My sister is in town from Arizona this week, and it has been absolutely wonderful! She is such a good person, and an even better Aunt to both of our boys.
So naturally she wanted to take both of the boys out for ice cream and a run to the park, separately, for some alone time.
As many already know, transition has never been easy for Greyson (or most of us!). So going to get ice cream with his Aunt most likely wouldn’t be any different.
As we prepared him to go he became upset over the idea of going. So then I decided to help plow him through this “simple” transition like I have done so many times before. But as I loaded him in the truck, awaiting his Aunt to follow behind, I realized she wasn’t there. So she was stuck inside, unsure if she could finish the process. She didn’t want to be the one to make him feel this way, and it truly made her feel like she had done something wrong to him. I probably should have let her know a few things, but I didn’t.
I didn’t let her know she was about to feel a very uncomfortable set of emotions (because it’s hard to tell when a moment will weigh heavy on someone’s heart). A feeling of rejection and sadness. A feeling of fear and anxiety. I didn’t let her know that it is OKAY to feel that way, and I have felt it seemingly a million times.
And of course this simple situation is way more complicated than it sounds. Some would say “Why did he have to go if he was upset?”, or “Why didn’t you just go with them?”, or seemingly a ton of other options. But it doesn’t work like that. This is our life. And in this moment, he needed to go, and he needed to be pushed, just like we all need to be pushed at one time or another. I just forgot to warn her about it.
And unless you have felt that feeling of rejection from your own son, when you just want to get them some ice cream, then perhaps you also may not understand how deep this can hurt. It’s hard to explain, because it isn’t your typical tantrum or crankiness. It is something different.
I have been replaying the pain I saw on her face the last few days, and I couldn’t help but cry in the shower this morning. And not just a quick cry. A consistent, couldn’t seem to shake it cry. I really do share in your pain. I know exactly what you are feeling. But, what can I say? It gets me, when it gets me. And I hate to see someone I love, hurt.
As always though, the light always finds its way in.
One of the biggest things we have to remember, is that we have to let go of our expectations, of what is “normal”. We also need to change for him, not just the other way around. This will never be about us, or OUR feelings. This is about helping him be whoever he wants to be, and making sure he has the tools to make it that way.
So I write this today to try and help explain… that your pain, is love.
That if you are lucky enough to be close to Greyson, then you are lucky enough to be hurt.
It is a privilege. It’s that simple. For anyone who knows the feeling of his rejection, and decided to take him for ice cream anyway (vanilla with sprinkles), then that must mean you also know the feeling of his love.
So, take a deep breath, it is going to be a long ride. Well done Aunt K.