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February 2011

Excruciatingly Painful

Alexander cried himself to sleep tonight. He doesn’t feel like he has any friends.

I know the feeling.I want to crawl in bed with him and wait for the little death that is sleep.

I’ve never in my life felt a pain so sharp and so dull all at once. A full body thud that sends you numb combined with a sharp searing twisting coldness that starts in your throat and moves to your belly. Every time Alexander cried and said, “I’m a idiot and no one likes me.” I wanted to sob and scream and explain to him that they do all like him, but they’re nine. They like themselves better. I tried to remind him that he’d played with six great kids this weekend, four of them today.

And he started on about not being respected, and that they don’t want to play his games. He cried about not having friends at school. It’s a small school. He has friends there, but to be fair his closer friendships come from sports.

My son’s anguish made me want to promise myself that I’d never send him to his room again, that I’d never take away Playstation, and that I’d never yell at him for dawdling before bedtime or even starting a fire. I wanted to wrap myself around him as a protective blanket and promise him that the world will see him for who he is one day. They’ll spot the sweetness and the generosity without exploiting it. They’ll see that he’s a team player and that’s a good thing. The intelligence will cease to disarm them, and enchant them as it should.

The goofiness, they’ll all be goofy together.

I’d like to see my son happy, radiantly happy, but he’s so tight lipped that I’m not sure if the tears were brought on by an event or a lifestyle.

This is a pain so deep and so terrifying that I don’t know that it can be named.