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Letters to Nowhere

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Counting the knives

My son has always been able to keep me on my toes. Always!

One night when he was 3 or 4 years old my cousin, Chris, and I had a friend over for dinner. James didn't know her name and couldn't seem to remember it when I told it to him. She became known as "lady".

Ever since James could talk any woman whose name he didn't know was "lady". This, undoubtedly, comes from me saying things like "do you remember the nice lady who helped you?" etc.

Anyway. We had steak for dinner. I cut James' up for him and set his plate. We all four sat down and started to eat.

James watched us adults sawing away with our steak knives for a few minutes in silence. Then he said it..

Him: Momma?

Me: Yes, James.

Him: (keep in mind he's three-ish) Uncle Chris got a knife. Momma got a knife. Lady got a knife. Where's James knife?

The funniest part of this little speech was the stress he put on "lady", as if to say 'mother! This veritable stranger at our table has a knife. Why, oh dear mother, do I not?'

This statement was met with three adults quickly swallowing to avoid spraying food in the face of the person opposite us as we laughed, and laughed. When I got myself under control I told him he didn't need a knife. I'd already cut up his food.

You could tell he was barely mollified by this logic.

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Lately with the stress of going back to school James has begun having trouble sleeping. He has been thinking alot about his Uncle John. John passed away 10 months ago, and only days after great-grandpa.

I have not been able to comfort him as much as I'd like. I scheduled a meeting with the school counselor who referred James to a program designed for kids having emotional trouble with any number of issues. She is going to talk to him, and if he doesn't seem to have any improvement we can look into him seeing a therapist...

It breaks my heart to not be able to soothe his difficulty over John and grandpa's sudden deaths. The fact they both died in their sleep is probably a major factor in why James thinks of it most often in bed.

I don't want to ask him if he's afraid he might die in his sleep, because I don't want to plant that seed in his mind. Assuming of course, that isn't whats bothering him.

Hopefully, calling in the pros will help us both out.

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