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think of football, think of dancing

published: 2015-01-19

Just now, there was a picture on facebook. Of a tiny little girl at a desk. Her father had written: “look at her, my sweet baby, her first day at school, wow!”
In an instant, I was back there, that first day, waving my son goodbye. Out of seemingly nowhere came a mechanism I had never noticed before. He sat with his two little hands holding the sides of his chair, his shoulder pushed up and his head cocked, chin up.He didn’t look at me – not even as I waved – but somewhere over my shoulder at the wall, his face transfixed in a half-smile. He was terrified.
I’ve been afraid too on various first days at school. What did I do? I watched very, very closely how others did things and copied them.
Today still, when my son is sad, he looks past my shoulder at something. And when I’m sad he says, “mama, here’s what you do: make yourself think of something else, think of something happy.”
“Like what?” I ask.
“Think of dancing,” he says.
So when he’s staring at the wall he must be thinking of football.
As for me, I now have him to copy.

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