The Little Engine That Could

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Meet Maddie

I meditate a lot. Some might say it looks like napping, but to me, it's where all that needs to get worked out gets worked out.

Energetically, this weight around my middle is a 10 year old child-- the child is too big to carry, but she's not mature enough to understand that.

I'll name her Maddie. This is her beginning:
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Maddie is beautiful in an awkward way-- she is tall and almost woman like-- in pictures she is as tall as her mama, big fat freckles splayed across her nose and cheeks, her too big teeth growing into her mouth, her loud little girl voice raised about the shrieking in the pool on a hot summer's day. You can see the woman she may have the chance to become-- with her long sun streaked golden hair, and her wicked smile, her green eyes tell you that she knows and understands this world much more than you ever could. She is the holder of secrets untold, her body is strong and long-- round water belly, tanned legs and feet solidly planted in the ground.

Maddie can be a child-- excited over warm oatmeal cookies from the oven, running to give daddy a kiss in her wet bathing suit, playing Marco Polo for hours as the sun sets over the cement fence in the backyard, getting towels fresh from the dryer and settling in to watch TV with the family over a big bowl of popcorn. Her best friend is a little girl down the street, Steffie, she is much smaller and much more woman like-- child by size, woman by maturity. Steffie has all the dainty features, Maddie towers over her by 7 inches, and outweighs her by 30 pounds. But they cross the street holding hands, and are inseparable.

Maddie loves to play with dolls and trucks and cars and makes up songs in her head. When Maddie has to go to sleep, she dreams that her bed is a stage, and she is there to entertain the rows of stuffed animals and characters from her books that come alive at night; she dances, she sings (quietly), she makes up skits, and she takes her bows. Her favorite thing to do (if she can't go swimming) is to lay on her bed while the sun is in the east and read. Sometimes she falls asleep, but most times, she falls into the book-- becoming the witch of blackbird pond, playing in the secret garden, uncovering mysteries with encyclopedia brown.

Maddie loves candy. Every week or so, her mom lets her go to the Liquor store through the alley and next to Grampa's bar, and get a candy. Mom gives her 50 cents or a dollar, and Maddie uses it all up. Candy isn't allowed in Maddie's house, so she takes it any ways she can. Maddie's favorite time of the year is Christmas, with the Hershey's kisses stacked in Gramma's Christmas tree canister, and Maddie is allowed to have as much as she wants with NO ONE looking at her. No one monitoring, no one watching.

Maddie knows that she is taller than everyone else, and she knows she is bigger too. But this means she is stronger and sometimes faster (usually when she is swimming) and she is very powerful. Except to her brother. Her brother, Aaron, is wiry and skinny and he teases Maddie a lot. They are about even strength wise-- but he overpowers her emotions. He knows what to say to make her angry, what to say to make her cry, and how to look at her so she wants to run screaming after him to tear his hair out. She tries to get along with him, but he usually says something to hurt her feelings, calling her fat, riding his bike too fast, not staying with her as they cross the street. Aaron is just being a 13 year old boy, now becoming interested in girls, now becoming an adult, and Maddie doesn't understand why he doesn't want to play with her anymore and why he likes it so much when Maddie feels bad. He no longer likes her, except when she gives him things he wants.

Maddie finds out that Aaron gets sugary treats like Twinkies when he shows her where mom hides them. Maddie will hate him forever for being the one who gets the good stuff, because she thinks it's proof that she is no good, and her parents like her brother more. She thinks that because she doesn't get the sugary sweets handed to her, and she has to steal or sneak them and beg for them--- she did something wrong.

"Please mom, please can I have a ding dong? Please."

Aaron doesn't have to ask, he just gets one in his lunch bag. Maddie does not, but her mother doesn't tell her why, just because "You know why you can't have one."

Maddie jumps in the pool, because she doesn't get the sweet snack, because her mom said no, because her mom said she's stupid for crying over food, and because no one can see tears with a face full of water. Maddie spends lots of time in the pool, yelling underwater, crying, swimming, and pretending she lives somewhere else.

Aaron will tell her that Maddie that Steffie is cute and he wants her for a girlfriend. Steffie will start acting weird around her and will want to hang out with her brother more. Maddie will go to the kitchen when this happens. She'll read a lot more. She'll spend time inside. And she'll be smarter in school, so that she can get the sugar snacks too. She won't spend as much time with Steffie, because she only wants to hang out with Maddie if Aaron is around.

Steffie's brother Charles likes Maddie a lot. He's four years older than Maddie and plays games she doesn't understand, but she goes along with it, because her brother is busy laughing and teasing with Steffie. Maddie's mom finds out about these games and gets really mad. They are harmless, "He's just pretending to give me a shot in my leg", but Maddie's mom says that's the end of the game. Maddie doesn't see Charles after that, and barely talks to Steffie much more.

This will be the summer than Maddie starts eating food that isn't food-- like spoonfuls of sugar, chocolate syrup straight from the bottle, hot cocoa mix, cake mix, chocolate chips. This will be the summer that Maddie gets mad, and she eats everything to push down that anger.

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So this weight around my middle is a 10 year old 130-pound little girl that is getting close to being a woman. Energetically, she rests her head on my shoulder as I walk through my adult life-- I give her a reverse piggy back ride every minute of every day-- Her bottom is my stomach, her arms clasp my neck and pull me down, her legs firmly clasped around my waist and back. Sometime I can hear her sigh, sometimes she sleeps, but she is always looking for a hug, and I hug her tight because I don't want her to let go. I don't know life without her.

Meditating on, visualizing losing this 130 pound energy fire bomb-- she would turn into loose flabby skin, deflated. Energetically I could not feel the release of her, I felt all the other bits, but couldn't feel her eternal hug was gone. I don't have to get rid of Maddie, but I can gently lay her down to sleep and keep her in my heart, and not on my body forever.

Goodnight Maddie. Sweet dreams beautiful girl.

14 comments:

Amber said...

I have no words, only tears b/c I too have a Maddie and am having to lay her down.

Your writing is beautiful and so real to me. You are able to match words and phrases with the crazy emotions I am feeling and as I read I find myself nodding, "Yes, yes, that's it! That is what I'm going through!"

Thank you.

Melting Mama said...

Damn it, damn it, damn it. You made me cry.

This "child", was/is me, and is my nearly ten year old.

Anonymous said...

I can't describe to you how it feels to read this.

I was Maddie and my brother was Aaron. And my mom was their mom. How did you know?

And I have that same girl around my neck too. Today. Still.

I've never put it into words like this before, but wow. Just wow.

Anonymous said...

Lovely and inspiring.

Sabrina said...

Thank you for understanding.
*big hugs for you*

Dagny said...

I can't guess where you'll be a year from now. Like some, who have a need to connect with their former selves. Or like me, nearly unable to look at old photos and erasing so much of my past that I even rid myself of my former name. My blog is the only connection that remains but I'm working to make it reflect more of my present. My relationship with my past is...complicated.

Where will Maddie be in your future? There's a long, very twisted road ahead of you. And quite a few traveling companions have volunteered to go with you. We'll even carry you whenever you need us to. Promise.

Dagny

Tammy said...

I sit here stunned. My ten year old is named Rachel. I cried. That is all - I just sat here and cried.

SignGurl said...

This is so powerful!

Kim J said...

I carry around a young girl, too... her mother said the same thing.... she weighs 150 lbs, her name is Kim... after reading your words, I cry for her, and for me... you are not alone.

Angel said...

My heart hurts so much right now. For you. For me. ::::Tears:::::: Only I had 2 younger, thinner, more athletic sisters.

((((Hugs)))))) I don't think I've ever read something like this. I'm sorry it took pain for you to write such a heartfelt post.

Anonymous said...

This was just beautifully sad, and wonderfully written.

Anonymous said...

Nothing to add, just to say thanks. I haven't felt this much in a long time.

Danyele said...

Very touching..

Billy Splatts! said...

You are beautiful, inside and out!

Love you!
Billy!