Word Winding

attempting to spin cacophony into sanity

Worried head, knowing heart

I have a friend who is a better mother than me — and I say this with full awareness of how despite ample room for improvement I am still one kickass mom. And my friend has a son, and her son is every bit as fantastic and intelligent and hilarious and gorgeously piercing-eyed as my Owlet.

Her heart knows this, although she’d still stubbornly deny the better mom thing because she is also an amazing friend. But her worry-laden head, well, it doubts.

Because reality lags far behind rhetoric, even as we all pay lip service to the notion of multiple equally valid intelligences. Owlet is the sort of child who “shows well in public,” as I am wont to say, and for unfathomable reasons, in this time and place, her reading, writing, music-making, and adherence to societal norms (above all her ability to sit still and be quiet) are more highly regarded than his intensely focused curiosity, strong affinity for the natural world, architectural creativity, and physical exuberance (which all result in a child who operates best out of doors).

If I could, I would give them an earlier world, or a later one, where less of life is lived out in stuffy rooms. Where there is not so much noise and at the same time greater tolerance for hollering. More space, more freedom, more respect for his talents, more opportunity for them to be put immediately to good use.

You may only ever see this fish out of water, struggling to make it through a day at school or a long, long, long, long line. But I have seen him in his native habitat, eyes shining as he painstakingly carves an ever-deepening muddy trench, builds an enormous intricate backyard sculpture, scampers nimbly up a tree trunk, or sits transfixed by the flicker of a chicken’s neck, by the magic of a bow across strings, by the rippling wind. I have seen him nestled in the pool of love that is his birthright, flanked by strength, by a mother and father who shelter and foster and never ever give up.

Though a worry-laden head might doubt at times, a heart always knows.


This child is just right, exactly as he is. This child is deeply understood by a mother who sees, by a father who knows. This child is loved.


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One thought on “Worried head, knowing heart

  1. Oh is he loved, this boy who is pure magic, who was born to the perfect family. I’m so glad you wrote this,because all of it is so poignantly, beautifully true–him, his amazing mother, the light they bring to this world.

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