Melting Down and Standing Back Up Again

We went to a holiday arts activity at WSU last month and even though they are smiling here, it was not all fun.  My little Sophia had a “moment.”  I like to call it this because really, we ALL have them.  “Moments.”  Adults may gossip when they are frustrated.  Maybe it means venting on Facebook or indulging in that quart of ice cream.  We all have our own ways of throwing “acceptable” tantrums in society.  But for her poor little body and overstimulated brain a “moment” means completely falling apart at those ever fragile seams. “I don’t know what to do!” “They’re looking at me!” “I just want to give up!” These are some of the things she yells and it is heartbreaking.  I hurry her away from the other kids who are looking scared, and tell Michael to keep an eye on his brother, then she collapses in the corner.




I try to hold her but she won’t let me.  How can this sweet little face not want me to hug her? How can this social sparrow feel like “there’s too many people in the room”?  How can the same little hands that drew this bunny and Christmas tree now be clenched in fists, as she sits on the cold floor, sobbing?

 


I take a deep, slow breath and demand she does too.  I don’t want her feeling like this, like she’s a failure.  I won’t let her.  She refuses.  Then she agrees to try the breathing but does it fast and quick to get it over with.  So much for that.  So we go through the next steps.  Rest.  Water.  Food. Processing mentally.   Luckily the WSU Art Department had a great array of snacks and bottled water.  First I convince her to drink some  water.  Then I manage to split a banana with her.  I take a bite and then she will, back and forth back and forth as we both sit on the linoleum, criss-cross applesauce.  I keep an eye on my other two at a distance, grateful they are behaving and we have some friends from the ward who are here as volunteers to help keep an eye on them.  

Then Sophia and I process.  We talk about how if she gives up and we leave now we will both feel sad for what she missed.  But if she tries again, with help, she will be successful.  I have to explain this about 4 times, during which I misunderstand her, accidentally finish off the banana and she is in tears again.  I take a few more slow, deep breaths.

But then something amazing happens.  We both stand back up again.  And, together, we finish what she started.

Being a parent is never easy.  Neither is being a child.  Yet, God has asked us to be both.  No one is born able to walk.  We try.  We fall.  And we stand back up again.  That is His plan.  It is what makes us stronger.  Throw a special physical, mental or emotional need in there and things get even trickier.  But the victories are also that much sweeter.  They really are.

It is truly humbling to be the mother of my kids.  Their challenges and frustrations bring me to my knees before my Heavenly Father as I ask Him “How am I supposed to handle this?” and I search my heart for answers.  I’m grateful not every moment is like this.  But I AM grateful these moments are there because they show me we BOTH CAN get up again.

Love,
Eva