Monday, April 8, 2013

Anxiety (again): Bring him home

When Soren had just turned one, I went to a local production of Les Miserables. He was outgrowing babyhood and predictability (no sleep!), and I was worried about how the sitter--a friend--would handle him. It was one of those classic early parenting outings in which a little nugget of attachment and concern keeps burrowing in your chest, even if you're having a great time.

When I hear songs from Les Miz now--even the big Hollywood/Anne Hathaway versions--they are transfused with the bittersweetness of Soren's babyhood. The song "Bring Him Home," in particular, delivers me straight to a chubby, bald little boy left with a sitter. The piece is sung by Valjean, begging God to save Marius from the pending onslaught and return him to his love, Cosette--Valjean's adopted daughter. I remember thinking this was the most beautiful, most parental song of the play. And in the way only music can, it took on a meaning unique to my life. I felt like it had been written just for me in that phase of my young motherhood.

I heard "Bring Him Home" again recently, amid Soren's extreme anxiety (which is cropping up again, this time sprinkled with aggression), and started weeping. To bring him "home" is my plea, too. My poor boy has bouts of angst--sobbing, wrinkling up his little expressive chin, panic in his cry. I don't know exactly what is wrong. Maybe there's no cause. Maybe it's chemical. All I know is that he is in turmoil, sad at his core, and I can't fix it. I can't find the words or the cuddling or the comfort food or the distraction to help him. It is the biggest agony I know as a parent. He is not at home.

So I bawled when I heard this piece again, because it has a whole new meaning now. Please God, bring my sweet bunny home again to where he is comfortable, comforted. Give him peace. Please. He is only a boy.

God on high
Hear my prayer
In my need
You have always been there
He is young
He's afraid
Let him rest
Heaven blessed.
Bring him home
Bring him home
Bring him home.
He's like the son I might have known
If God had granted me a son.
The summers die
One by one
How soon they fly
On and on
And I am old
And will be gone.
Bring him peace
Bring him joy
He is young
He is only a boy
You can take
You can give
Let him be
Let him live
If I die
Let me die
Let him live
Bring him home
Bring him home
Bring him home.

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