Friday, January 30, 2009

The Coat Syndrome


I LOVE when literature mirrors life, my life, my crazy, still-learning-everything kind of life. And even cooler, when the literature is over a hundred years old (129 to be exact) and still totally relates to my life, this very day! Call me a book nerd, I am, I admit it. But I loved this moment today and it's parallel in one of the books I'm reading. Here's the situation: Annie is 2. She has this sweet little jacket, with another little fleece jacket attached inside. Those layers make it impossible for her to get it off herself. She struggles and struggles until she'll finally let me help her. She gets so mad, and I can't help but smile because 1. it's so cute to see someone so little expressing very real emotions and 2. the solution is so easy in my mind (mom will help) and she doesn't want it (Moses and the Brass Serpent, anyone?). I'm reading The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot. Maggie, a young girl, has just secretly butched her hair and is mortified. Here's what she says (the author):

'Ah, my child, you will have real troubles to fret about by and by,' is the consoloation we have almost all of us had administered to us in our childhood, and have repeated to other children since we have been grown up. We have all of us sobbed so piteously standing with tiny bare legs above our little socks, when we lost sight of our mother or nurse in some strange place, (or cry and struggle because we can't get our coats off) but we can no longer recall the poignancy of that moment till we weep over it, as we do over the remembered sufferings of five or ten years ago. Every one of those keen moments has left its trace and lives in us still, but such traces have blent themselves irrecoverably with the firmer texture of our youth and manhood; and so it comes that we can look on at the troubles of our children with a smiling disbelief in the reality of the pain...Surely if we could recall that early bitterness, and the dim guesses, the strangely perspectiveless conception of life that gave the bitterness its intensity, we should not pooh-pooh the griefs of our children.

The last line is my favorite! Who would write that 100 years ago?! Of course, she's saying if we could really understand how traumatic these seemingly simple problems are for our little ones we "would not" pooh-pooh their griefs. Boring to some, sooo fun for me!
I was so affected by the moment because I realized that this period and type of helplessness in Annie's life will be so brief; I just wanted to fold it up and put it in my little "pocket of memories," so to speak. I love being a mother. I love helping my kids pull their overly snug coats off of their little, chubby arms. Yummy.

4 comments:

Joel and Mic said...

What a nice post. You type like you talk. Love it. It was fun talking to you so much the other night. promise me we will still be friends after you become a Burtonite?! :) You are a doll and so is your precious daughter!

Kathy said...

annie looks so much like you!!!!!! she is seriously adorable.

Honey said...

She is such a cutie!

Cylee Pressley said...

So good to see how your family is growing. Annie (I hope I spelled that right) is soooooo cute! It makes me excited for Morgan to get bigger.

Love your posts and all your insightful thoughts. Still miss you.

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