The brave


He stood in front of the mirror shaping his hair into the style he had become accustomed to. The blue backpack that had been purchased in fifth grade still looked almost new, he carefully placed a binder inside and stacked his lunch on top. “Goodbye mom, love you, keep your phone on high” and with that he walked down the steps and to the bus stop, leaving me with a warm feeling of affirmation.

His little hands clasped my purse and the standard words were spoken, “You won’t leave right mom, you will be right here, promise?” I smiled and hugged him issuing the words that had become well known to us both, nodding and motioning for him to join his class as they filed down the hall. He stood as he had each day, unable to leave my side until I spoke the words in exact order, with a resounding and unshakable tone “I will not leave this spot, I would never lie to you, I love you” and with that he reluctantly fell into line.

I took my place along the wall, each day inching further away, hoping that it would not prompt a negative response and push us back to where we had started. Progress was slow but at least he was sitting at a desk, only leaving class every hour to make sure I kept my solemn vow. The teacher peered out with a curious look as I took my seat, tucking my purse to the side.

In the four years since our arrival there had been several attempts made at getting him into school and each time the result had been the same. An overwhelming shame and guilt followed me and eroded an already shaky resolve that told me I was justified in moving back home.  I questioned my abilities as a mother as I watched my children struggle with things that seemed basic to other students. His words rang clearly in my ears and were a reminder of my failures, “Lynn, you don’t know how to raise a family”.

The principal walked past and nodded, stopping to make a few light hearted jokes about my daily presence and the incessant nature of my journey. I laughed awkwardly repositioning myself closer to the wall, trying to ignore the sound of scraping from the plastic chair. A dull silence fell around me as she swished away, stopping to instruct both students and aids. Her no nonsense demeanor unnerved me until she turned and offered a soft grin, a silent reminder of her commitment to our arrangement.

It seemed as if nothing had changed and each small step forward was met with resistance and complications. The house had fallen into chaos or at least it seemed that way as I sat for hours thinking of all the things that had to be done.

Days became weeks, well-meaning suggestions and advice were offered. I was told to just leave, he would get over it, to take a stand and make my move. I knew a shaky trust was on the line and so my position remained immovable. I was asked to help out in various classrooms, to serve lunch and sharpen pencils. A steady trickle of hope eeked its way out with any small but significant advance until I found myself outside on a bench, and then in the car.

Almost three months had passed when he suggested that I go home and make lunch, maybe I could return at recess. I held my breath and tried not to look back.

 

77 thoughts on “The brave

  1. What you went through with your husband must have had a devastating effect on the children. They would see what was going on. It must have been very destabilizing for them.
    You were/are a very good mother Lynn, you were there for them.
    Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much! You were and are a special person in our lives! I hear about you often! Thanks for being there and always thinking of us!!! xoxoxoYou really made that year of school for D a good year and she then felt stable in the school environment! Many thanks to you!!

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  2. If you were not a great mother and always have been a trustable mother Lynn, then you would not have these close relationships to your kids now. Trust me.
    It is never easy to let our kids leave their home, but it is also necessary ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The feelings of your son and you come through so poignantly. You and you children have come through a war zone through to the other side. The journey is so important with small victories that bring triumph over adversity. Keep writing! You and your family are precious treasures! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Many mothers will recognise those days of trying to let go when they first start school, but yours were particularly hard. You persevered, showed compassion and gave him something he could trust at a time when he probably didn’t know who or what to believe in. Look at him now! You surely are a good mum and an excellent write to boot. 💜

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Wow Lyn, I could feel both his heart and yours! How brave you were to follow your heart. I don’t think there is much that is more valuable than building trust. This was such a moving and beautiful story! You are an amazing woman and a beautiful mother… and that shines through in each of your children! xoxo

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  6. Lynn, this is difficult to read – to think what your kids went through. Their success and happiness is such a testament to what a good mom you are, and the decisions you made that allowed them to become the young men and women they are.

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  7. For as many times as you may have heard his voice in your head, questioning your ability to raise a family, you knew exactly where you needed to be for your son when he needed you most. Brave, committed & victorious I would say!😘

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow you are right! A big issue is questioning myself. None of us were allowed to make decisions so that is hard to do. But yes you are right!!! I do what I think is right. Never thought of this Lynn! Thanks so much for those thoughts! xo

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow, this must have been torture. This piece really draws attention to how deeply ingrained mind-control can be, how difficult to break out of it, and how deeply it damages young children who have no innate defense against it. Kudos to you for breaking out of the prison and freeing you kids in the process.

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