When Rain Hurts by Mary Evelyn Greene

March 4, 2010

Sophie and me (Hyde Park, NY, Fall 2006)

March 4, 2010.  Peter’s been dry for the last two days.  If he stays dry until bedtime, he can wear his underpants tomorrow for the first time since Thanksgiving.  I’m sure the school will be relieved should this happen since the issue recently has a risen to the top of their concern list.  I’ll be encouraged, at least slightly, and I hope Peter feels that way too.  Daytime continence is an ongoing struggle that I’m working hard to keep from morphing into a raging battle.  I do admit my temper flares when Peter exclaims, “I like how it feels!” or “I didn’t want to stop drawing” in response to wetting his pants.  But I’m trying.  I’m trying to focus on the finish line and treat the wetting problem as merely another hazard on our bumpy course.  Two events lend me perspective in this regard; one happened yesterday afternoon, the other this morning.  Yesterday Peter asked me to read out loud his Bakugan book from our warm and cozy perch in the car while Sophie blissfully endured her unheated, late winter, extremely muddy horseback-riding lesson.  This one-hour each week has become our special bonding time.  Right now the weather is my greatest ally in my continuing effort to bond with Peter.  I work fast because spring is coming and he may no longer opt to sit in the car during his sister’s lessons.  He loves Bakugans, which are different-sized magnetic balls that open to reveal various monsters inside, and so yesterday it was easy to reel him in.  I read the crazy descriptions (noting to myself the grammar errors in the prose, which are unforgiveable) and he told me which ones are his favorites and I confessed being partial to those with names like Juggernoid and Mantris.  At one point he reached across the seat and rested his hand on my knee.  Just for a second, maybe two, but it happened.  Then he smiled shyly, mumbling with turned head, “I love you in my heart today, Mom.”  I was so elated, and surprised, that my instinct was to reach over and pull him to me, in a smothering, celebratory hug while shouting, “I love you in my heart too, Peter!  Always!”  But I didn’t.  I kept my cool, which is what my son needs.  “Thanks Pete,” I smiled, waiting for him to turn.  “I love you, too.”  And that’s how the day went.  A perfect Peter day.  Waking this morning to gray skies and the caressing memory of yesterday’s breakthrough, I snuggle up to Sophie as she bounces into our bed, which is her custom, and worms her way between Pat and me.  After Pat goes downstairs to make coffee, and before Peter wakes, she tells me she had a bad dream.  She dreamed that I was her “real mother,” which made her happy, but that because she knew her “real mother” was dead, she made me die in her dream, and then she woke up crying.  Several months ago Sophie asked about her birthmother and not wanting to lie, we told her the truth, which is that she died when Sophie was 10 months old.  Its knowledge she can’t yet process but all the same, she knows a part of her is gone.  She mourns the loss of the woman who gave birth to her but also is desperately afraid she might lose me, the only mother she’s ever known.  This is a recurring fear, losing me, though she’s never before explicitly linked it to her birthmother.  I hold her tight, kissing the back of her head, while I silently grieve for my two children.  One who’s afraid, most days, to love me in his heart, and the other who’s afraid, every day, that the mother she knows and loves in her heart, like the one she craves but can’t remember, will one day leave her.  I love them both so much.  Part of what’s inside Peter and Sophie is broken, and maybe can’t be fixed, but I love that part of them too.

add to del.icio.us : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : Digg it : add to ma.gnolia : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine : : : TailRank : post to facebook



  1. Hi…just wanted to let you know you are an incredibly talented writer and an amazing mother. Such a gift to others to share your family’s story. Thank you! Nancy

    Comment by Nancy — March 5, 2010 @ 9:06 pm | Reply

  2. Mary:-

    Your writing is exquisite–and I can tell that it comes at great expense (purchase, to use a word that you invoke so beautifully) as you open up your heart, your soul, your family and let the equal parts of your pain and joy flow through your pen (keyboard). Your absence of a filter and the resulting clarity of your experience is illuminating in a way that is important, not only because it points a flashlight in the fog for so many others who may be sharing the struggles that you are, but more importantly because it shows all who read your words what wrestling with true love is at its holiest. You write that you hope that you and Peter might find a “magical path” that he seeks. Similarly, in his own, perhaps crooked way, I daresay Peter is guiding all who love him on a path to the holy mysteries and all of us who read your tale of the journey are inspired by the quest that you and Pat and Sophie and Peter are on together. It is above all a story of the human spirit.

    Thank you for sharing the tough and sometimes perilous terrain with us, your readers, as well as the views from the summit when there are those moments of triumph.

    Hildegard von Bingen was right when she said that we are all but feathers on the breath of God.
    Mary Ann

    Comment by Mary Ann Bowman Beil — March 6, 2010 @ 4:46 pm | Reply

  3. My 14 year old daughter has special needs and lately has posed a real challenge to everyone. Her teacher suggested that I read your blog and try to contact you. If you could email me privately I would really appreciate it.

    Comment by Michelle L. Warg — March 7, 2010 @ 3:38 pm | Reply

  4. Oh my. What a wonderful, riveting, blog, Mary. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. I shed a few tears along the way too…



    Comment by Dawn Scott — March 8, 2010 @ 8:29 pm | Reply

  5. Just happened upon your blog and the first one I read was Sep 23, 07. I am still crying – because I can relate to the crescendo of events and moment of truth when you KNOW this kid you love is not going to grow out of the difficulties without more than ‘love and nurturing’ intervention.
    I have encountered many difficulties with my 3.5 yr old son as you have with Peter. I have the added guilt of what I may have done to contribute to his troubles while I was pregnant and thereafter.
    I am sure you get a huge array of suggestions and well meaning advice. I look forward to reading more of your story and finding out what has been working better for Peter and your family. I will read and google whatever you share about what has helped! Those of us with Peter’s are determined to find improvement. I can see my child suffering and in pain, physical, emotional and spiritual. (All of us suffered, but mostly him.) When I stepped back and looked at him from an observer viewpoint it struck me that he was ‘starving’ in so many areas and I could feel such depravation coming from him. At night I would sob thinking about him being so alone – alone in the midst of a family who loved him. How could I help him?
    I began finding ways to help him heal his body and then work on behaviors and emotional/social needs. Our family made many changes. It’s slow, but there has been progress. I did not get support to make changes and when something didn’t work I got the ‘I knew it wouldn’t work,’ but now others ask me why he is so much better.
    Just as FYI and not meant to burden you further with info (sorry if it does). We have had significant results (out of all of the things we have tried) with the following:

    Many Blessings!
    Wishing you and your family the very best!

    Comment by Susan — March 15, 2010 @ 10:59 am | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: