It took me 50 minutes to get you to school. Kicking, screaming, biting, hitting, insulting, crying – you name it, I got it!
Before 8 am today I felt like I signed up for a bucket load of crap! I knew the minute you turned down a lift to school in favour of riding your bike to school that I was in for some trouble.
I understand that your bike helps you to self-regulate and calms your senses down when you are feeling overwhelmed. I know I should have made sure to put your bike’s lock key in a safe place, instead of having to look for it in boxes that I am yet to unpack . . .
In less than an hour I had run out of patience AND was emotionally drained!
Not because you had a meltdown, but because of the EFFORT it took to practice restraint, the EFFORT it took to NOT shout at you. The EFFORT it took to remain calm when all I wanted to do was scream, kick and cry – just like you!
This morning you weren’t complaining about how close to the tree branches your “imaginary car” was driving, or how someone almost rode into your “vehicle”. This morning I didn’t hear you make the sound of your indicator when it was safe for us to cross the road. This morning there was no rush to get to school so that you could still have lots of time to play.
No. This morning I had to listen to you say things like. “You are so stupid. You owe me a 100 bike rides. How can you not know where my bike lock’s key is” I had to listen to your adequate descriptions of how inefficient I am as a parent. I had to listen to how eager you were for the school to start so that you could just get the school day over with and ride your bike. I had to listen to your repetitive moaning about the same thing, over and over and over again.
I continued to take your fits of anger because I wasn’t walking right. My pace didn’t quite match yours. I was too slow, then I was too fast, and so it carried on until you were satisfied with our “synchronized” walking. All this while you were still tearful, stomping and clenching your fists. Still focused on your need to ride your bike.
You were not interested in my suggestion that you jump on the trampoline when you get to school. You wanted to know nothing about taking some time out in the sick bay until your body felt better. All the while I remained calm. I practised restraint, I focused on happy thoughts. I focused on how challenging it must be for you to be YOU right now. I placed myself in your size 1 shoes and I was emotionally spent!
It took everything in me to not let you stay at home.
I know and understand your challenges, but sometimes in life you just HAVE to bear it! You just HAVE TO. The world is not going to change for you, all you can do is try to find a way to adapt, a way to manage your physical, emotional and psychological reaction to the world around you. I know it is not easy, but I believe that you have it in you to get through some of these extremely tough moments in your life.
Despite all of this, we made it to school in one piece. Initially you were tagging far behind. Stomping. Crying. Angry. Not your usual self, riding your “imaginary car” to school and ensuring that you and I both follow the road rules.
Son, today I feel like crap because I understand you. I see you. I FEEL YOU! We are connected, we are one.
As your mom one of the toughest things I have to do is raise you in a world that is still trying to adjust and adapt to difference. I have to teach you about a society that are yet to make an effort to understand that difference and uniqueness makes us perfect. Normal is after all subjective!
I embrace, marvel and adore your endearing quirks and obsessions, your wit and directness.
Son, I want you to know that when we experience these rare moments like today, that I am not bothered about the looks that others may give. Know that I don’t care about the comments that others may make. Understand that during these moments ALL I care about is YOU, nothing else matters, but YOU!
So yes, I feel like crap because I am emotionally drained and I have exhausted my patience. But know this. When I see you my eyes light up, my energies are renewed and my heart fills up with patience.