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August 2, 2010 / paperkids

In Repair

When we were picking out a title for the blog, aside from Paper Kids, Emma also suggested “In Repair”, a title to a song by John Mayer.  I always knew Emma LOVED John Mayer.  Certain things we just knew she loved, like chocolate, the wind, and most of all music.   Even before she started communicating, she would get really excited and twirl around when we’d put on Continuum, one of John Mayer’s albums. 

One of the amazing things about this whole breakthrough is that we can finally share that thing which we both  love so much in the world – music.  The first time I asked her what she wanted to listen to, she pointed  out “John Mayer”. 

Me: “Do you have a favorite song by him?”

Emma:  In Repair

Me:  “I thought you loved that song.  What do you like most about it? – The music or the words?”

Emma:  The words

So when she had suggested it as a blog title, I realized that she might be serious about the whole words thing. 

Me:  “Why, Emma?  Is it because you feel like you’re broken and are in repair?”

Emma:  Yes

I felt a sadness wash over me.  It’s something that I’ve thought of, but haven’t wanted to think of – that Emma has been made to feel broken; that she needs to somehow be fixed.  I think about all the times that I might have made her feel that way.   It’s one of those things that, if I’m being really honest, has been a heavy aspect to knowing how intelligent and sensitive she is.  This whole process has been an overwelming mixture of exhiliration and remorse.  

I told her that I just couldn’t use that title, but that she could use it when she has her own blog or writes her own book someday.  It was too painful to think about.  And yet I don’t want to stifle her expression.  My God, after ALL these years of having no voice,  I must let her express her thoughts and feelings even if  they’re painful for me to absorb. 

I realize how rusty I am at this parent thing.  I’ve never had to do this kind of parenting before.  Now, I’m given this opportunity to give her emotional support and am not sure what to say, but to tell her that she’s NOT broken.  That she’s wonderful just the way she is.  How can I make up for the past?  I know there were times she must have felt like no one believed in her, not even me.   And yet, I really feel that she doesn’t dwell on that, and maybe neither should I.    I had asked her if she thought about the past alot, when she was little.  On the letterboard, she had said, “Not too much”.   And I felt some comfort in her words, because I could see clearly that her journey is her own.  Her individuality shines through and I KNOW she is okay. 

We all love songs we can feel connected to.  I share in her love of lyrics.  And I have to admit that I love a devastating song just as much as a happy one.   I think this song is a little bit of both…….


Leave a Comment
  1. Lynn States / Aug 2 2010 10:16 pm

    This is, indeed, an adventure that you have undertaken; to be connected with Emma in a way that leads into understanding. I continue to give God praise. And Emma – she’s amazing!

  2. gloria cassidy / Aug 3 2010 4:55 am

    Are there people who are not in repair? Emma is no more broken than I am. Those of us who think we communicate are all playing a game. Once in a while we get it right. most of the time we miss the mark.
    Sitting out front on the lawn with Emma, feeling the wind blowing, is a memory of connection that I treasure. Emma. Your sounds, your movments, The beautiful hummingbird noise make while you run… Being with you is magic. I’m sorry that I tried to make you communicate with the structured tutoring that I was hired to do. My instinct told me to just let you gently move forward into yourself.
    I am proud of you for paper talking with your mom. She really needs to hear what you have to say.
    I love you.

  3. pat henshaw / Aug 4 2010 4:35 pm

    This is too awesome for words!

  4. Molly / Aug 7 2010 6:27 pm

    I agree with Lynn, Cassidy and Pat, yes, mere words can’t describe how beautiful this is..

    I searched Gods words under ‘broken’.

    Psalm 51:15
    O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would i give it; thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; and a contrite heart, O God thou wilt not despise.

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