mercredi, décembre 09, 2009

Claws on the cliff

Our tuxedo cat rolls on his back, green eyes looking up at me, as papers slide to all corners of the small computer desk. Purring, he sticks his legs up in the air, ready for....a kiss on the head? A finger so that he can hook one of his sharp claws in it? A tummy rub and then the claw?

I have no clue. All three of us are convinced that Inky chose us, not the other way around. But what drives him is still as opaque as it was when we adopted him from the mean streets of a neighboring exurb on Halloween a few years ago.

But in rolling over, he has almost made a mistake -- one he has made before. He comes perilously close to rolling off the desk onto the floor, making a delicate adjustment to maintain his deceptively humble posture.

I think of my daughter, the DQ. In some ways she is, in adolescence, as hard to understand as this most lovable but most irritating feline. She is lovely, my daughter -- sometimes I think God gave her good looks to balance out the difficulties she constantly encounters in finding her way through the challenging terrain of friendships and academia.

Last night I went back to take another look at the symptoms of attention deficit disorder. I needed to remind myself that much of her inability to finish or even recall assignments is normative for such children. I don't know what I can expect. She doesn't know, either.

I'm more like dad than I am like you, she tells me -- and where once I was disturbed by this, now I am grateful that she feels that close connection to him.

Then there is the matter of social relationships. I don't know how to comfort her as she suffers when friendships fall away. Watching her interact, trying to find the key that so many others find by trial and error, is painful. Other girls sense that she isn't "like them" -- and they disappear. She covers it all up with bravado -- but there are times when the bafflement and hurt spill out.

So close to the edge -- knowing that increasingly I cannot keep her from dancing on the cliff, I will try to stand there with her, arms outstretched, in case she needs a hand to grab. Even when, sometimes, I know I will get the sharp edge of the claw.

1 commentaire:

norman pease a dit…

bravo. children, like cats are not present to be understood, just admired and cherished. If one expects any kind of recognition for efforts made on their behalf, they are in for disappointment. The power of the creator is at work, and we can not possibly understand...only appreciate.