Monday, 26 May 2014


"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Afon:  Always happy, always singing.  The only trouble this child gives me is in moderating his extreme joy.  How could I be cross with that?

This week, we had an incident with the elderly special needs but high-functioning married couple downstairs.  We knew before we arrived that they were extremely sensitive to noise but that neither suffered from a neurosis that rendered their intolerance out of their control.  We've been especially careful to put Afon to bed at a decent hour and to stop him from jumping and running repeatedly over long periods of time.  But the gentleman has time and time again banged on the ceiling long and loud in protest, which I find incredibly rude and juvenile.  Which I told him the last time he did it, mid-morning a few days ago.  Call on the phone or knock on the door, I said, like a reasonable human being.

I do believe we have to be courteous and charitable toward our (literal) neighbors, but I won't punish my three-year-old child for acting like a three-year-old child . . . playing and singing and being the happiest, sweetest boy you'll ever meet.  Everyone who lays eyes on him falls in love with him.  Honestly, I can't wrap my mind around the fan club this kid has!  And short of firmly telling him not to jump off the couch and confiscating the hairbrush he's been using to play the drums on the furniture, I'm not going to strike him or put him in time-out disgrace for being himself in his own home.

End rant.

It's been rainy this past week, a bit of a jolt after the sunshiny April.  There was a proper storm on Monday!  I don't recall exactly when all the trees exploded in leaves.  The long days are divine.  Wildflowers have claimed everything.

Purple loosestrife arrived early, shaking luxuriant tangled locks along the edge of the mirror whence its own face laughed back at it.  Willow-herb, tender and wistful, like a pink sunset cloud was not slow to follow.*

*The Wind in the Willows, p. 48 


  1. oh dear... actually this is very normal for older people to do... my friends had to leave where they were living because the landlord moved back in and could not take the noise above of 3 boys... I think they feel that their space is being invaded by noise and when you get older that is really stressful.... try to pray for them ... I had some really crazy times like this in my last apartment in Ottawa.... the walls were paper thin, I could hear my one neighbour sneeze! really! I had lots of banging on the wall too and I found it really stressful. It was conquered by me learning to love them and see that they were lonely and struggling. My one lady was really lonely and internally wounded; the other was lonely and struggled I think with alcohol; both older, both had very few visitors and were hurting hurting people.

    Trust me that you will drive yourself more crazy in the end by resenting them; try to put yourself in their shoes, old, tired, probably unable to sleep at night and feeling invaded by noise of a lovely cute boy; the only way through is to love and seek to be neighbourly; it does not mean that you child cannot be a child; but love and sacrifice is always the way of the Cross.

    Now I write all this but I also want to say that I know how hard and stressful it is to have neighbours who are on the crazy-side. I've been through it; the one lady would write crazy letters to the office trying to evict me and I would have to be really firm with the office and show them (thankfully the woman wrote me a letter where she admitted to her banging and yelling which I photocopied and sent to the office) that I was not causing problems.

    But trust me, what you are going through is sadly common and often people who are lonely and feel like their space is being violated by noise feel that the only thing they can do is bang and yell.

    My other neighbour would body slam the wall trying to get kids below to stop partying; happened sadly often....really, the walls would just shake :(

    For me things eventually got better...but at the same time I had learned a sense of pity and suffering along side of them; it took a lot of personal suffering to get there... and I feel now that I really needed that experience. I had lived in alone for so long that it was like I was in a bubble and simply not aware of others or how I impacted them; sadly self-absorbed really; I had to learn to be quiet at night (I often had insomnia and had to learn that cleaning past quiet hours was rude to my neighbours who could hear me wash dishes etc) and to just be considerate. I still have a lot to learn on this, believe me; my husband is always more considerate and I am constantly humbled...

    It was really hard at times. Lots of discerning needed. It's OK though to teach your son to be quiet and have times for both. Is it possible to have a routine where at some times he is allowed to have fun and get steam and energy out while in the home and other times to be quiet? Maybe you can figure out what times of day that can have more loud? it's tough and can be so stressful. Oh dear, it can be :(

    I'm about to learn all about this again soon; our new place and neighbourhood is so different and I can tell that it is at times going to be more noisy outside! I wish I could have you and your beautiful son over for tea to talk all about it!!! and go to a park and watch him be delighted!

    Sorry for blathering on; I've just had so much experience with these issues and with a young boy it is really difficult; I am going to light a candle for you... and sending you much much love!!

    1. You're right, of course, Elizabeth. Thank you. You haven't blathered on, really! It is a comfort to know that other people have gone through similar ordeals . . . and my goodness, yours sounds like a doosey! I think the confessional is probably calling my name. c;

  2. thanks for your kindness; I've been so worried that I misspoke about 12 million times here; just really struck a cord, obviously. It was hard but in the end I realized that they were so lonely and I had friends so it was so sad that they were so locked up in themselves to that degree of crazy. but since they were crazy, it was quite difficult at the time. But I see now that it was good for me but boy, it was hard. I have been praying a lot for you. love in Christ, Elizabeth

    1. No, you didn't misspeak! Never! Lots of love! <3


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