Monday, August 30, 2010

Tomatoes and how we inadvertently traumatize our children

My whole house smells like tomato sauce. Literally. It’s like we live in a pizzeria. Why, you ask? Well, these are the joys of having a vegetable garden. Our tomatoes are starting to ripen, this is both a wonderful and a terrifying prospect. Wonderful because when I’m late getting dinner on the table and The Boy’s hungry I just send him outside to pick a couple of tomatoes and he can eat them still warm from the sun, and believe me there is nothing more delicious. Terrifying because I’ve got 8 tomato plants (3 “cuore di bue” – haven’t found a translation for it, it’s typically Italian; 3 San Marzano and 2 Cherry tomatoes) and though the fruits have just recently really started ripening, the plants are FULL of green tomatoes, and this means that I’m going to be eating, cooking and preserving tomatoes till kingdom come. Thank goodness they’re delish so it’s worth all the work!

My vegetable garden
Cuore di bue (Ox heart) tomato, this one was huge!
On another completely unrelated note we are unfortunately now starting  to see the effects of The Husband’s illness on  The Boy. He is going through what looks like a massive attack of separation anxiety. Every time we leave the house he cries, he wants to go with the one that’s leaving or he wants to stay home but doesn’t want you to leave, it’s very frustrating for us cause we can’t go anywhere without a scene and very sad for him cause he’s not relaxed. So we have to find a way to deal with it. I realize that it’s perfectly normal, his dad disappeared from one day to the next and no adequate explanation was provided, so from his point of view when we leave there is the chance that we may not come back.
Before The Boy could talk properly he would sometimes try to get the pictures he liked out of books, like he could pick up the ball in the book with his fingers, and the fact that he couldn’t and that I couldn’t help him would frustrate him to no end. When The Husband was in the hospital sometimes we would have video conferences so The Boy could see him and they could have a “real” conversation, one night at dinner, The Husband was talking to him while he ate and all of a sudden The Boy throws down his fork and starts having the mother of all freak outs because he wants his Daddy to come out of the computer and be near him. I had no idea what to do, but seeing him like that broke my heart. After that little episode we banned video conferences for a while. The point is that in hindsight I realize that we could have and possibly should have handled the whole thing better, given The Boy more information, tried to protect him less from the facts and prepared him better for the reality. Of course, in hindsight it’s easy to see your mistakes, but when you’re actually living them you’re caught up by the craziness of it all and can’t think clearly. So now we are reaping what we sowed, unfortunately. I just hope that we haven’t traumatized him permanently…


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