when i think about what noah did that day, well, pride is not a big enough word. not deep enough for the feeling i have about the herculean effort he put forth to process his pain. with each affirmation of his hurt he seemed to calm a notch. his anger and rage seemed to melt a bit and start to morph into disappointment and longing. he held his body in check as it wanted to lash out more, but he restrained himself in a way most adults are incapable of. as my favorite blogger says, "the only thing harder than parenting a child of pain, is being the child."
the paper tossed and turned, stuck together, folded up and onto itself several times. i still tried to preserve it the best i could and took it home because i sensed it would be important. after i carefully unfolded and unstuck it this is what was left.
noah looked at it when we got home and wailed a little more at the sight of how different it was. but his questions started morphing too. he was asking things like...
what can i do?
could i make a new one?
it's going to be terrible.
it's not going to be the same.
we don't have the right brushes or all the same colors.
will you do it with me?
the vulnerability it took for him to ask that was so profound. what he had made was lost, never to be whole again and he wanted to blame me. but yet he reached out to me to help him make something new.
i went outside and found this later in the day. he had taken a fallen window screen and put it over the painting. such a vivid reminder that his pain needs protection. it needs air. it needs to be respected. even if his pain is so painful to me.