trouble with bearings

The other day as we were driving home from a reception, Jack asked "mom, what are bearings?"  I asked him to repeat himself, then to make sure I'd heard him right I asked, "bearings?" Yes.  I realized that the CD we had on was telling the story of Goldilocks and the three bears, and wondered if he'd heard it on that.  "What did it say?" I asked.  "It said she finally found her bearings," he replied.  Oh.  I tried to explain as best I could what it meant to find ones bearings.  Something like "it means you figure out where you are.  You see something familiar (then realizing he probably doesn't know the word "familiar")...something that you know where it is...um...like if you were in the woods at Grandma Jane's house, and you saw the shop, you would know you were close to the house.  Or when we drive home, and you see the happy trail, you know you're close to our house."  Content with this explaination, Jack went back to listening to the CD.

That night, as I was tucking Taylor into bed, he was very distressed.  His eyebrows were furrowed and he didn't want to lay down.  I asked what was the matter.  He said "mom, what if I'm in the woods and I find my bearings, but they have words on them and I don't know what they say cus I can't read them, and I'm lost!"  He was almost crying.  I tried again to explain that "bearings" aren't something concrete.  It just means you aren't lost, that you know where you are.  There is no reading involved, so no need to worry.  He layed down, but still seemed uncertain that all would be well.  I told him not to worry about it and we could talk more in the morning if he still had questions.  {It shoule be noted that the boys always seem to find something they NEED to talk about right before I leave the room, so I'm in the habit of trying to cut conversations as short as possible, because they could go on forever.  seriously.  anyway...} I kissed Taylor and went downstairs.

A few minutes later, he was sobbing.  I went back up and he was very upset, sitting up again, tears streaming down his chubby cheeks and worry in his eyes.  "But mom," he cried loudly the moment I walked in the door, "I don't want to be all alone in the woods, because I don't know how to find my bearings!  I just want you and dad and Jack and Noah and Austin to be with me always!  I don't want to be by myself because I'll be lost and I'll be scared!  I don't want to be alone!  I don't know how to find my bearings!"  Poor Tays=)  I calmed him and assured him that he never had to be alone, especially in the woods, that I would always be with him.   He took some deep breaths then said okay, he layed back down, sniffled a little, and we said goodnight, for real this time. 

When I was sure all was well, I went donwstairs where I told Kev about it and we laughed and laughed.  It is a difficult concept to explain and, to a four-year-old, a scary one to even think about.  Oh, I love that little boy=)


  1. Well you couldn't have handled better than you did. Those sweet moments of mothering.

  2. We had a similar experience last night with Grace...the family night lesson was on Noah's Ark and we talked about the big storm. Then we made a "boat" out of a card table and threw all our animals in the boat and we were all safe. She was too scared to go to sleep last night because her bed wasn't in the boat...Who knew she'd take it so literal? I mean, sure we have a storm going on right now, but we were just pretending. Kids are so cute!

  3. So sweet -- you'll be glad you wrote this one down. Now excuse me while I go find my bearings -- I could use some right now.

  4. Natalie, this made me laugh and smile, tear up and nod warmly, all at the same time. Your boys are so precious. I love that Jack asks such great questions, and I love that Taylor feels so attached to his family members! They are intelligent, sensitive children. What a gift.

  5. Oh, I love this. Thank you for coming back to blogging. I have missed you! (And hooray for a new laptop! We upgraded from a dinosaur this summer ourselves...)


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