So we are far from out of the woods. The night brought a renewed sense of fear for Diego and so this morning has been one of the hardest of my life. Leaving him at school nearly killed me. He is so scared. And so sad. Making him stay feels like a cruel torture and I am questioning if we are strong enough to do this.
Leaving the house this morning took every bit of my negotiating skills. The bus ride there was teary and tough. Begging me to buy plane tickets to go back home. But we made it. A bit of a pep talk outside and then in we went. Gave him a hug and a kiss and made my way out back to the bus. Not a moment later he came fleeing out of the school, tear streaked face, saying he couldn’t stay. Another kid was sitting in his seat and when he went there they said something to him, possibly kind, but in Diego’s scared little mind, all he heard was laughing and taunting. Getting him to go back in happened only because his teacher said I could come too. So I sat at the back of the class trying desperately not to cry in front of all his classmates and doing my very best to look brave for him. Tuesday mornings are when they have “sport” and so we headed off to the gym. With every ounce of coaxing I could muster, he headed down to the change room with the rest of the boys. I slipped outside, sat on a bench and cried and cried.
This is just so hard. My heart aches for what we are putting them through and yet my mind knows that this year will build in them the strength, resiliency and world knowledge that will forever change them for the better. But right now it feels like we’re just tearing him apart, not building him up. I’m his mom, I’m supposed to be able to protect him in this world and instead I feel as though I’ve thrown him to the wolves.
And so after a good long cry, waiting to see if he would once again flee the building, I finally left and cried the whole bus ride home.
Now I need to pull myself together, do the laundry, pack a picnic, research Ferarri dealerships and put on a brave face. And brace myself for the fight to get him to go back for the afternoon. I don’t know if I have the fight in me. I just want to wrap him in my arms, buy him an ice cream and never send him to the scary place again.
But I know full well that some of life’s greatest victories are the scariest to overcome. Who are we as parents if we help our kids avoid everything that is scary? I don’t want to raise kids who will experience life from the sidelines, too scared to get into the game. It is the ultimate battle of the head and the heart.
By the time most of you read this we’ll be near the end of the day again. Sure hope I have good news to share.