Navigating by the Porcelain Stars

Forest blew chunks today at U Village.

Right in front of Specialty’s. Sunny day. Tables full of happy families.  Three times, voluminously, all over his galoshes.

The friend of a friend who was sitting with us looked at him and said “Well Forest, today was a good day to wear boots.”

After that, Forest and I had an awesome day. All day long I was able to hold in my center the easy love that gets nothing done other than the support of a young soul. This is the opposite of ass-kicker, which I like to think of myself as. For me, that was always the whiplash of working motherhood. To make things happen is the opposite of to see and support what happens in the mystery of a boy’s life… even on a non-vomiting day.

It’s the difference between talking and listening.

And all day, I kept thinking of a quote from Estés ‘exploration of Vassalisa’s story:

“There is no greater blessing a mother can give her daughter [or son!] than a reliable sense of the veracity of [their] own intuition. Intuition is handed from parent to child in the simplest ways.” ~ from Women Who Run with The Wolves

So, I enlisted Forest’s intuition in determining what food would make him hurl again. As my doc friend texted this afternoon, the only consequences for me were “janitorial.”

Obviously, I didn’t start out strong.

I stopped on the way home from U Village to get the ingredients of the BRAT list: Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast. But what Forest really wanted to eat was beans and rice with cheese, salsa and avocadoes. Also raspberries.

At first, I held out for a couple of rounds of toast and applesauce. But he kept saying “Can I have raspberries? When is dinner? Can I have salsa with my beans and rice?”

Do you remember how hungry you can be when you’ve been vomiting for 18 hours?

I heard the voices of doom saying nothing but BRAT for 12 hours!! But I asked him, over and over, “How’s your belly?” and I listened to him. After the first serving of beans and rice with cheese (no salsa) he wanted more. I told him to pay attention to the difference between what his mouth wanted and what his stomach wanted. “Sometimes your mouth wants more, because it tastes SO good. But your stomach says it doesn’t.”

He stopped and stared into space like he was conducting quantum physics in his head. Like he does, sometimes. “But what do you do when your stomach and your mouth say something different?” he said.

“You listen to your stomach,” I said. “Because look, your stomach is right here!” I grabbed my center. “It affects every part of your body. If your stomach isn’t happy, your whole body will be unhappy. So, what does your stomach say about more beans and rice?

“It says ‘I’m hungry,’” he said.

So I made him another serving. With cheese and avocadoes and a bit of salsa.  I know, but he said. His decision. He’s “almost seven.”

He ate it. Then he wanted a third helping. “More please,” he said, holding out his little cup. His eyes are so soft.

But then my spider senses spoke up. I could feel it, time to step in. I mean janitorial is not nothing.

“No, we’re done for tonight,” I said.

Ten minutes later he said, “Mommy, your spider senses were right to not give me more rice and beans. I feel sick.”

But we crossed the finish line intact. No hurling, no worshipping the porcelain god, and yet we were mostly navigating by his stars, his body sense today. He is safely asleep with a full belly, soft eyes and a calm heart.

Victory. I’ll take it.