A Battle of Shadows

I have a shadow.

He leans in as I type, pointing out facts about life, asking me questions incessantly. I struggle not to react in annoyance, rescuing a precious fineliner from sticky fingers. Concentration dipping between two worlds, neither in one or the other.

He smothers his sister, unable to hold himself back from ‘rescuing’ things from her hands. She squawks as her independence is thwarted, invaded.

Silence is a threat to his demeanour. He hums, talks to no one in particular, body pulsing with untamed energy as he edges in closer.

The night holds his worst fear. Darkness failing to shroud the reality that he is solitary. The sound of another’s breathing a temporary cure to his pain.

I try to remove the layers and study the desire underneath.

He just wants to be seen.

This post is a part of a link up for Five Minute Friday, a community of fellow writers who write for 5 minutes every Friday together on a prompt. 

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  1. Don’t we all just want to be seen? I think your son embodies how we all feel at one time or another. I’m over in the #8 spot this week.

    1. Yes, exactly 🙂 So confronting at times to see it on display, but it definitely goes to the heart of why I have done some crazy things in the past! Will check your post out soon xx

  2. Oh, Emma, I have a shadow, too! An 80-lb hopeless clumsy Bullmastiff who thinks that I need company EVERYWHERE, and who thinks that lizards were put on earth as her special playmates.

    The lizards disagree, and it’s hysterical to see Strawberry leap over a stand of sage to find the lizard disappearing between her hind paws…whereupon she does a somersault.

    #1 at FMF this week.


    1. Isn’t it funny how much our ‘shadows’ reveal about ourselves? Your shadow sounds charming, lively and life-bringing 🙂

  3. Awww. What a cute little shadow. Love that you look beyond the behavior to the yearning within your wee man. So precious: “Darkness failing to shroud the reality that he is solitary. The sound of another’s breathing a temporary cure to his pain.” Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Anna! He is a pretty great little man… who also drives me crazy at times! So glad the words resonated with you xx

  4. Emma,
    oh how sweet and smothering can come at the same time from a sibling! My second one is exactly that way. She is a puppy personality, the other two are cats. She is in-your-face, love all over you, easily hurt, no personal space, 100% heart. (And has an equally 100% determined, can’t-cope with disappointment temper)
    I love her, though. She’s passionate and has brought me closer to God because of the struggle of knowing what she “wants”. To be seen? Yes. To be held? Even more so.
    Thanks for the beautiful reminder of what a gift she is. (and how we’re all really the same)
    (#16 this week)

    1. Sounds so familiar! And I too have learned so much from my son in his brief 3.5 years of existence on this earth – some of the lessons have been tough but I do not regret a moment of it… Thanks so much for stopping by xx

    1. So true! The irony of the whole thing struck me and I wished it was 50 Minute Friday so that I could develop the thought more! Ahh well, 5 minutes of writing is a gift in itself… even if it is constantly interrupted…

  5. This sounds like my kids too: “Silence is a threat to his demeanor.” Tonight the hubs and I were rolling our eyes and sighing the whole ride home from dinner out. They chatter so. This entry reads like a poem. I am giddy whenever I get to read your words each week.

    1. I’m having trouble not writing poems now haha! Chatty kids, huh? Glad I’m not the only one who struggles at times with the constancy of noise/requests/expectations that are issued from often demanding lips… and I feel the same way reading your words! xx

  6. This is beautiful – as always – but it resonates with me so very much as my children have a similar relationship 😀 I just recently recognized this in my daughter as well. Her desire to simply not be forgotten. To be seen. The desire we all have in the world, in our relationships, in our relationship with God! We want to know we are seen and not forgotten! And to answer all their precious questions without annoyance! Dear God, give us patience! We want them to stay curious, Lord! Help! Thank you for this beautiful post!

    1. Yes, it is definitely more urgent in some children, isn’t it!? Curiosity- such an admirable and important quality that I want all my children to harness, but the costs of it are often great, aren’t they? I echo your prayer every day! xx

    1. The insight comes in sporadic waves, I’m afraid! But thank you for your encouragement 🙂 Looking forward to this week’s #fmfparty!

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