I took my sons to a birthday party today. I stood in the yard, playing “referee” for my older son. Redirecting him, rescuing him, stepping in before he “lost it”. During one particular interaction I stopped mid-sentence, breathing deeply and the thought swam around in my head – stopped on the tip of my tongue just before I spit it out “I’m tired”.
I’m tired of sounding like the maniacal overbearing mom – the one who everyone knows her kids name two seconds after they enter the room because she’s just screeched it 10 times. I’m tired of getting together with friends and never being able to have a conversation with anyone beyond ‘oh, hey how are you . . . oops, gotta go.”
I’m tired of willing my brain to work faster than my seven year olds so I can find a loop hole in his logic and prevent us from getting into a deadlock which results in screams and tears from both of us. Amazing how these things always turn into a “lose-lose” situation.
I’m also tired for my son. For the way his eyes plead with me to help him to stop doing the things he knows he is not supposed to. For the way his body moves and leaps whether he wants it to or not. For his struggles to find a way to play with the other kids for longer than a minute. For the length of time it takes him to utter one sentence because his vocal tics are so extreme it’s like he is a broken record. For the people who quickly judge, condemn and dismiss him as a “bad apple” or “a spoiled brat” because they don’t even try to see the smart and thoughtful boy underneath.
I am tired for my husband who often gets left out of the loop – who struggles to connect with our dear son. Who my son wouldn’t allow near him for the first six months that he lived with us. Whose words are often dismissed because “But mom said . . .”
I am tired for him because I can see how hard it is for him to go to school everyday. A day filled with demands and rules, expectations set so high that he will never be able to meet them. I cannot begin to imagine how it feels to be set up for failure each and every day of your life.