Friday, January 30, 2009

All Because I Thought Momentarily, "I Really Do Love Everybody Right Now"

When I was 18 years old I worked at a daycare. I worked in the 3 year old room and one day the director brought in a little guy with white-blonde hair. He was smaller than the average three year old.

As he stood far away from all of us, scowling, we wondered how old he was and if he was placed in our room accidentally. I finally asked him, "How old are you little guy?"

He growled, "I'm SIX."

I laughed out loud.

I later learned that this tiny little guy was 3 and had lived more horrific things in those 3 short years than some of us will ever see in our lifetime. He had a handicapped sister who was six and they had been abandoned sometimes 2-3 weeks at a time by their biological parents. He knew how to change both of their diapers, make himself a bottle, and had learned to survive before he was 2.

Just typing this makes my heart break all over again.

Well, as a result, he learned to need no one. Or trust anyone. Or care about anything. He had the mouth of a sailor and the attitude of an 89 year old man who was sick of living.

If it wasn't so tragic, it would be hilarious, the way he acted.

He became mine and I worked with him regularly to soften him up. I adored him. He used to save food in his cheeks after mealtimes or snack because he didn't know when he'd get to eat again. When I figured this out, I got permission from the director to let him carry around food in a bag all day. In an effort to give him security and eliminate his squirrel-like behavior.

One day, months and months after he became mine, he jumped up on one of the tables and yelled, "EVERYBODY IS A BUTT*O*E!"

If any other child had done this, it would have been a serious offense. But he was mine, so he was safe. He wanted a reaction, and we were trying to eliminate his need for negative attention. I calmly said, "Little Guy, your feet shouldn't be on the table, should they?"

He smiled coyly and said, "I need everyone to hear me!"

So I said, "Yes, but you are using words we don't use here, aren't you?"

He said, "It's not bad! It means that I love everybody."

"Well then, you should probably say 'I love everybody' instead of those words we don't say here, Little Guy."

To which he responded, "I LOVE EVERYBODY THAT IS A BUTT*O*E!!"

I went away to college and it devastated me to leave him. But all the teachers were in love with him by then, so he was left to be adored by others. I had taught him that "gorgeous" was a bad word and he should never say it, he could say whatever he wanted, but he couldn't say that. So every night as he was leaving he'd say, "Nobody's sooooo goh-juss!" and felt like he was getting away with something.

I came back a few months later and went to his room to see him. He was laying on a mat for naptime, but not quite asleep. I went to him and said, "Little Guy, do you remember me?" He said he didn't. I said, "It's me, Nobody" and he turned and said fiercely, "Yo' not Nobody, she went on an airplane and she loves Little Guy!" In the same moment my heart broke that he didn't recognize me, it overflowed that he remembered me and remembered that I loved him so very much.

I hope wherever Little Guy is now, he's found safety and peace and that he was loved by so many more after me.

In the last 14 years that have passed....I've adopted his words as my own personal battle cry.

I love to say, "I love everybody!"

And really, it means, "Everybody is a butt____!"

On Tuesdee I had a bad day. A couple of annoying things happened and my kids wouldn't get along or listen and I was probably tired and it's been a while since I've had a bad day, so I think I was due for one.

It wasn't just an "ugh, today's dumb" kind of day. It was an, "I'm about to cry any second" kind of bad day. I said I loved everybody a few times that day.

I talked to my mom for a little bit and that always helps me.
Hearing about Ida Lou's bladder reconstruction surgery gone awry always makes me feel better about my life.

Well anyway. That night we had an enrichment activity planned. Enrichment activities, for those of you who don't know, it is a bunch of women from church getting together and eating, learning, crafting, talking, laughing, etc.

On Sunday I told the girl who planned it I would be there. But when The Bad Tuesday rolled around, I really didn't feel like going and being around people. I felt like staying at home and griping to J and eating my weight in chocolate.

A lot of people came. If I hadn't come, it probably wouldn't have mattered---meaning, the girl I promised I'd be there, probably wouldn't go home and cry into her big fat pilla at night, because I wasn't there.

I may have gone for her, but I stayed for me. It was so good for me. SO GOOD. It completely cured me of my blues. I came home feeling like a new person, and so happy to live near and know so many really cool people.

I know that this party wasn't easy. The girl who planned it is a teeny tiny little thing and she's 8 months pregnant. I think anything after about 4 months is wildly uncomfortable when you're teeny tiny like that. One advantage I have over my teeny tiny contemporaries, is that my kids have the luxury suite when I'm carrying them. All kinds of rooms and views there.

Plus, planning church activities can be somewhat of a crapshoot. Do you think it might be a little misguided to use the word "crapshoot" in the same sentence as church? Really though, you have to appeal to so many personalities, you don't know who'll bother to show, it's always way more work than you want to do in the first place, and so on.

I guess the point of this post is, I really do love everybody right now. And I'm really glad that the girl in charge planned it and did such a great job. Even if it wasn't easy and probably not fun for her. Thanks. Teeny Tiny Girl. If there was a way I could share some of my "extra" room with you, I totally would.

This has been brought to you by the REAL NOBODY. I am just this long-winded and tangential in real life. The only thing missing from this post that you'd get in real life, is about 3-4, "So, what was I saying" and "Now, where was I going with that?"

Just throw them in randomly and you'll get the full effect.

28 comments:

Klin said...

FIRST!!! Going to read now.

Heffalump said...

First to be finished reading...
That little boy's story breaks my heart...
I went to Enrichment this week too, and it was pretty good.

Klin said...

Now you understand why I chose my profession and why I am crazy enough to be a foster parent. There are so many little guys and girls out there. I am so glad he knows that you love him. I'm guessing you planted seeds that grew later in his life.

You are awesome.

InkMom said...

(Wiping tears from my eyes.)

You're awesome.

Plain Jame said...

It's been in my life plan for 7 years now to foster/adopt. I have no idea what is in store for us down the road but I know that several of my cousins were like that little boy, and even though I am an awful mother at times, I can do better than some out there...
Thanks for sharing.

I wanted to go to sleep on tuesday but I went and made the 2 wooden hearts I signed up to go make begrudgingly because I am SO NOT CRAFTY.
After eating my weight in conversation hearts and cinnamon lips, and huffing the paint and stain, I laughed myself silly and got to know some more people in person.

I love that we were the friends that almost were. HA!

Bubbles said...

I remember when that happened! I still call people butth*l*s...
Seriously, just ask my hubby. I frequently burst out with, "Everybody...!"
I never got the whole story though. That's so tender and heart-rending.

Sarah said...

I think you should look up the white haired little guy and see what he is doing?

Super L said...

Awww, man! I miss Nobody!!

And what? I thought I was the only good Enrichment leader! IT was all supposed to crumble down to ruins when I left! :)

I'm glad it was good. Say hi to everyone for me.

Howertons in Iowa said...

You make me want to squeeze every little white haired boy in the whole wide world tight, tight and never let them go. That is so sad. But I expect nothing less from you - you are so AWESOME!

So, on Tuesdee - I only go to stuff like that if I think they are going to be fun. I wasn't sure about this one, so I went just for the food and then you invited me to sit across from you and it totally made my night! You are a magnet of all things funny and smiles and I like that. So glad you came!

BTW - totally laughing about your big Womb with a view! :)

I LOVE NOBODY!

dancin' momma said...

Crapshoot and church totally go in the same sentence! That's how I've been feeling about one o'clock church lately anyway...Thanks for making me laugh even though it was about your description of your crappy day. Love ya!

S said...

Man I can still see his lil face:) This world has only gotten rougher I wonder where he is!
That mood must have been in the air. Whew some dude had the nerve to ask me if I was pregnant? Cuz I was acting like I was! Yeah he is headless now:) I put him out of his misery talking to a woman like that. Gosh!

S said...

Yeah lets look him up!! Did he not have atleast the second most comment name ever.

My Diary said...

I am glad that you taught him that gorgeous is a bad word. So smart! I too have done foster care and boy there are some special kids out there that needs us.

Millie said...

Poor little guy. I hope he's doing well too, wherever he is. Those kids need more Nobodys in their lives.

Charlotte said...

I don't think that is a nice story to write when someone who owns an smaller than average white haired almost 3 year old boy reads your blog. Because maybe they don't like to cry and maybe their baby isn't in the mood for hugs. And maybe they have a women's meeting right now they were trying to convince themselves wasn't necessary to attend. I have to go get dressed. And try for the hug.

Sarah Tilley said...

... must have gotten something in my eye...

Sketchy said...

Little guy is breaking my heart...I just hope where ever he is he is safe and loved and remembers Nobody loved him.

I used to cling to Sundays when I was pregnant, by the time it rolled around again I would be in such a grumpy depressed mood, but then Sunday would come and wake me up and get me through the next week. I'm glad you had a "sunday" I think we all need them sometimes.

ucmama said...

I didn't want to go Tuesday either. This whole week has been an about-to-cry-any-second-day. But I needed Enrichment too. I wish it was still once a month.

that's it.

Carrot Jello said...

I love (((Nobody))). You could have called me, and I could have reached through the phone and patted your head and told you everything was gonna work out. Sorry you had a bad day. :*

Emily said...

I love the REAL NOBODY. The "Little Guy" story made me cry - bawl. . .

And I loved your description of crapshoot church meetings being the cure all. It's SO happened to me before too.

Emily said...

Oh, and. . .

I LOVE EVERYBODY!!!!

Carrot Jello said...

Yeah, well...I wasn't saying I liked the fake Nobody.
You know, just to clarify.

Code Yellow said...

I commented and then it didn't post, so if this shows up twice later, blame it on Ukraine. (That's an old Prince song...)

So, OK - don't make me cry about babies changing other babies' diapers and then make me laugh about gall bladder reconstruction. It's bad for my...health. And yet makes my day a lot better, too, strangely enough. Hmm.

And, I love Nobody. But that doesn't mean that Nobody is a butt____. I promise.

Goh-juss post.

Michelle Garff said...

sigh.... you are my favorite nobody in the whole world. loved the little boy story. i just got called to the enrichment board today.

Tori :) said...

I worked at a daycare too and had a Little Man just like that. :( I wonder how he is...

Ok- so I'm the enrichment chair person right now. What was the activity because I need an idea. :)

I'm glad you love everybody again. Or did you just call me a butthole?

Mycurlyhairdays said...

Thanks Nobo for giving me a ride to enrichment and sorry I had to ditch out early! The hub has been battling being sick and lost that night. And for about 2 weeks I have been in the "about-to-cry" and then today was a cry day! It happens!
But I also wish enrichment was once a month, too. I miss seeing everyone, too. And Teeny Tiny Girl is so awesome! She is an amazing woman who I wish I could lend a little of my "extra womb" to, too.

No Cool Story said...

I am reading your posts out of order.
I was crying/laughing/pee holding at Bo's struggles as a black man and then I came to read this...
Dude, now I am just crying :')
Thanks.

Mrs Lemon said...

Best.Post.Evoh.