the sorrow of boat covers

October 20, 2009 at 6:00 am 3 comments

Today Echo wanted to be sad.

She tried so hard, so many different times to cry. It seemed like a forced yawn. More of a shouty shouty wail than a sob. And she cast about for a reason, something to get her going good.

“Mom is that a boat?”

“Yeah a boat with a cover on it.”

“WAAAAHHHHHHHHH! WAAAAAHHHHHHH! I don’t want a cover on it!”

“You don’t want a cover on the boat?”

“NO! WAAHHHHH! I don’t ‘member why there’s a cover! WAAAHHHHH!”

(long explanation of why boat owners use covers; fall leaves that stain, dirt that blows about , etc.)


Finally I realized that no amount of information was going to help. It wasn’t the boat cover. Empathy about a boat having a boat cover was not going to help. I eventually asked her if she wanted to be sad. Yes. Did she want to cry? Yes.

The only problem was that there wasn’t anything she could get juiced about. So what to do? Empathy for not finding something to get a good cry from, of course!

“You really want to cry hard and it’s not working.”


“Shoot. You want to cry about the boat cover but can’t get the tears going huh?”



Then. “Look Mama they have an orange pumpkin AND a green pumpkin!!!!”

It was over.

Entry filed under: empathy. Tags: , , .

bottom line legacy

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Beth  |  October 21, 2009 at 6:01 am

    Oh, I know Echo’s feeling in myself. Thanks for showing how a loving, empathetic person holds space around it.

  • 2. sija  |  October 22, 2009 at 12:49 am

    thanks for reminding me Kris! I see the pattern of my son all of a sudden, crystal clear: he is getting angry at me when he is disappointed about something.

    His way of dealing with grief. Ahh, and I just react, out of grief……

    doing so much my best and still ending up with a crying boy.

    who just wants it ALL

    and has a hard time to settle for less

    and I want a happy boy, I invest so much in it

    grieving that it just is not like that

    longing for the place in me that can give him space to just sort out his feeling in that moment

    give him the space to work it out


  • 3. sija  |  October 22, 2009 at 1:08 am

    hm, I assumed that Kris wrote the entry, but now I realize it is someone else…..oops!

    Lots of clues but I simply did not see them

    But I love the blog anyway 🙂


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