Tonight's picture was taken in March of 2009. Mattie was home between hospital treatments and wanted to take out one of his Thomas Train sets. I remember buying this train set with Mattie at Target years ago (pre-cancer). Mattie picked this toy out while shopping with me, and I thought like other toys, it would fall out of interest. This train set, never did! It was something Mattie loved, because the trains ran on batteries and they could turn around on the tracks and also pick up items along the way. It was hard occupying Mattie's attention after he had limb salvaging surgeries. He could no longer run and walk, and expend energy. Yet his mind was very active and it required hours upon hours of play, and the treatment seemed to prevent Mattie from getting sleep. When I look back at these days now, I honestly do not know how Peter and I managed.
Quote of the day: A quarrelsome man has no good neighbors. ~ Ben Franklin
I get the sentiments of Ben Franklin's quote.... but!!! I was working at my desk today in Mattie's room. As is typical kids in our complex came and played in Mattie's sandbox. As I mentioned in yesterday's blog, it has taken me many years to get used to this occurrence.
But today I saw a little girl carry the lid of the frog sandbox, drag it, and then she and her brother decided to stand on the lid and smash its face inward. In fact, Peter has been asking me.... why is the frog face always smashed? As Peter returns from work every evening and fixes it. I never had an answer for Peter, until tonight. I now know how the lid of the box gets smashed.... as I watched it unfold.
Clearly kids will be kids. After all, I am sure Mattie may even have thought to step on the frog lid! The difference is I would have told him NO! Then explained why. If the lid gets broken, then there would be no sandbox. A box that he loved. I know Mattie would have gotten that message instantaneously, as he put two and two together quickly. But this mom said nothing to her children. She just watched her daughter stomping on the lid.
Honestly, I am sure if I was the average parent, I would not think twice about this occurrence. Kids are being kids. But the difference is..... this is Mattie's sandbox. To me the box holds meaning and as I was watching it being stomped on, I fell back into my OLD feelings, back when Mattie first died and people would ask me.... do you have children? This afternoon I was literally shocked at what I was seeing and felt uneasy at the same time, yet unable to speak or say anything from the window.
At the end of the day however, the mom did get up and fixed the face of the frog and then put the lid back on the box. So all is well with Mattie's frog. But it gets back to the point I made last night. So many view this as just a sandbox left out in the common area for others to use. But to me it is much much more, and I really believe based on my experiences with Mattie and his death, this clouds how I view the world. For I now realize objects I may see within my community, which may look innocent to the untrained eye, could have a lot more meaning and sentimental value attached to them than we really know.