Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Childs Intuition

When I leave for work in the morning, Maxfield usually asks me not to go. He'll say things like "read me a book" or "stay and watch TV with me" or "wrestle with me."

My response for the most part is "when I get home" or "Mommy can do that with you" and the exchange lasts 30 seconds and I leave the house without incident.

Over the past 6 weeks Maxfield has sensed there is something "wrong" in our house. I think he can feel the stress that both Lauren and I have been feeling. Since December 2 Lauren and I have been tag team parenting. One of us would walk in the door and the other would walk out the door to go to the hospital or to get shopping done or to handle other family obligations. The stress that Max feels has been manifesting itself in more temper tantrums and more "accidents" of wetting himself. Now that our house has settled down somewhat, he is doing much better.

Two weeks ago, I was leaving for work and Max asked me not to go. He begged me to stay. I gave him my usual answers but they were not good enough.

"Daddy, I don't want you to go. Stay with me. Please."

"I can't pal."

He put his arms around my neck. "Daddy. Please stay and play with me."

As I hugged him I sat on the couch with him and I rocked back and forth a bit. I slowly pried his arms from me and I said "I can't Max. I will play when I get home."

Max started to cry. He had never done this before. He was not crying from a tantrum. These were not angry tears. He was crying from sadness.

"But I don't want you to go daddy. I want you to stay with me." He said as he wiped away tears. "Please stay here and take care of me."

"Max I can't." I said as I hugged him.

He hugged me back tight and his requests became more intense. "Daddy, I am going to miss you. Please stay with me. Don't go. I need you."

"I gotta go Max."

"I want you stay, Daddy. I will miss you."

This exchange lasted 5 to 10 minutes.

Looking back, I realize that Max sensed something, I don't know what, but something. Because a few hours later I was using Max's words and saying the exact same thing.

39 comments:

Bogart in P Towne said...

So very touching...

Circus Kelli said...

Ohhhh... William... ((hugs)) I don't know what to say. This is lovely and moving...

damn, now my eyes are leaking...

Meegs said...

Oh William. This definitely hit me. Sometimes children know things that we could never know or understand. It's nature's way of showing that even though you have much to teach them, it doesn't mean that you still don't have plenty to learn.

Sandy said...

My God. This hit me right in the heart.

Keeping you & your family in my thoughts and prayers.

whatwasithinking said...

They do know things. Tears, here, too.

Scarlett Wanna Be said...

I can't imagine how your heart feels right now. I am so very sorry for the hurt. Truly.

As for Max, I am sure it was something. Kids are gifted in ways we adults don't always understand. Maybe God starts to prepare their hearts in advance because He knows it will take longer for them to understand. I don't know.

Dave Cole said...

That guy from Time who said you were no writer is an imbecile. An awesome personal story, perfectly and touchingly told, Bill.

Woman Undone said...

Wow, that's heavy.....

Patience said...

Children know.

Peace to you and your family.

Sharkey said...

I might have to head into the office bathroom to pull myself together after reading this.

Still thinking of and praying for you and your family.

The Q said...

Thanks...I'm sitting here at my desk blubbering like a fool. Thank goodness the Hubs never pays attention to me anyway, but the Dog is all up in my grill wondering why there is liquid coming from my eyes.

Maybe one of these days you can take a "mental health day" off work and stay home?

Oh, The Joys said...

The hardest part is that it just keeps coming, I'm afraid. These waves of grief that rise and fall...

I can promise you this... I'll be one of the people you can talk to about it long after it seems like anyone wants to hear about it anymore, because I'm right there myself.

Best,
J

p.s. I love your sense of humor but I also like when you write like this.

Charlie Blockhead said...

Haven't been around in a while, but posts like this remind me why you are one of my favorite blogs to read. Sorry to hear about your dad.

Anonymous said...

I remember doing that to my daddy too when he left for work in the morning...i would hold on as tight as I could. I can picture it like it was yesterday...4 yrs old standing at the window sobbing because dad was leaving. I must have broken his heart every day. probably my moms too. You are in my prayers...peace to you and yours Becky

iheartchocolate said...

OH my goodness. I was already crying before I read the last line.

I am SO, so sorry for your loss. It is very clear how much you love your father. I wish I had some words of real comfort to offer.

I wish you all the best.

Susie said...

Ooof. Right in the gut. I feel for you and appreciate you letting us see this side of you as well.

Melodie said...

Children are so intuitive! He is a very special little boy and you can tell he was very attached to his grandpa.

Ern said...

Wow.

Lowa said...

Oh man dude. This is intense.

I was going to say how hard it is when our kids are upset and we can't do anything about it or help them in any way. It is heart breaking.

I am sure your heart is breaking and will never heal entirely. I don't think I commented when you lost your Dad, I wasn't sure what to say. I was in shock, because I wasn't aware that he was even ill or I had forgotten about it or something maybe.

Just know that your entire family is in my prayers, ok?? I am just at a loss that you and Lauren have been through what you have been through.

*HUG*

Manda Girl said...

Wow - that brought me to tears, sitting at my desk.

Big hugs

SciFi Dad said...

It's amazing; like they have a sixth sense about stuff.

Great post.

eclectic said...

This is sacred, Bill. And beautiful. And I'm so glad you wrote it, and shared it. And it describes how I still feel nearly every day... lo, these 3 and a half years after the fact. And? I'm crying, but it's good. Love to you and yours.

Melinda said...

Bless little Max. Doesn't it touch your heart that you mean that much to him?
One of the last things my mother said to me was, 'I love you, baby'
Then, in my late 40's I was hardly a baby. But I love the idea I was always her baby. I didn't want her to go either.

Lisa said...

What a sweet, sweet connected little boy. Blessings and peace to you and your family.

kalki said...

Wow. And hugs.

Aunt Jo said...

....a very touching story. Thank you for sharing it.

Crumbs said...

(tears)

Undercover Mutha said...

I'm very sorry for your loss, William. I've been thinking of you.

Nilbo said...

Lovely piece, William - straight from your heart and straight to ours. As you know, I'm also going through the whole "Daddy, don't go" process ... so this one crept up on me big time.

Love to you all.

Odd Mix said...

Crying now.

Sassy said...

Speechless, I feel like I must say something. So, Skip, may you rest peacefully and may your children find peace in the memories you embedded into their hearts, forever.

Max, buddy, you are one smart boy. You and Dad should have a date night, where you can hang out and share some special time just the two of you....

My heart goes out to you and your family. I am so sorry for your loss.

Effie said...

hugs

I bawled when I read this one...

Mainline Mom said...

F*** you for making me cry like that! I remember feeling that at the hospital when my dad died, but I never got a chance to even say it to him, his spirit was gone before I even got there. I "accepted" the fact that he was taken from me immediately, and moved on fast, despite him being my best friend. But as I watch my boys grow, I miss him more lately.

shelia said...

I am so sorry that you & Lauren have to go through this. Some days I can accept what has happened to my life, (lost my mom 10 months ago)then there are days I just sit & cry. I just want to yell & be mad. I say its not fair over & over as if I were 4 yrs old. The whole in your heart will always be there. I hope you both find peace.

Stacie said...

I'm so sorry Bill. I know how hard that must have been for both of you. Hugs to you all.
Stacie

Kali said...

Great post....now I have to go and compose myself.

My heart goes out to you and your family.

Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your life.

Tari said...

I'm sorry about your father.

I love the way you write it says it all without really saying it. Its wounderful and touching.

Heather said...

I am so very, very sorry. I was crying even before I got to the end.

Gina Coggio said...

I just burst into tears. I know this feeling.