Monday, January 26, 2009

Running in Circles

An image frightened Corban the other day, and he’s not even sure what he saw. Usually very independent and confident, my seven-year-old’s response to this has been an interesting one. He’s been circling me. He’s been running, walking and moving in circles around me while we’re talking, while I’m making dinner, after we eat. He’s outwardly calm; there is no hurry to his movements and motions. He doesn’t look anxious or upset. But something got into his head; something left an imprint.

He isn’t glued to me as though he’s too frightened to step away. It’s as though he’s lost his own center of gravity and is drawn by my apparent gravitational pull. He’s always been a mover, a boy with an abundance of energy spilling over into impatience; a pure intoxication of motion. Nothing has changed there. Now, though, it’s manifesting as this circling thing. I’ve become the hub with this young life revolving around me, trying to calm and comfort himself by wrapping me with this new energy. It was intriguing at first, then worrisome, then annoying (especially while making dinner). Now it’s just interesting.

But just as I have to go to my own sources to keep myself centered and balanced, I must now help Corban re-find his center of gravity. In the world around us, there are a lot of things that can impact a child, leaving him feeling unsettled and unsure, so I know this is not the last time I’ll have to help him through making sense of his world. And even though life often gets better all by itself, I’m going to give Corban a special gift to help him in this so we can return from our foray into this valley of curious behavior. I’ll write about that in my next post.

12 comments:

Poetikat said...

Has he articulated what the image was? I remember as a little girl in 1967, my parents took me to the "Confederation Train" exhibit in Toronto. On the train was a car representing sick people lying in their beds. I was horrified and started screaming. My parents had to rush me off of the train. Even today I can still feel that terror.

I guess his instinct is to home in on you for security, but I can see how it would become troublesome. Perhaps you can share one of your fears with him and make him realize we all have them.

I love the photo - I have a "Willow Tree" figurine I was given for an anniversary present.

Kat

willow said...

You are a mother who is in tune with her son. Just being there for him to circle means so much.

willow said...

The C.S. Lewis quote on your sidebar is one of my faves.

Joanne said...

I've found in raising my children that when these instances come up, the more I give in response to the circling, the quicker they regain their confidence and balance. Sometimes it's a matter of interpreting their actions to find exactly what they need. Interesting, though, the ways of communication.

Reya Mellicker said...

How wonderful that you pay attention and that your intention is to help Corban get re-centered. I salute you!

One hands-on technique that's really effective and simple is this - ask Corban to lie on his stomach. Place your palms on his back over his kidneys. Keep your fingers together - don't know why but it works better that way. Your hands and your body should be relaxed and calm. After a few minutes, slowly remove your hands.

I do this with clients all the time. Whether they are seven or seventy it always helps.

Corban is a lucky boy to have you as his mother. Bravo!

Dave King said...

I remeber running scared of images as a kid. Mostly they were images I'd worked on in my imagination; out in the real world they were shadows, trees, insects, all sorts.

Peggy said...

Kat, Corban wasn't even able to articulate what he saw. It was as if he was left with this strong reaction without associating it with a particular image. I did take your suggestion of talking to him about a fear of mine; one, coincidentally, that I've had since I was his age. Great idea! Thanks so much.

Peggy said...

Willow, thank you so much for your kind words. Regarding your comment about CS Lewis, if here were any more "present" in our house, we'd have to set a place at the dinner table for him! :-)

Peggy said...

Joanne, what a wonderful insight. I appreciate your thoughtful comment.

Dave, it's so true. When we're young our little brains certainly are prosperous factories producing wild imaginings, dreams, and even fears. When I read your comment, I realized that I picked up my most irrational fear when I was about Corban's age. Although I deal with it today, it's still there. Thanks so much for sharing your experience.

Peggy said...

Reya, what a GREAT technique. We tried it before bed. Corban was visibly more relaxed. I faintly recall reading somewhere that we hold our fear and anxiety in our kidneys. I wonder if that's why this is such a potent technique. Regardless, THANK YOU!

sizzie said...

He is keeping you within arms reach. He knows that you have the answers if he needs to ask. But, he is still being himself and not yet needing to ask. It sounds like a good balance. Maybe a necessary balance. Just having someone who is aware and understands and is right there, near enough to protect if we need it, can be the best way to heal. And that is what he is doing, isn't it? Healing from a fresh wound.

Sydney said...

Well Said Sizzie, as usual. Peggy, I marvel at what an incredible mother you are. So tuned in, and so present, able to do all that you do and yet be right there for him. If you could see me you'd find me giving you a standing ovation right here in my kitchen...