Entry #6: How to Create Inner Drama

This post is about me and my son, Gus, pictured here. Photo by Chandra Wicke Photograpy

Ok, I admit, this isn’t a how-to blog post…sorry if that’s a big disappointment. If you DO happen to be one of those naturally balanced, peaceful humans and you are tired of meditating and breathing deeply, this post might help you find the path towards inner drama…I’m the perfect guide because inner drama comes so naturally to me! It’s like, I don’t even have to TRY! In the absence of all the external things that used to keep me busy and distracted, I have up-levelled my inner drama to keep myself busy and distracted.

99% of my inner drama is too ridiculous and embarrassing to even write here…and if you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that that’s really saying something. In any case, one shareable example is how I got myself all twisted into a Bavarian pretzel because Gus doesn’t really miss school or his friends all that much…except for his friend, Rocco. And he really doesn’t like Zoom calls…his nursery school teachers have been running Zoom calls for his class and the other kids really look into the camera, engage with each other and the teachers and ask and answer questions. In contrast, Gus does not engage, say hello, or ask or answer questions. Instead he does one or more of the following: plays with the Zoom settings, messes with my computer, rotates his Zoom background, mutes and unmutes himself, raises and lowers the sound on my computer, makes loud bizarre noises, answers questions with loud bizarre noises, makes strange and bizarre faces, answers questions with strange and bizarre faces, falls off his chair on purpose, hides behind things or under the table and/or asks me repeatedly if the call is over yet. As the weeks went by I was gradually getting more and more stressed about Gus’s lack of Zoom ability…and wondering why the other parents were all saying how much their children LOVE the Zoom calls, miss their school and their friends while Gus is…well….pretty satisfied with his new hermit lifestyle. 

I spent lots of time coming up with stressful theories to answer my question. For example, he has social anxiety, he has a social disorder, he is simply not as smart as he should be for his age, etc. And then, as if things weren’t bad enough, his new school (he is going to kindergarten next year) decided to host Zoom calls for the new kindergarten families…we were on our call with the head of the lower school, the kinder family welcome committee, the lower school parent organization president (who happens to be my dear pal) and 6 other new kinder families. Each kid/family was supposed to say hello, introduce their family and a stuffed animal and then say one activity they were doing to keep busy at home. After all 6 other kids had raised their hands distressingly enthusiastically (if you’re us), introduced their families, stuffed animals and safer-at-home activity unnervingly eloquently (if you’re us), it was Gus’s turn. Since Arnor and I were on the call with him, he could not engage in a lot of his usual shenanigans, but what he did do was: refuse to speak, hide behind his stuffed animal and at one point he actually leaned toward the camera and rolled his eyes rather slowly. Arnor and I laughed it off at the moment and then proceeded to lie awake in bed half the night trying to figure out if/when to have him psychologically analyzed and creating a distressing motion picture in our minds of how this could all play out for THE REST OF GUS’S LIFE. 

The next afternoon, my friend (the lower school parent organization president who had also been on the call) texted me saying she had spent all day smiling to herself about Gus rolling his eyes on the call. And I was like “I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that Gus will never function normally in society!” The humor in the situation hadn’t even occurred to me! My friend had also sat in on the other kinder zoom calls and informed me that a lot of the other kids had been shy and resistant…those kids just didn’t happen to be on OUR call…Murphy’s Law. I was reading Loving What Is by Byron Katie and I love how she describes the brain as coming up with thoughts all day and when we believe these thoughts we use our imaginations to turn the thoughts into dramatic movies in our brains…it’s not just the thoughts, it’s also the visuals…we actually use our memories of how things looked, sounded and felt in the past to create a future reality that’s only in our minds. And then, and this is the worst part, WE FALL FOR IT! Because we’re SO TALENTED at it! Our inner movies are very convincing. What Byron Katie points out is that when we do this, we are living in an imagined future based on the past…and do you realize what we’re NOT doing? We’re not experiencing our lives in the present! In my panicked movie making/watching state, I wasn’t even able to experience the Gus of now because I was so hooked into the past/future imagined version of him with all of his imagined freaky social and mental issues. 

Besides considering movie-making as a new career option, I’ve also been taking the opportunity of being here with Gus all day to watch him without my movie-maker lens for a change. The Gus of now doesn’t really like Zoom calls and likes people much more in real life. He plays with his siblings all day. He does enjoy talking on Zoom with his one friend, Rocco. One day while I was vacuuming, he got his toy microscope out of the closet, unpacked it and all of it’s accessories, pulled out a blank slide went to the yard and found a dead bug, placed in on the slide with a drop of water, tried to cover the slide with a slide cover (which didn’t work because he bug was too thick) and came to me to ask me to label the slide with the word “bug.” Then he looked at it for a while under the microscope and exclaimed, “It’s so  a m a z i n g!” I love that he actually remembered all of the steps to prepare a slide from the last time we did this a couple weeks ago. I’ve decided maybe Gus isn’t really mentally behind and perhaps he inherited some hermit-like tendencies from his parents…ahem…but other than that he’s the exact Gus he should be. And I am making some small steps away from inner drama and toward inner peace. Soon, you will find me sitting cross-legged on a mat in an empty room rubbing a small stone (imagery courtesy of my mom’s friend). I hope you are finding your way towards inner peace. OR, if you’re looking for more drama, hopefully this was somewhat instructive for you. I am so thankful to you for reading and for being one of my dear Sweetgood Weekly subscribers. I appreciate you so much!!! Lots of love to you!!!

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