much likely feel better to be a "Debbie Downer" than to sugar coat and fake how I am actually feeling. Opportunities are definitely being missed to connect with people on a much more meaningful level by "I'm fine-ing" it.

    I can definitely relate to struggling to let go of expectations, but for me it is of the life I was "supposed" to have. Wonderful post.

  5. This: Love him for him, and let go of who you expected him to be.
    This can be applied to so many people - our children, our husbands, our wives, our siblings, etc....
    I like that expression. I'll be sharing that line. Thanks Chrissy.

  6. My son turns 3 this month, and was very similar to Parker at that age. Now, he seeks out play with other kids. He goes up to them in the playground and everything. He is not completely "typical" in the way he tries to play, but he tries. Keep that hope alive!

  7. ...And yes, you are right in loving him for him.

  8. A bagger at the grocery store asked me how I was a few days ago... I blurted out, "STRESSED!" You should've seen the look of panic on that poor kids face! I totally agree that one shouldn't ' fine' but maybe I took it a little to far given he was an eighteen yr old stranger. ha, ha, ha

  9. I'm a recovering over-sharer. I wasn't very likely to utter a stoic "fine". Instead, I'd mind-dump on total strangers. Word economy has become my friend lately- so if I can't answer simply, I work up a smile and respond with a question instead "How are you?"

    Also, despite knowing full well that food is not therapy, heavily creamed/sweetened iced coffee has become a crutch for me lately. I understand your chocolate addiction. Please let me know how you fix that.