Rockin' My World
Seth has been asking to hear this story over and over, and for me to tell it to nearly everyone we come across, for the past couple of weeks. He doesn't know I'm putting it on here - surprise!
About 7 years ago, we (my then-husband, Evan, Seth and I) were forced to move from the house we were renting. It was, quite literally, falling apart, and had been for some time. We were making things work; it was a blessing to rent a 2-bedroom home for $200!!! a month rent. That's right - $200. It's what allowed me to stay home with Evan when I was a single mom with him. Sure, it was drafty, and the heat sounded like a jet engine when it came on. Sure, only one burner on the stove worked reliably. Sure, the windows couldn't open. It was worth it! But the owner decided it was time to do some work, so we had to move. It was only supposed to take 3 months; we planned to move back in when he was done. For that short a time, my mother offered to let us stay with her, and we, foolishly, took her up on that offer. I didn't realize how mean and cold she had become since I had moved out of her home 6 years earlier. The brief times we saw each other were slightly stressful, but nothing out of the ordinary.
It was, without a doubt, the worse 2 months of my recent life. She put down Evan for the stuff he chose to do - he would write a comic book and she would ridicule the drawings. He wrote a story - he pretended like the conversation in the book Yo! Yes? was one half of a phone conversation, and he wrote the other half. It was funny and clever, and very inventive. My mother read it, sneered, and said, "Some story." He had just turned 9, people! Nine. It was AWFUL. It was painful and difficult. I have no doubt it was hard on my mom - used to living by herself, and here's me and my husband, and our 9- and 2-year old and our dog, too - but she made it a hell. We saved up our money and got out of there, even though our house wasn't finished; we ended up moving into an apartment complex. They had insulation! And windows that opened!
This was at the beginning of February, right before Seth turned 3. At that time, I used to get a bit down in the wintertime, and I could feel myself spiraling down that dark tunnel. The time with my mom was so stressful, and we couldn't move back into our little house, that I loved so dearly - John wasn't willing to break our lease to do so, when the house was finished a couple months later. One day, I was out walking with Seth, just taking a tour around the apartment complex. It was cold and gray, and my mood matched. I felt myself teetering on the edge of the abyss of depression, and felt powerless against it. On the walk, we passed a gravel driveway. Seth broke away from me, ran to the rocks, stood there a second and yelled: "Mama!! ROCKS!!" His face just glowing with his huge smile. He was in awe. Of rocks. He could barely contain himself. In that moment, I felt something inside break open, and I smiled, then laughed. How could I possibly be depressed in a world that had rocks?
It turned my view around. That one moment put me on a whole different course than I was headed down. I didn't fall into depression - I kept looking for the rocks. Then came Spring, and at the apartment we put out bird feeders, so we had squirrels we tamed to the point they'd crawl up my leg to get peanuts, and baby ducks would come feed with their Mamas on the seed that fell on the ground.
Rocks. Go figure.