|Maggie in a tub. This has nothing to do with anything.|
One of my kids had a very hard time today during a class he takes. He corrected another student's work, in a not so kind way, and his very kind teacher had to intervene and eventually, had to have him leave the class for all the crying.
He often has a hard time. Meltdowns that last for hours. Shaking and sobbing I can't cut through to reach him. He's sensitive and anxious, too wise for his own good, too much for this world sometimes. His heart is so accepting, his soul so open, and I stay up at night worrying about what will hurt him next. About what thing will eventually harden his soft edges and cause him to turn away from hope and possibility.
We've tried so many things. He sees an amazing therapist, and it helps a whole lot. He's far less anxious around the clock these days. But there isn't a magic switch that will give him the ability to not get lost in a tough moment. After it happens, he'll explain the shame and embarrassment he feels with the matter-of-fact, well-spoken stoicism of an adult many years beyond him.
Tonight, he's written up a page about the reasons he thinks three of these incidents have happened, unprompted. The paper says, in all-caps-kid-writing, that he has difficulty handling groups. It says he gets overwhelmed when he isn't sure about the rules of games, or when he finishes his work and starts to get bored, because that puts him in a "strange" mood. It says when the situation gets out of hand, his mind gets too frazzled and he just can't manage.
He says he doesn't want to be like this anymore.
He says he doesn't want to be him in those moments.
And I just hugged him, because I don't know what else to do tonight. I told him I love him, that we all love him, that he is a sweet, sweet boy and that we aren't mad at him. I told him I always want him to be him. I told him he is doing the right thing by thinking through these situations, but that it's ok to let it go, too.
But I know he won't. And I won't. And I'm just so sad for him.
I don't have a wise nugget of parenting advice to end on. I do know things will seem less dramatic after we all sleep, and that's not nothing. I do know that by sharing the less than stellar moments sometimes that someone will someday stumble upon this after some improbable Google search, and they won't feel so alone. I know the people who love me, and him, and all of us, will keep doing that thing, and that's definitely not nothing.
It's actually quite something.