Tuesday, November 01, 2011


If ever I thought something would bring the world to an end, this was it.

Joshua walked into the house one day last week in tears. I asked what was wrong but I couldn't understand what he was saying. So I asked again. And I couldn't believe what I heard.

Joshua had dropped his phone into a pond while he was fishing.
He didn't mean to. He was just putting it into his pocket and thought it was safe, but the phone slipped out, fell onto the dock and quickly slid right into the water. And he was devastated.
To fully appreciate this boy's devastation, you need to understand how precious that phone was to him. He'd kept notes on it of all his fishing catches - kinds, lengths, and weights. He had pictures of all the fish he has caught. He had "over 100" contacts. And now it was gone. All gone. Sitting in the bottom of a mucky pond.
Though he tried twice to retrieve it with various nets, there was no way that phone was going to be recovered.

The poor kid couldn't bring himself to eat dinner. He was absolutely beside himself. And I was torn with how to respond.
On the one hand, I wanted to convince him the world was NOT going to end. I wanted to rush in and comfort him and remind him everything was going to be OK. But I knew that wasn't what he wanted to hear at the moment. Joshua seemed to want to just be alone, and though leaving him alone went completely against my nature, I knew that was the thing to do. I just hoped by leaving him alone I wasn't communicating that I didn't care. *sigh*

As the evening progressed Joshua began to calm down. The three of us (Brian, Joshua and I) made a plan for how he could get a new phone. And by the time I was saying good-night to him, Joshua was able to say that he wasn't as upset as he had originally been. At that point we were able to talk about the reality that a cell phone in the bottom of a pond does not equate to the end of the world. Joshua had utilized the time alone to reason on his own, and to come to his own conclusion that life would go on.
He didn't need me to tell him.
He didn't need me to swoop in and save the day.
He simply needed that space to think things through.
And though I had been a reluctant observer, in the end I sure was glad I'd given him space.

Argh. There is no end to the learning curve of motherhood, is there!?



TheUnSoccerMom said...

no end at all.

I'm like you, it goes against everything in me to leave Christen be when she wants to be left alone with whatever situation has made her upset. But there are times we have to.

Kudos to Joshua for thinking things through. ;o)

Patricia/NYC said...

Great job, momma!!! I'm "filing" this one 'cause I'm sure I will need reminding someday to just let it be :)

Irritable Mother said...

Jodi - I'm glad I can go through these things "with" you. Some day we really need to meet face-to-face!

Patricia - Thanks. :) Be sure to back up those files. You don't want to lose any of them. (By dropping them in a pond, or something.) haha

Beth E. said...

You're right...there's no end in sight, and my "boys" are 23 and 20! ;-)

P.S. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. You did a great job!

Irritable Mother said...

Thanks, Beth. :o)