Thursday, July 07, 2005

Michael ANIMALU day two

Dear Michael,

You spent more time outside today. Hurray!! Strangely enough, so did I. Interesting match-up. You, Zack and Katie all played in our back yard for a while. Later on, Liz took you all to the school playground up the street while I stayed home and worked in the yard. Then you all came back and had lunch and ice pops. It was neat seeing you outside with a red ice pop in your mouth.

I invited you to come smell the rosemary and sage bushes. You seemed a bit interested. During breakfast I had invited you to try using a grass trimmer, and you seemed interested then... but later on you changed your mind.

What Liz and I keep reminding ourselves and the kids is that while the four of us have one new person to get used to, you have four new people, a new house, a new state, a new everything to get used to. I can't imagine how overwhelming that would feel.

You are to me like a detached observer, very interested in knowledge, reading, learning, counting and playing games... but not outwardly curious. You've been playing with the kids somewhat but not really interacting with them... perhaps it takes too much energy to do that? Or maybe you're nervous? or not trusting? It's hard to tell, but I don't mind. You'll make your own way through the whirlwind of energy that is our home, and if you don't want to be put on the spot then I certainly won't put you there. Rather than try to figure you out, I think it's best to knock gently at your thick wooden door once in a while and wait to see if you'll open it a crack. Certainly the crowbar technique wouldn't be appropriate or fair, plus I think it would only drive you further inward.

You don't have to speak if you don't want to. I have an innate need to connect with people that is tempered by an equally-innate need not to connect with people... so I spend most of my time in ambivalence, bouncing back and forth between connecting and not. So from the outside looking in you might not know where I'm at. But you should believe that I understand your need to remain detached. I just wish I knew if you were having a good time.