Monday, June 25, 2007

Holding on, gently

Yesterday, Nicolas discovered a young Carolina Wren in his van. It couldn't fly well.
Gillen and Aaron fed it a Roly Poly bug - I think it was holding out for a worm or a mosquito, or it's mother. We placed it gently in a nest that we found in our Azalea bush. Gillen found the wren nest from the babies this spring that he had kept in his room and placed it on the porch as an alternate home. We managed to give it some water and hoped that a mama Wren would show up and take over.

Once again, just like during flight school this past March on the side porch, the wren came with a lesson. Gillen's friend Aaron was holding the bird at one point and Jesse warned him not to hold it too tightly, that it could die. "So what." repied Aaron. Gillen said nothing. Jesse was hysterical and Nicolas decided, within the next hour, that it was time to send Aaron home and just be family for the last few hours of our day. This series of events created a long discussion at dinner about family values, personal values and the belief systems of our friends or other people. Aaron has a cynicism and a 'whatever" attitude at times that Gillen is picking up. If Gillen is going to become a hunter, like Aaron, we just don't want him to lose the respect he has always had for any animal life. At least, we don't want him to lose his sensitivity because of imitating the attitudes of a friend.

I don't know if he got it. But later he hugged Nicolas and I really tightly before going to bed. I would like to think that he gets how safe he is here to falter as he tries to fly. Kids can't be vulnerable with other kids in the way they can with adults. I read a book called Hold Onto Your Kids, Why Parents Matter_by Gordon Neufeld last year and it talks about kids attaching to adults instead of other kids and why this is so important. Gillen has a tendency to attach like glue to the kids he is most into at the time. We just want to watch this.

Oh so serious! I came here to post about more sunflowers and look what happened. Back with them later.


Stephanie said...

A beautiful post, Madeline.
Something that resonates deeply with me, and urges me to keep my heart and mind open.

I've ready "Hold On To YOur Kids" too, by the way.

Thanks for sharing this insight and wisdom.
Steph in SLC

Christy said...

I'm getting ready to read that book. I've heard it is really good. I've felt so fortunate that so far Logan would rather do something with me than with friends. He likes playing with friends but given a choice will choose an activity with me over friends.

Madeline said...

Jesse too, or at least as much as with friends. But Gillen has always been really excited about meeting other people. He is very social. This book has helped me to allow for this, enable it, but be conscious of the potential problems. It comes down to just having a trusting relationship with your kids, as Alfie Kohn says and Scott Noelle and Sandra Dodd and Danielle... Gordon Neufeld combines attaching to your kid and being in charge (benevolently) a bit differently though.