imagined spaces

Big fish in a small pond.  Moved to a big pond and down a rung or two.  The rules of the game changed; competition was brutal.  Mid-fish didn’t want to play that way.  Crisis.  She shook off over-scheduled city bustle and drove.  Drove and drove and drove.  Home.  She didn’t tell anyone at all and drove right to her little pond where the house was yet to be built.  Down the dirt road, into the woods, out of the car, across the woods, into a clearing, down the dock, and sat.  Sat and sat and sat.  Until the painted turtles, bullfrogs, even the heron blinked in wonder.  Fish jumped, dragonflies buzzed, pond water lapped very quietly.  Jump buzz lap, jump buzz lap.  The rhythm played on and on and on.  It cradled her, soothed her, reminded her.  The next day she announced her arrival, had a proper visit, and drove back to the city.  She was never the same, and it was good.

This one is a true story.  I bought a copy of this photograph to remind me of that trip, and it sits on my enormous desk of papers and books and notes awaiting my attention.  YOU can get a copy of this and other really wonderful photos here:


About AngelaLTodd

I am queen of the helicopter parents. But there are enough of us that we are becoming a social problem. Here’s my story. Thing 1 was coming, they couldn’t stop him, it was only 24 weeks and 3 days. Someone asked: should we try to save him? Well, yes. Yes! Ten days later, a team of doctors closed the door behind us to explain brain bleeds, sepsis, meningitis. Shall we pull the plug? Well, no. No! Babydaddy laid hands on him every day, massaged him when he was ready. For the three months he was in intensive care, and the three weeks at an intermediate hospital, I would get up in the night and pump breast milk, thinking about my baby across town. Babydaddy delivered it every morning, earning the name “milkman.” It was funny. We had every therapy going for as long as possible: early intervention, the intermediate unit, private therapies. Terms multiplied: sensory processing dysfunction, sensory integration problems, orally defensive, auditory sensitivities, comprehensive developmental delay, cognitive function impairment, retinopathy of prematurity. He did occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, play therapy; we consulted with a neurologist, school psychologist, wraparound service provider, developmental specialist. He worked with an occupational therapist for a year and a half to tolerate teeth and hair brushing. Not surprisingly, parenting didn’t feel natural. I learned to read to my baby watching Phyllis, our physical therapist. Voices, commentary, labeling colors, counting… she was very good! Merging professional research skills with my genetic propensity for silliness (mom was class clown, dad’s distantly related to Lucille Ball), my mothering style came together. Eventually. But I still channel Phyllis on occasion. Thing 2 was full term. They are complete opposites; she is a sensory seeker with a wild sense of adventure and an inventive sense of fashion. Keeping them both busy and happy is an exasperating and sweet challenge. I still believe that every day can be fun and educational while reinforcing kids' boundaries. I’m on a mission to save us helicopter parents from ourselves. No more bubble wrapped kids and guilty parents. Let’s teach them coping skills. Let’s get fun.
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4 Responses to imagined spaces

  1. crystal says:

    Thanks for featuring my photography! Much appreciated!

  2. Nelou says:

    this photograph is gorgeous, it’s good that you bought it to serve as a reminder to the memory you created that day!

  3. Rotem says:

    Wonderful !! I can so identify with your escape and this photo is a breath of fresh air 🙂

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