Wednesday, November 7, 2012
A 5 Year Old's Anxiety
The 5 year old was NOT. GOING. TO. GO.
It started with the shoes. "They are too tight!" then "I have a blister!" "I cannot gooooooo!" He wailed.
Then it turned to what happened yesterday: "I got hit in the face with a soccer ball! And I don't want to play anything else; it's all BORING!" Huge tears rolled down his face.
Then it got heavier and the sobs came and came and came. "I have to erase my letters so much," he cried, and I felt for him. Our 7 year old has the perfectionist gene as well.
"And I don't want to go to the computer lab. I don't know how to type the letters!" he cried some more.
We tried to get him into the car, but it became a chase. He dodged and hid behind chairs, under the table, behind the couch...and our other son was going to be late...again.
So I took Micah to school and left Martin and Jaden behind. It's hard enough when 1 parent doesn't know what to do with their child, but when 2 parents don't know what to do - well, what do you do then?
I prayed the whole way there with a lump in my throat. I hate seeing him sad; I hate seeing him struggle. I felt like a horrible mom. Yet I also didn't want him thinking that he could stay home anytime he didn't feel like going.
I dropped Micah off and went back home. They were still sitting in the same spot as when I left. Martin and I looked at each other with confusion- what do we do?
We decided to wait 1 hour and then try it again. He's already missed 6 days of school for being sick, and we don't want him to miss anymore if we can help it.
I sat at my desk and held him, and asked for prayer on Twitter. People prayed.
At 10am we tried again. More screaming, more crying, more chasing. But this time we had to at least try it. We struggled and put him in the car, and I'm sure all the neighbors heard him. His screams turned to sobs again and tears welled up in my eyes. Are we doing the right thing?
When we arrived at the school, his class was leaving for recess, and the kids called out his name with excitement. "Jaden's here!" but it didn't help. He buried his head in Martin's neck and wouldn't let go.
We filled out the late slip, sat on the bench and waited...and waited...
I reminded Jaden that school is a safe place, that his teacher cares about him, that his friends love him. I reminded him that angels are there protecting him. He nodded.
And then I saw his teacher out of the corner of my eye. She came and sat with us. She asked what was wrong, she consoled him, she listened. She said he is one of her best students, that she misses him when he's gone, that if anything ever happens to him, he can tell her. She told him how easy and fun the computer lab is, and that he doesn't need to erase his work because he does such a good job. His eyes grew brighter as she talked, and his heaviness lifted a bit.
"Come on, Jaden; will you go with me to pick the kids up from recess?" and she reached out her hand and took his small hand in hers.
I have had many moments where I worry about my son, where I wonder if he is okay, when I question if public school is the best choice for him. There are many things I wish we could do differently. Yet today I was reminded that God cares about little hearts and little hands, and He watches over His own. I left with a heart full of thankfulness for my son's school and his teacher, and that I can leave him in safe and loving hands.
It takes a little time, sometimes....