Down But Not Broken

Posted By on July 4, 2013

Our friends were kind enough to lend us a rain stick for my play last month. A young student had made it for her teacher, our friend.

His wife was delivering it to me at school when her children and a friend accidentally broke it in two. She suggested that we could tape up on side and use the larger half of the rain stick, accepting gracefully that things happen, it’s part of life.

When I told cameron the story, he was very upset. He wanted to fix it so it is as close to the original as possible.

With all the work inside and outside of the house, I said, it probably wasn’t necessary. But he insisted. He remembers one too many times in his life, precious things were borrowed and returned damaged or forgotten all together. He had enough of those stories and he wasn’t to create another one for someone else. So he spent many hours splinting the rainstick and putting it back together, stronger than it had been.

When it was dry, I put it in my car to bring to the play. By then, they had already found another rainstick and didn’t need it anymore. I left it in the car so as to remember to return it as soon as possible.

The next morning, getting the kids in the car, I noticed the rain stick was no longer in the car where I had left it. The front passenger seat was pushed completely back and reclined and everything was pulled out of the consoles. It looked like someone might have spent the night in our car and rummaged through it. But where was the rain stick that cameron so carefully repaired?

50 feet away, under a tree by the road. The dew and morning rain had gotten to it. We brought it inside.

When we returned home from school, we had more time to look at it and see what we could do. The tube was damp and soft. We emptied the insides and set the blow drier to it. Even when it was dried it was still soft and peeling in many places.

Rainstick repair

Judging from the enthusiasm cameron took to caring for it and mending it, I knew this was no longer about the rain stick, it was about something much bigger, bigger than cameron and our family. It was about healing the wounds of childhood. As I watched him stay up mending the rainstick, I remember all the stories he had told me of his childhood, siblings and friends who borrow his things and return them broken or never to be seen again. Each stroke of his brush on the paper I saw as another application of arnica for the heart of his childhood self, enough to even rub off on me. Perhaps now, we may all be one step closer to letting go of the haunts of our pass. Recognizing that we do have a hand in shaping the our experience of the present and the future. As my children watched and helped. I knew something very important was happening for everyone.

About The Author

I am a Chinese-American mother of three boys, parenting with the traditions worth keeping from the East and West. I continue to learn new ways of raising a family and myself.


One Response to “Down But Not Broken”

  1. Thank you for sharing! What an opportunity to heal!

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