Tuesday, September 13, 2005


I knew it would happen someday. Tonight was the night, and it cut me to the core. Thomas had a total meltdown at a function at his school tonight, resulting in him literally running away from me on the playground and LOTS of hurtful, angry words.

Just over eight years ago, he looked like this:
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Then all of a sudden, he looked like this:
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My, how time flies. He's always been a challenging child. Smart and intuitive beyond his years, defiant, and ADHD. NOT a fun combination. What that means is that I have a hyperactive child, who can't maintain focus on one thing for more than a few minutes, who understands this is not normal yet can't control himself, and lashes out at anyone in authority. He's so impulsive it's scary. He's so smart it's scary. And yet, he can be an angel so much of the time.

Tonight, at his school, I don't really know what set him off. They were having a "Math is Fun" night, which presents math in various games for the kids to enjoy while the parents learn how their teachers actually teach math in class. I wasn't very excited about going. I hate math. Always have. But I felt it was important for Thomas to be there, and hopefully learn that math can be fun. About half way into the evening, he got mad and didn't want to do anything except play on the playground. He ran from us and locked himself in a bathroom stall. When he snuck out, he ran around the corner and headed for the back door.

Knowing he was *done* for the night, I told Bryan to just meet us around front and we would go home. Thomas was leaning up against the back door to the school, so I opened it and led him outside. He ran. I mean.... he RAN from me, like our old dog did everytime she escaped out of the house or fence. I had to pull him down off of the climber and lead him out front. I was holding his hand. He, of course, wanted me to let go. I, of course, thought NO FUCKING WAY am I letting go of your hand, LOL. So he decided to pinch me and hit me. I was in shock.

When we got around front, I told Bryan we would walk home, because we had some issues to discuss. We live about a mile from the school, so it's a reasonable walk. Along the way, he cried. And he talked. He said things like "You don't take good care of me", "I hate you", "You're a bad mother", "I wish you were dead", "I wish I had never been born...I wish YOU had never been born", "I'm running away", and "I don't love you". What do you say to an eight year old child with THAT much anger and hatred?

I told him I loved him. I told him I would always love him. I told him that I used to wish I'd never been born too, that I understood that feeling. I asked him where he would run away to ("I don't care!" was the answer). I asked him why he didn't think I took good care of him ("Because you NEVER let me do ANYTHING"). I asked him what good mothers are like, because I wanted to be a good mother ("They NEVER get mad, they only make all the foods I like, and they let me do whatever I want"). I asked him if he knew what it would be like if I wasn't around ("You mean DADDY would have to COOK???"). Most of all, I told him repeatedly that I loved him, I always would, and that I would always be there to take care of him and keep him safe.

Was it the right way to handle it? I don't know. I wanted him to vent, but I also wanted him to realize how irrational some of those statements were. I wanted to reassure him that no matter how ugly he was toward me, I would always love him. I asked him "Do you know why I'm walking next to the road, and you're walking next to the grass?" "Because if a car comes by and doesn't see us, they'll hit me, and not you. A Mom's only job in the world is keeping her children safe and well cared for."

Eventually, he stopped in the middle of he sidewalk, turned, and held onto me. He cried, and he told me he was sorry- that he did, in fact, love me. I know he meant it, but damn.... it's amazing how the words of an eight year old child can cut you to the quick. I love you, Thomas. Even when you hate me....I love you. I always will, and I'll always keep you safe and well cared for baby boy.
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