Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Loss of Innocence

Ten days ago, Bill was playing football when his ball went over the wall. He tried to climb over the wall to get it back, and the wall fell on him and hurt him so badly that he couldn't stay alive with us. He was six years old. So the goddess is cuddling him and looking after him now just like his mummy did, and Isaac's mummy does, until the time is right for Bill's mummy to go and be with him again.

This is what we've told Isaac. He is five years old, and watching someone so small struggle with something so big is breaking my heart. In the last ten days, he's both got very old and very young- asking for lots and lots of babying and cuddles and attention, yet also wanting his independence. He wants to play outside by himself- not only in the garden, but to go to the park quarter of a mile away by himself as well. Yet every night the bed is wet and he cries in terror, associating the sensations of his asthma attacks with the way his friend died. I haven't got the words to help him, but I so, so, wish I had.
The games he and his friends play so often have changed so much. I haven't seen Superman's red cape zooming round the house much recently, or heard of the doings of the Power Rangers. (Not the TV version- Power Rangers Isaac-stylee are way cooler. They have all kinds of superpowers, for one thing.) Instead, they've been obsessed with an ants nest and watching the way that the ants interact and work together, and trying to protect the ants from the other children.
Probably the hardest thing to see, though, is the way that he hasn't been taking risks. His ongoing onslaught on the climbing wall at the playground has been put on hold for a while, as has the battle with the monkey bars- because for the first time in his life, Isaac has realised that failure is an option. For him, it's no longer as simple as "I can't do it yet" because he knows that there's the possibility that a goal may prove too big and too dangerous for him. He now believes in "I can't do it." His innocence, his brave open-hearted sheer reckless stupidity is gone at 5 years old, and I don't think I can bring it back.
We love you, Bill.

1 comment:

Vegan Knitting said...

I'm not sure why no one has commented yet but boy is this a tough thing to deal with.

my heart is with you, your son, and his friend.