Friday, April 17, 2009

The Little Girl

This is a true story.

The little girl left for school every day wearing some derivative of a red plaid dress with a black pattern leather belt that matched her shoes and her folded down white cotton ankle socks.
Every day, usually just before she arrived at school, and sometimes during recess, she threw up. Every day she walked back home because she had soiled her dress or socks or coat, and on really bad days, everything.
When the little girl opened the back door and and stepped into the kitchen, her mother was there waiting, ready to hug her and tell her how brave she was. She helped her little daughter change into a set of fresh clothes that were already laid out on the back of the kitchen chair, and within five minutes, she was on her way back to school, where she was the teacher’s favorite and popular and comical among her peers.
The little girl is now a mother herself. She cannot imagine having the patience to clean vomit and prepare a second set of dress clothes every day. She loves her own daughter, but she cannot imagine this level of enduring patience. When she tells her friends about her childhood nervousness, she holds back tears as she says that her mother’s message—in word and deed—was that she was a courageous and strong little girl, never a shameful or difficult problem.
The little girl who is now an adult knows that this message resonates with her still, and maybe that is why she is able to take risks and engage in life even when she throws up.

Thanks Mom. It's made all the difference.


  1. That was beautiful......just going to leave it at that...

    Sonia ;)

  2. Awww . ..I miss my mum! WE do things that others wont as mothers. Then if we don't, who will.

  3. I struggle to maintain patience, but I hope that someday my kids will tell good stories about me.

    (I'm back. :-O)

  4. That made me cry. What a wonderful mom you have.

  5. Yet again, you bring tears to my eyes. Thanks so much for sharing!



  6. A quote on a blogger friend's header says, 'If every woman told the truth of her life the world would split apart' ... I thought of that quote when I read this post. (I will find out who said it and get back to you.)

  7. Here is the quote in full:
    'What would happen if one woman told the truth about herself? The world would split open.'
    Muriel Rukeyser

  8. What a mom you have, KJ! Of course it makes all the difference to a nervous kid. Positiveness is simply the best way to react in a lot of situations. And a good laugh of course :-))

  9. Your mom's sweet.Thats such a beautiful message. I know this coz my mum has always been there for me...whatever the crisis...small or big. She has been such a strong pillar for the family that I don't know where we would've been if it hadnot been for her. Maybe thts the reason tht I try to emulate her strong sense of support with my daughter so that she'll know that whatever the circumstance, I'll always be there for her.

    This said, KJ, Thanks a load for your sweet & encouraging words in my blog. I am happy that you liked my work.Thanks for the Welcome. Hope to see you around:)

  10. omg i so wish i had a mom like this, mine didn't like me and made it very obvious. my heart is heavy, thanks for this....makes me know it wasn't ME!

  11. sonia, nice to see you here. thank you for your kind words. and smiles back.

    baino, how true. we'd do just about anything for our kids. i love loving someone that much.

    cs, hello! welcome back! i'd bet a small fortune your kids WILL say that about you.

    mim, ?

    annie, always good to bring out tears when it's about good love. :)

    j-, hello! do you think it's time for you to head up north to that livingroom and maybe write and cry at the same time? thanks for appreciating this story... xo

    chief, sigh. how true. xo

    wieneke, my mom is not perfect and we actually went alot of years without speaking (except superficially) but she is a wonderful vibrant person and i owe her so much.

    deepazartz, welcome. thanks for coming here. i'm glad your mom has given you such strength and wisdom.

    soulbrushm IT WASN'T YOU!!! be a mother to yourself, my friend, because you deserve everything good. xoxox

  12. I want to give your mother a great big hug for taking such good care of my friend ;)

    No wonder you make such a loving counselor.


  13. When I first read this I just couldn't say anything - it was somehow so powerful to me. I thought about this all morning, and came back to read it again. What a loving, lovely, patient, wonderful mom you have. I can't imagine not getting impatient/slightly cross with a child that threw up everyday.

    The other lovely part of the story, is that you persevered! you didn't give up and stay home. That is so amazing to me - I would have crumpled - or maybe not - I certainly was brought up with the stoic attitude of "get over it", but I would have been SO scared and even more nervous every day.

    Lovely post KJ - full of humanity, and love.

  14. lolo, you are my friend and i love you. my mother would scrunch her eyes if you hugged her, like 'what did i do that was so good?' but she she hug you back for sure.

    oh mim, your comment means so much to me. i can't imagine being patient with the situation either. and your comment about me turning around and heading right back to school: thank you for that. i never thought about it that way. you are a dear, mim, and i look forward to coffee and catching up.

  15. What a wonderful loving sweet Mom you have!!!
    What a beautiful story!
    My Mom did a lot of good things but a lot of less things as well....... but she meant well, that´s what counts in my eyes.
    You are lucky to have such a supportive Mom!

    Thanks for this story!

    have a nice weekend dear!

  16. kj: This post is my favourite. I love the Mom and the little girl.

    What a wonderful Mom and what a wonderful and brave little girl.

    I love all tales of scared little girls that with the help of their mothers becoming lionesses.

    Love Renee xoxoo

    p.s. I think I might have some of that lady's pictures downloaded from before, because I have quite a few on houses. I will check it out.

  17. marianne, thank you back dear! my mom didn't do everything right either. we had some very difficult years. but no longer. we are at peace and simply love one another.

    renee, yay! renee's here! i left a comment on your blog so check it out there. and have a good lovely day moon sister.

  18. Ah, KJ, you know Sonja, I see. Sonja is one of the few people who have ever enjoyed my blog enough to go way back through old posts. She sees my writing as I would like it to be seen.

    "She cannot imagine having the patience to clean vomit and prepare a second set of dress clothes every day."

    What would you do instead? Honestly. You couldn't leave your child with puke on her clothes. Scolding her would just add to her misery. I like to think you would show the heart-warming respect and compassion that your mother showed you. She was a parent among parents.

    I threw up every morning before I went to school. I did this through all twelve years, and I never knew why; I still don't, actually. I thought it just had something to do with morning.

  19. snowbrush, so you've enticed me to go back and read your blog archives. i will look forward to doing that.

    i'll tell you what i probably would have done snowbrush: i would have said "what's wrong? i'm taking you to a counselor!"
    my mother was so much wiser.

    interesting about your own mornings. no clue?
    welcome and thanks for visiting. much appreciated.

  20. kj you are right, I would have been like your mother, but I also would be like you.

    First the hugs and clean clothes and back to school. Next making an appointment to see if someone with more knowledge about these things could help her out.

    Oh and thanks for the linkup.

    Love Renee xoxoxo

  21. i'm taking you to a counselor!"

    Which in this case would be you. (ha)

    Yes, Mom was wise, and counseling was not so widely accepted. Are we better off now that it is? I don't think so, but I am prejudiced. Putting that aside, I can't imagine how any such measurement could be taken.

    "no clue?"

    If I really think about it, yes. Every day was a new failure, and there was no way out, at least for me given who I was. And you? Such a big fear, and to think that it went on and on and on through the day. Didn't it ever stop? After lunch maybe, during the early afternoon and everyone was drowsy?

  22. snowbrush, 'everyday a new failure'? surely your environment or supports must have been the failure, not you. you write like the wisest observer and you could not possibly be a failure, then or now.

    myself, for some strange reason, i was fine as soon as i went back to school each day. go figure... :)

    renee, hello again. when i see comments from your family, my heart expands so wide. you are wise and fun and real and feisty--all my favorite qualities. i think you rock!

  23. OMG! You made me cry!
    And Chausson is just near me, looking at me while I type....
    You can call me MP..... :)
    Lelime is my verif. word... Suddenly,I feel like having a lemonade, and I don't know why...
    oups. Chausson is gone. :)

  24. mp princey, lelime is a terrific word. let's find a way to use it.

    i'm moving your blog up to tier one status on my favorites list. it's like an old friend comes home. so there!

  25. kj: Sending you some oooo and xxxx and wishes for a wonderful Sunday.

    Renee xoxo

  26. "...surely your environment or supports must have been the failure, not you."

    Oh, but of course.

    "i was fine as soon as i went back to school each day."

    Yes, of course, you did say that you only messed up ONE set of clothes each day. I'm sure glad you lived close to the school. I remember hearing old people tell me about walking five miles each way!

  27. What a beautiful post kj and what a wonderful mother you have.

    One of my daughters has found the world a sometimes scary place to be and I have always done my best to be sensitive to her fears and just love her unconditionally.

    I've copped some flack over the years about being overly protective of her which has sometimes made me doubt myself. Reading your post reminded me that like your mum did for you, I am hoping the love and patience I offer her will make her feel that she is ok just as she is.

  28. renee, love love love you!

    snowbrush, in those days i could safely walk to school even though it took a bit of time.

    kate,your comment almost made me cry. remember my mother when you need to. your daughter will look back and remember too. xoxoxo

  29. In a blogosphere where many writers (myself included) are the products of abusive homes, it is comforting to hear such a warm and touching story.

    Your mother sounds like a wonderful woman. This story is a great lesson to impart.