Now that Connor is at preschool all day I suddenly find I am able to catch up on housework a lot faster, which means I have time for other projects around the house.
Yesterday, it meant repairing Connor’s Bullseye stuffed animal. For the last week or so Connor has been on a major Toy Story kick. I mean major! We watch one of the Toy Story movies every day, the dolls come to bed with us every night, and sometimes Woody even joins us at the dinner table.
So when this happened:
I was in my room on Sunday, playing with Connor, when I heard my boyfriend say “Uh oh, what happened out here?”
That caught my attention. What had happened in the hallway? And then I saw it: white stuffing strewn all around, a mangled head separated from a pathetic carcass. Oh the humanity!
And the dogs refused to make eye contact. Their guilt was written all over their fuzz covered whiskers.
“MURDER!” I shouted, pointing at the dogs “MURDERERS!!”
That brought Connor running from the room, poor innocent child. But instead of being upset, he seems delighted that the dogs were in trouble instead of him, for a change. Connor is fascinated by stuffing, for some reason. He began picking it up and putting it on his head.
Obviously, he was in shock.
I quickly escorted Connor back into my room to resume play before he could fully absorb that tragedy that was before him. His precious Bullseye had been savagely murdered by our two sadistic dogs. That’s enough to damage any child.
My poor son even asked for Bullseye a few times that night, his young brain refusing to remember the carnage he had witnessed. I studiously ignored the questions and vowed to resurrect the mangled animal, refusing to buckle to will of death’s hand.
So Monday morning, after Connor had been successfully dropped off at preschool in tears, no doubt related to his missing Bullseye, I set about repairing the pitiful creature.
I pulled out my sewing box and set to work. I re-stuffed his head with the white fluff, filling in holes where I could. I matched the thread color as closely as I could and began. It was an arduous process; attempting to reattach a horse’s head to its body is no easy thing.
And while I sewed it came to me….Is this really what I’m doing? Am I honestly spending my time repairing and rescuing stuffed animals? I have multiple advanced degrees! I graduated cum laude or with high honors from every program I was ever a part of. And now I spend my days doing this?
I must have sat in a stupor for a few minutes, allowing myself a small pity party. But I resumed my sewing nonetheless.
Two sides of me warred within.
My prideful side said “Erin, you are an intelligent, accomplished woman, surely you can be doing something more with your life?”
My sensitive side said “But Erin, is there anything truly more difficult or rewarding than raising a child?”
Both Erins were then quiet, leaving just the sound of my needle pulling thread through a stuffed horse’s head.
I don’t have the answer to those questions, I really don’t. The battle continues to rage. I must go back and forth a dozen times a week. I do know this: I miss working. I miss adult conversations. I miss helping people. And while I worked I missed my child. I missed helping him with learning new skills. I missed knowing him better than anyone.
For now this is the path I have chosen:
(It’s the little things, you know?)
makes the voices fall silent.