For this author, creative endeavors have been sorely tested by motherhood. But also transformed, and in ways she wouldn’t have imagined – couldn’t have, without her life “rewritten” as it has been, by her children. So linger here, to read all things weaverly, writerly and motherly.

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Friday, April 6, 2012

F is for Frog

If you enjoy my A-Z challenge posts, you may just revel in my Once-Upon-a-Tale Tuesdays. Grab my Tale-Tuesday button and revisit for a Tuesday cyber coffee-break!

Every day he wanted to be the first to arrive in his classroom to feed the tadpoles.

He would drop in a piece of lettuce for them to nibble. He would linger there, where sunlight fell through the small tank. He liked to be alone with them in a way he didn't like to be alone with himself.

The way he didn't like being alone out on the playground, wishing someone wanted to play pretend wizards and dragons with him rather than always kicking a football around.

The way he'd felt alone when his best friend wouldn't let him play football and said, "You think you're cool, but you're not."

The way he felt when he looked in the mirror at home and didn't like his own face.

Every day after school, he couldn't wait to tell his mother the latest about the tadpoles. He wasn't always sure she was listening, as some days there was an impatience about her; she would get phone calls from his ailing grandmother who had trouble now even opening a plastic container of a precooked chicken; she would tell him to go pick up his Legos, just as he was going to tell her about the tadpoles having begun to sprout their legs.

When she did listen to him, was when he wasn't sure he wanted her to – when he'd actually told her about what his best friend had said, about him not being "cool." He was in bed, and she lay down beside him, ready to stroke his hair, but he had buried his head under his pillow. He didn't want to hear what she had to say, something about how one day he'd understand that being cool wasn't important. Which mean to him that she didn't think he was cool either.

He'd hid his head under his pillow, just as he had covered his ears when she'd come up behind him in the mirror and told him he was a "beautiful, beautiful boy."

The tank began to turn green from sitting in the sun for weeks, but the teacher left them there so the frogs would be warm. It was magic – how they could do that, transform from fish into actual frogs. Frogs were magical. Like wizards. And dragons.

And he wanted one. So when it came time for the lottery as to who would get to take one home, his mother let him enter it. Maybe because he knew that she worried he didn't seem to like himself very much.

He won a frog, and they brought him home in a tupperware container and poured him into an old beta fish bowl.

They had no gravel. Nothing. Mr. Frog swam frantically around.

"He needs a place to hide," his mother said.

"He didn't have a place to hide in the school tank..."

"Everyone needs a place to hide. Even the beta fish, remember? He had that cave. And even you. Like when you hide your head under your pillow. Or cover your ears."

He felt like covering his ears now. And she knew it, saying, "Lets go get some rocks outside for him."

And then she was boiling the rocks to get rid of any parasites. He wondered how she knew to do this. She shrugged. "I don't. I used to have to boil your baby bottles."

She stirred the rocks. Then she laughed. "Rocks for dinner?"

 

 

 

 

 

19 comments:

Jenn said...

Such a sweet--honest post. And a great reminder that nothing we are doing as parents is usually more important than taking the time to listen--really listen to our children.

Thanks Sandra--this came at the right time :)

Cheers, Jenn
http://www.wine-n-chat.com

Lynn Proctor said...

people want to be heard and understood more than anything, i think--wonderful post

danneromero said...

this is great writing, sandra. reminds me of some of the kids that travel through my classroom, year after year.

Paula Martin said...

Lovely story, you got right into his little mind.

Laura Marcella said...

Hi, Sandra! This is a lovely story. Kids especially want to be seen and heard. But it is nice to have a place to hide sometimes, to gather your thoughts and ready yourself to take on the world. :)

Nice to meet you and happy A to Z!!

rhonda said...

I love your work you make this event even more fun! I'm @ http://www.mydailythoughtsonlife.com. Adding you to my reading list!

Tonja said...

Sweet story. Thanks for sharing.

Sandi Holland said...

Hi Sandra:
To Google Friend Connect with me, my blog is http://www.hollandpaper.blogspot.com. You're already in my circles at Google+ and somewhere in your own settings or links it should show the people who have you in their circles, even if you haven't connected with them. I've had problems sometimes accessing what I want there too. Haven't taken the multimedia tour yet to learn features, so I've been stumbling along.

Thanks for connecting when you can wherever you can. I know you have a huge number of connections and can't keep up with them all, :). Ah, the bliss of success...Sandi

November Rain - k~ said...

You have such insightful mother wisdom, it's a pleasure to read. That little frog was morphing, maybe that's what fascinated him so much about it... kindred morphers. :-)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

What a great perspective of the boy's thoughts.

Rachel P said...

A wonderful post that captures the pains of childhood perfectly. My mother allowed my sister to adopt a tadpole when she was 7. My sister is 23 now, and somehow the thing is still alive. It was very intriguing to watch him grow into a full frog.

Sandi Holland said...

Sandra: In response to your post: love these! Are you doing this A-Z challenge or did you just happen to write about the F feathers today??

No :( I wish! Don't have time yet to do challenges, but working hard to have time in future. Do you get your challenges at one particular source? Or just randomly run across them?

Shannon Lawrence said...

Wonderfully done! So sweet and sad, yet hopeful

Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

Nerthus said...

Oh, sniff, sniff, reminds me of when we accidentally put something into the frog aquarium that killed him when my daughter was little. Fortunately the turtle that replaced the frog is still doing just fine these many years later!

Kathy said...

This is such a sweet story and really brings home what being a mom is all about. :D

Kathy
http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com/

Jo said...

well done and a good reminder.

Susan ~ Today's Working Woman said...

Wow...I've felt just like that boy. Brings back so many memories. I think I am going to cry now. But I am glad he won his frog, and I think he learned a great lesson too.

Thanks for sharing!

beachlover said...

Love the way were there for him...If we take the time, it's amazing the many simple conversations we can have with your children. Sweet♡.

J.L. Campbell said...

I guess this is a case of mother's instincts kicking in.

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