Wednesday, May 27, 2009

sad and sadder

The door clicks, followed by the soft footfalls of six-year-old bare feet on the hardwood floor in the hall. There is a pause, then more shuffling. Another click. The quiet clamor back up the ladder to the top bunk. All is quiet. I can return to my book in peace.

I no sooner reconnect with the words on the page when a soft wail rises from my son's room. As my niece and nephew are spending the might, I get up immediately to both see who it is and to keep that one from waking the other. Another wail rises as I make my way into the darkness, trusting my ears, not my eyes, to lead me. They lead me to the top bunk.

It is, as I expected, my son who is quietly sobbing atop his loft. "Whatsa matter, Buddy?" I ask. "I don't know, I'm just sad," he sobs. I sweep him down out of his bunk so as to not awaken the one I know I will be less easily able to comfort, and I take him out into the hallway. We sit, his head in my neck, and I ask him why he's sad. He sniffles, wiping tears from his big, brown eyes. "I dunno," he chokes out. "I'm just sad. I'm really sad."

This is what I'm talking about.

So, why does this innocent, cheerful, albeit slightly sensitive child's tiny bright red apple fall so close to his mother's tree? Is it genetics? Learned behavior? Generational cursing? Self-pity? Lack of contentment? Poor nutrition?

I don't know, but I sure wish I did. For him. For me. For others.

What causes a child who has everything—loving (albeit imperfect) parents, a room full of toys, food in his belly, friends who seek him out, a roof over his head, a knowledge and certainty that he is loved—to go to bed, night after night, feeling sad to the point of tears?

What causes his mother to do the same?


Anonymous said...

Oh, I wish I knew...

Nancy said...

Reading this post sent me scurrying about on your blog to read snipets of what I've missed over the years. Such acute musings you write. Such accurate metaphors and stories for the human experience. It's going to take me more than one evening to satiate my longing for more of What You Have To Say.

About the sadness...if we find the answers to the whys, would we be able to fix the sadness, to make it go away? That is my personal desire (for you and me, too), and certainly it's a mother's quest for her child. What if each of us is inclined (for whatever reasons) from birth to experience a certain discomfort - pain, sadness, depression, yearning - all for the sake of pressing us into the heart of God, over and over again, for His very self, for intimacy with Him that may not erase the discomfort, but that keeps us ever deepening the discussion with Him about it, face to face, heart to heart?

Somehow, that interpretation sounds a little bleak. But at the same time, I'm drawn to the image of your comforting your son in the middle of his sadness, like God loving to hold you (Lorie) in His arms of compassion.

I dunno.