Thursday, January 08, 2009

Watching Over Them

I just finished the novel Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult and if you want to read a novel that will terrify the pants off of you and break your heart in two for the characters, I recommend it.

The novel centers around a school shooting, not unlike Columbine, and dissects it from multiple points of view. It switches between the present and the past in an effort to show how the boy who commits the shooting grew to be the person he was. The reader sees his parent's point of view and their helplessness. The author depicts the merciless teasing of the central character, Peter, and while I was horrified at his retaliation, I could also sympathize with his state of mind.

I cried as I read the account of his mother thinking about how she could have handled Peter better. The thing is, as a parent, we can do all we can, but we can't be there all the time. We love our kids, we pray for them and then we have to let them go.

There are passages in the novel that argue that Peter was not wired to handle the stress, and therefore, he snapped, much like the battered wife who one night turns on her husband and kills him.

I don't know, it was just really thought provoking and chilling.

I worry about Peyton. He has such a distinct personality that I'm not always sure how to handle him. I know I have said this before, but he is such a child of extremes. Whether it is loving or hating. When he hugs me, he takes my breath away, he squeezes so hard and when he's angry, it's like a rage takes over and there's no getting through. The best I can do is send him to his room and separate him from the situation.

Raising him is a circle. His personality elicits a response from us that may not always be favorable, and then our response further solidifies his personality. Does that make any sense? It just makes me tired.

The good thing is, his teacher this year is awesome. I went in this morning to help out and she said that he is becoming a whiz at math and he is so good about staying on task. She is so positive and soft spoken that I know it has been really good for him. I try to remember that he has been so good all day that at home he may just need to let loose sometimes. I also try to remember that God made me his mother for a reason. I just need to figure it out.


SuZ said...

I think that ut will all make sense one day for you. It'll hit you like a lightning bolt and you'll have everything figured out.

I'm definitely going to pick that book up. Thanks for the recommendation.

Miss you.

tamara said...

You said it al when you said that God made you his mother. And that's something I think I forget about with my kids. We were put together with purpose by the creator himself. I am sure as he matures, Peyton will become a different child. I have always said that learning to control your emotions is a never ending battle. So imagine how hard it is at six. The fact that you worry about his future means that you are a good mom!!

Chelle said...

I'm a huge fan of Jodi Picoult; I've read just about every book she's written and I am always struck by how well she delves into each subject.

As for Peyton, you know, our kids are always worse for us than they are for anyone else-they know they're safest with us and can let off some steam and yet we will still have to love them. Crafty little boogers, those ones.

I think you have a passionate and spotaneous child on your hands and I have no doubt that he is going to grow into a fine young man and the very fact that you worry about him so much proves that you are a better mother than an awful lot of kids have.

Which makes him passionate, spontaneous and lucky.

carrie said...

A good teacher makes a big difference. It is amazing how many things God teaches us through our children! Like you said, God gives us the children that we need. Thankfully, we are promised that He will not give us more than we can handle. I know some days I question His belief in me!