Monday, September 1, 2008

My Little Fellas

This is Jonathan's Little Fella. To the rest of the world, Little Fella is just a regular old earplug. The kind Daddy uses all the time while he's working with loud construction stuff.

But a couple of years ago, three-year-old Jonathan adopted this particular earplug, gave it a home in the palm of his hand, and bestowed upon it its very special name. Little Fella became Jonathan's constant companion. He played games with us, he read stories with us, he took the blame for many a mishap, and most importantly, he was Jonathan's first special bedtime buddy. Every night, Jonathan couldn't go to sleep without Little Fella. Mind you, Little Fella is not that big, so if he happened to be lost, it could take a l-o-n-g time to find him. I once muttered to Jeff, "Could you please just buy a bag of these things at Home Depot? Then Little Fella will never get lost again!" We never got around to buying that bag of earplugs, but we did implement the use of a Treasure Box, so Little Fella could have a permanent home.

Now that Jonathan has almost reached the ripe old age of five, Little Fella spends most of his time in the Treasure Box. But every once in a while, he still comes out to play, and Jonathan still speaks to him with great affection and gives him a special place of honor in his world of pretend play.

I've always thought Little Fella was cute and quirky, but I really couldn't see what was so great about a tiny, spongy, bright orange earplug.

Until now. One of my fibro quirks is sensitivity to loud noises. I've been sensitive to loud noises for a while now. I remember James once shushing his little brother with this admonition: "Mommy likes us when we're quiet." Heartbreaking! I quickly redirected with a reminder that I love my boys ALL the time, whether they're quiet or not.

But the thing is...they're BOYS! They're wired to be LOUD. I hate squelching their fun sounds for the sake of my pain and my nerves. I want them to be able to experience the happy, loud joys of boyhood. I want to hear all those growly noises and shrieks of laughter and karate grunts. I want to revel in the excitement in their (loud) voices when they share with me something COOL.

I'd just like to soak all that up without the addition of physical pain.

So out of desperation a few weeks ago, I scrounged around and found my own Little Fellas. And even though our reasons are different, I now share with Jonathan a very great affection for earplugs.