Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I Hate the Log Ride

We make the long quiet walk from the door of the preschool to the car. I strap him in his seat and close the door. I take a deep breath.

Then one more.

I get in the car and slowly pull away from the curb.

“I’m sorry, mommy.” so sweetly murmured from the back seat by those lips that are more precious to me than diamonds or rubies or pearls.

Poor Russell. Poor Mommy! I have no idea what to do when the teachers tell me he hit EVERY SINGLE PERSON in his class today. And when they put him in time out he threw a toy shovel at his teacher. Really? REALLY?! Well, yeah, I’ve seen the time-out fits, so really, but oh MY GOD I feel guilty right now. (I’m not being blasphemous, I am simply in a constant state of prayer these days.)

I am a CHICKEN, chicken, chicken! The other day I was parked in this weird beach parking spot that was too small and too crooked so Jon had to back out of it for me and I CLOSED MY EYES and held my breath, except for when I peeked a little and had to yell “PEOPLE!... there are people walking back there!” but we stopped in time and the people moved along and I shoved my fists back into my eyeballs so if there were anymore people I wouldn’t have to see them get smooshed.

I don’t do roller coasters. I am not a big SkeeBob fan (it’s one of those water hotdogs you drag behind a boat at 90 miles an hour. Since I was 6 it was probably more like 2 miles an hour but I pee’d my swim pants anyway) and I was 20 before I could drive up Sundance Canyon and not be convinced we were going to drive off the edge.

As I arrive to pick him up from school I can almost here the click-click-click of the coaster on my way towards the (in the best WWF voice you can imagine) “900 MILES OF DEATH DEFYING, HEAD SPINNING, BARF YOUR GUTS OUT THROUGH YOUR EAR HOLES ACTION ON THE WEST COAST!!” When does it drop? When I come in and the teachers see’s me and says, “hang on, Mrs D. needs to talk to you before you go,” and the last brake on the track releases and the rickety cars and I begin the screaming decent into… ugh. Is that water? I HATE the log ride.

Okay, listen, I know I talk about this a lot, but this topic takes up 90% of my brain. And Russell is SO amazing in so many ways, and I hope someone will please tell me if I don’t say enough nice things about him to allow for these weekly tirades that aren’t as much about him being bad as much as they are about being his mom. I freeze when the teachers tell me there’s been a problem. I honestly have no idea what to say. I know I’m trying, but I don’t even begin to know how to say that to them without getting into a whole thing, or sounding defensive.

And honestly, I am a little defensive. I stand there getting the list of wrongs that were perpetrated when he has a bad day and feel like I have been a bad mom for putting him in a situation to be sad and frustrated and angry while at the mercy of people who don’t have my tricks for helping him. But...

...and here’s the thing...

This is HIS path. I can't and would not walk it for him. One of the core beliefs I hold is that the most beautiful, the most worthwhile, the most misunderstood and necessary things, are born out of the greatest difficulty. If I really step back and look at it, what he’s going through is not all that bad in the scheme of things. But it feels pretty bad to him. And to me. Even if we know he needs to do this to become whoever it is he going to become. Even when it means everyone at his new school being mad at him sometimes.

And because, as Carly and I discussed the other day, every time he has a good day at school, is the funny charming bundle of action I know who leads impromptu parades around the classroom during free play, and is someone the teachers tell me all the kids are drawn to (even though he still makes them a little nervous), that feels like such a victory. Sunshine on a cloudy day. And since he seems to have good days more than bad days I know we are going to be just fine.

But when the bad days include throwing a shovel at his teacher, you’re probably going to be able to read about it here.


Stefanie said...

I'm sorry :( You're not a bad mom. You guys will both learn and grow from this and look back on it and laugh someday. Keep your chin up - I love you!

Tara Boschetti said...

Aww Liss, I'm sorry. Been there, FELT that, and it's never fun. As parents we only want the best for our babies..we want them to be happy, and it is absolutely heartbreaking when you pick them up from school just to hear that they spent recess crying by themselves in the tunnel because nobody wanted to play with them that day. Hang in there...some days that's all we CAN do. I just hope that someday our little guys will be able to gain strength from these "bad days".

The Farrell Family said...

For the record, I think you are a great mom! It seems like you are always reading and trying to learn more so that you can help Russell. As a counselor, I work with a lot of kids who have ADD/ADHD and the kids who are the most successful are the ones with parents who are willing to learn about what is going on with their kid and are then willing to do what they can to help them. You would be surprised how many parents just kind of shove the issues under the rug so they don't have to deal with them. I think it is great that you are talking about and processing what is going on. Russell is a lucky little guy. :)

Andrea said...

You know that you can vent to us anytime and we still know that you love your babies. Russell is a good boy and I am sorry things are difficult with him now sometimes. We all love him and you, we are are like a long distance cheering section. Forever.

padruss said...

Russell is a great kid. Reminds me of me when I was a kid. I got kicked out of 3rd grade for two weeks and had to go to UCLA meical center for two weeks to a child Psych. Diagonosed me back then with "Being hyper Active". Russell is a artist and thinker. His body and strength for such a little tike have out paced his ability to express himself fully. He gives the sweetest kisses and hugs and has the worlds greatest kid smile. He comes running to you with such joy and excitement about any plan to have a good time. He Loves to know how things work. Loves to play games. Will let you know if he doesnt think your listning by telling you to look as his face while he talks to you. He is all boy. Just growing up with more ideas of how to do things than his little body can possibly handle at this age. I think he is a genius. He is one of my favorite people on earth and my friend. We get each other. His mom is the best mom I have ever seen with a hyper active genious child. She is patient, loving, firm, fair and consistant. Russell loves her to the bone. His dad is loving, caring, involved, protective and proud of this wonderful ball of energy. He has the greatest parents in the world. His sister searches for Russell's face in the fast action of the day. She loves that kid but I do worry that she'll go deaf. Russell has a strong voice but she sleeps through most of it. I thank God I have all 4 of these people in my life. Tonight I am most proud that Russell has a mother that can talk through this kind of worry and make it all make sense. What a lucky kid to have you Alissa Ray of sunshine. dad