Soooo… it’s been three weeks. My bad. But also like, May took.me.down. The last month of school is the most ridiculous month ever. Why do we feel the need to shove everything in at the end? It stresses me out. I’m over it. Whatever, it’s over. Here I am. I’m alive. And sweaty. I’M SWEATY AND ALIVE.
At the height of my bad days with Kiddo, I remember being told by several people, “You were picked to be the parent of your child for a reason. There is a reason. It’ll get better.” And more things of that nature. And of course in the moment I’m like, Wow how sweet. Thank you so much. And then the cynic in me that we all know is there would be like, “GAAAAWWWWDDD Shut up with that. Technically I picked this kid because I adopted him and now I’m getting bit in the butt with this decision.” Yes, I know, that’s not a flattering thought to admit to thinking as a parent, but I’m always being real with y’all.
Fast forward to my current life, and wouldn’t you just know that those damn statements are true? Of course they are. Of course. Of course there is a reason I’m Kiddo’s mom. Of course. Now, let me explain.
When Husband and I were applying to be foster parents many moons ago, I remember one of the questions they asked us was along the lines of, “If it turns out that your child has some mental health issues, how will you respond?” (because many, many, many do) And I remember being like…. how will I respond? Uh, considering I’m riddled with mental health issues, I suppose that would be a non-issue around here. I’d just be like, Hey Pal, welcome to the family. You fit right in. And we all kind of giggled and a lot of other personal information was asked and we were approved and blah blah blah, four kids later – we adopted our boy. ❤ [I do realize that was super not a touching moment just now, but like…there’s other posts I’ve written about those times. Haha]
We started noticing a little less than a year ago that Kiddo had a touch of anxiety. He is extremely outgoing and obnoxious… unless there’s about more than 10 people. Then the fun and games are over for him. He shuts down and has to be slowly introduced into the situation. And if there is zero people he knows involved, then it’s tougher. But usually there’s always a friend if we are in a situation like that. He also, I’ve started to notice, needs to ask me what the day’s plan is. He asks me simply things like, “Is it a school day?” “Is it a church day?” Things like that. (He’s 5) He just wants to know what the goal here is. I get it, me too dude. So, really the anxiety was just coming around to being those simple things. Easy peasy, I could handle it. The “issue” never lasted more than 15 or so minutes and he would move on, get accustomed to the situation, etc.
So, when I tell you that we went to a birthday party last Saturday and he started hyperventilating and having a full blown panic attack, I am just as shocked as you are. The party was for one of his friends at a park. Now, there was also another party going on at the same time, so the people in attendance was doubled. Still, we’ve been to this park 3 billion times, I didn’t even think twice about it. Plus, there’s tacos and donuts. What is there to think about?
I noticed instantly he didn’t want to leave my side. It’s Texas, I’m sweating to death, I’m grumpy, I am Mother-of-the-Year and I push him off of me and say, “OMG GO PLAY OR YOU DON’T GET DONUTS.” Then I proceed to try to socialize with the other parents at the party. I see him sitting alone on a chair at the park just staring at me. (That sounds super creepy, it kind of was.) And of course, because I’m excellent at this, I walk over to him and I’m like, “DUDE WHAT’S UP?” And he tries to get me to play with him. Now, he’s an only child. So this is a problem I come across often. He’s used to playing with just me. GO PLAY WITH OTHER PEOPLE, BRO. But after a few minutes I notice this is different. He’s not even having fun with me playing with him, he just wants me next to him.
It finally looks like he might to to a slide, so I follow him over and kind of slow down to talk to another parent and he stops and comes back to me and shuts down. He refuses to go back to the slide. Finally, I pull him off to a bench and sit down and I’m like… what’s up? And he starts repeating over and over again, “I need to be alone. I just need to be alone. I need to be alone.” Now, this is something I’ve taught him to tell me if he’s feeling overwhelmed by a bunch of people. This is his little way of saying, “There’s too many kids for a second, I just need a break.” But he’s always just said that. He’s never repeated this over and over and over. He isn’t even looking me in the eye. I mean, he’s looking at me… but he’s not looking at me. Does that make sense?
Then he starts asking for his best friend that isn’t there. (His buddy was on a trip with his family and couldn’t come to the party) He started repeating it over and over again, “I need to be alone, where’s L? I need to be alone, where’s L? I need to be alone, where’s L?” He’s shaking at this point and can’t seem to take a deep breath. I grab him and we leave the party.
After it’s discovered that there is no way in hell that Mommy can produce his best buddy out of thin air, his focus is directed on needing Daddy. Someone I also cannot produce out of thin air, as he is at work. Thus, making this attack last a total of 8 hours. (With a 3 hour nap – of which my kid usually only takes 30 minutes, if at all)
My baby was emotionally drained. But by dinner I was able to produce Daddy and things got a little better. Unfortunately, he had a second attack the next day. Not as bad, but still rough.
ALL OF THIS WAS TO SAY, I was perfectly picked to be my kid’s mom. I have had my share of panic attacks. I’ve had my share of emotional breakdowns. I’ve had my share of 3 hour naps in the middle of the day. I’ve had my share. And I loved my mom so much, but she did not ever handle my mental health the right way. She actually handled it pretty horribly. So, I did my best to do what I would have wanted, I held him. I talked to him like everything was normal. There was no shame. This was okay. It was all going to be okay. We all have days like this, and he isn’t alone. Mommy has hard days too. And we talked about it. We talked about how proud I was of him trying to find ways to express what he needed. I told him how proud I was of him to have picked a buddy that he can turn to when he’s falling apart. Even better, that buddy’s mommy is my fall apart buddy.
God knows what he’s doing when He gives us people. He totally knows.
You are perfectly picked for this world, kid or not. You are put here for a reason, find it. ❤