Sunday, September 2, 2007

Shot to the heart


We went to the park tonight. Something that millions of parents with millions of kids do every day. We hope at least. There were two boys there that know my son and not that they had to but they didn't play with him. They were kicking a ball around and didn't even give him a second glance. They knew he was there as I had said hello. My heart fell.

Now these are not kids that he plays with normally. Not kids he hangs out with at school. Had it been Jeffery or Michelle they would have said hi and played. I realize this. However, that "inner child", how I hate that term, reared it's insecure little head and said, Hey, why don't you want to play with my kid ? He's a cool kid. He's a fun kid. I felt hurt and they hadn't done anything wrong.

My A friend wrote about her fears in school for her A child. The same as mine. Will he cope ? Will he behave ? Will he manage to make friends ? I am five years ahead of her in this journey with an A child and the worries haven't changed. It does get easier. It doesn't hurt quite so much. But it's still there. Strange how after all these years away from the time I was going back to school and I still get that lurch for my kids. Will they have fun ? Will they get hurt ? Will they succeed ? Does their backpack look cool ?

My fears had kept their distance until today. I had been managing quite nicely but not thinking about it. I keep telling myself he has Jeffery. I keep telling myself that there are kids out there who like him and see past the weird. Then I wonder where they are.

Parents will say - Thomas is so sweet. Thomas is so polite. Thomas is so funny. Thomas is such a nice boy. And he is. I love that about him. He is inherently sweet and funny and lovable. All the characteristics he needs to get the crap kicked out of him in school. He is also emotionally behind his peers and immature, which makes it hard for them to relate to him. He is wildly imaginative which makes him hard to follow and understand but again, I love that about him. He frustrates me but I love his imagination. I love how he sees things and takes himself on amazing adventures. I love how he gets excited and wears his excitement on his sleeve. Again, great recipe for getting beat up.

He is growing up and he is changing. Part of me wants to get past all this time where I have to worry about his ability to make friends and hold on to a relationship. But this will mean he will have grown up and away from me, which I don't like either. Then I realize that I will always worry and while that might be comforting on some levels on others it is exhausting.

What I should do is listen to my husband:

Not everyone will like Thomas but most will on some level. Not everyone will want to play with him but most kids I don't want him to play with anyway. He will grow. He will make friends. He will get hurt. I will anguish over it. I hope he never knows how much. I hope he goes on in his life as he does now. Taking it one day at a time. Being himself. Getting on with his life.

Worry is wasted energy. Worry is wasted power. Worry is wasted time. One day I will learn how to control my worry. Unfortunately, today is not that day. Today, I feel the worry like a shot to the heart.

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