Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Magical Mystery Mouse

Long ago DD had a bosom friend that went with her everywhere. She called him Mousie.
 
Here they are, hand in hand, inseparable, in a photo almost a generation old. A friend’s mother embroidered a mouse on a T-shirt for her, and DD became known as the girl with the mouse.

 
 
There was the time in the supermarket when she set Mousie down  in order to help put a jar of peanut butter in the basket. Moments later, she realized she didn’t have him. It was pandemonium. Only when we found him again, resting patiently on top of another jar, was peace restored.
 
 
Then there was the time she had gone to sleep with him, as always, but must have let go in the middle of the night. Mousie was located behind her bed, and the promise of a good day was with us once again.
 
 
These separations became more frequent, but DD’s insistence that life can’t go on without Mousie did not abate. I worried that one day he would indeed leave us for greener pastures. I dreaded that day. Mousie was no longer a transitional object, as the clinical definition goes. He was a full-fledged member of the family.
 
 
One day, I found Mousie on the kitchen floor, all by his lonesome. I picked him up and almost returned him to DD, who was drawing with great concentration in the next room. Then I thought better of it, and put him away in a safe place where I can locate him if she asks for him.
 
 
She never did.
 
 
I forgot about him. Dust settled over many details of those times, and the colors faded as they do in old photos, both in albums and in my mind.
 
 
 
 Two years ago, DD and I were looking through an old box, when out fell Mousie.


 
DD gasped.
 
“Oh, my,”  I said. “Do you remember this?”
 
“Do I remember?” she said. “I thought about him and wondered where he was every day, for years!”
 
“You never asked...” I said.
 
“I didn’t want to upset you,” she said. “I thought I had lost him, and I didn’t want you to feel bad.”
 
 
I don’t know what lesson to take from this. I was thinking about it the other day, when I thought how often we don’t ask and don’t tell because we want to spare others. I wanted to tell DD, who still doesn’t share things when she wants to spare me, that she should have asked.
 
 
But the other side of it was that Mousie had to grow up, and he, as well as DD, had to move on.
 

16 comments:

  1. What a poignant remembrance. Sharing our deepest hurts and fears with others is not easy. And grown children sometimes do not choose their parents as their confidants. It can be hurtful for us, when we long to be there for them--to be supportive and to let them know they're loved. But it's their choice, just as it was DD's choice to try to spare you anxiety. ((Hugs))

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    1. Ev, that's so true. This is one of the reasons I am grateful for the other adults in my kids' lives, who are there to guide them.

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  2. All's well that ends well?

    Love,
    Janie

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  3. Mirka, another thought: this story reminds me of the sacrifices a young couple makes to get each other a gift. She cuts her long hair and sells it to buy him a chain for his watch and he sells the watch to buy a comb for her. I'm always amazed at the heartfelt sacrifices children make. Blessings upon her.

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    1. O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi. A classic of short stories.

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  4. I'm glad you found Mousie. Hmm, it seems I didn't have any trouble expressing my opinion when I was a kid...

    I remember my mother throwing out a doll when I was 3; I rescued it from the garbage.

    And an owl puppet which I had left out in the rain overnight. My mother thought a new puppet would be a good replacement. No. I kept the old one and repaired it; it was always my favourite.

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    1. Mothers... What can I say? Can't with them and can't without them ;)

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  5. Oh dear! Way to make a pregnant lady feel all emotional. ;) A touching true story. This could be a wonderful picture book.

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  6. Mirka, as always your writing touches me in a deep place. Thank you for sharing this. ~Trine

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  7. Yes! What a wonderful picture book, Mirka, write it! This is similar to my son's stuffed "piggie" who went with him everywhere. Piggie was very real to him!

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  8. Ah, what a great story. I'm just now entering this phrase of older daughter life, and yes, it can hurt. So glad you still have Mousie!

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  9. Parents do what they know best in a specific moment. Vulnerable moments for the parent when you doubt if you did the right thing. But yes, you did the right thing as you knew in that moment. Everyone moved on and that's the most important. Thanks.

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  10. There is a lot to think about in this story. How many times do we not ask, thinking that it's impossible to have what we want? On the other hand, you're DD showed she wasn't going to panic without the mouse anymore.

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  11. I think this is a very fitting story about two "friends" who grew apart in order to grow up. It's sweet that they were reunited so many years later.

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  12. Lovely and sad and filled with love.
    xoxoxoxo

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  13. I think that moment DD started considering your feelings more than asking for Mousie for herself was when she was truly growing up ...

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