And sometimes it hurts.
To see your kids suffering, so see them hurting, all you want to do is take away that pain.
And sometimes you don't even know what you should fix.
Lucas is in GATE (Gifted and Talented Education). Last night I attended a meeting about GATE and some of the extra enrichment activities they offer for the GATE kids, including Odyssey of the Mind. Before the meeting I asked Lucas if he would want to join any of the teams. 'Sure, maybe' he said.
I came home from the meeting with information about the teams and asked Lucas which he would like to do.
"8- minute presentation" he read on the form. "Does that mean I have to present in front of others."
"Not just you, your whole team would." I explained.
"I don't want to do it."
This began a frustrating 30 minute conversation with Lucas. A conversation where Eric and I tried to figure out what was going on in his mind, what was causing this anxiety.
If you knew Lucas when we lived in Arizona, this would just seem par for course; but we have worked with him so much, we have taught him coping skills and he has changed.
That little boy who would freeze up at birthday parties crying in the corner, that little boy who would be overwhelmed by too much noise, too much stimuli, those days all seemed mostly behind us. Now when he gives talks in Primary, he does it with a confidence that seems to rival every kid, leaving every adult amazed at his speaking ability and amazing talks he prepared.
This is the true Lucas, this is the boy I know he can be, those little moments when he is showing his full potential.
So as he sat there, tears running down his face, never telling us what was in his mind, my heart broke a little more. What had happened? Had someone teased him at school, was someone still teasing him.
I had been bullied at times as a child and I never told my mother. I don't know why I didn't tell, I knew she loved me and was always there for me, but for some reason my 2nd grade self kept it all in. And now he is a 5th grader, so much older, the teasing could be so much worse.
A week before, I had happened to tell Lucas about my experience and told him I never told my mother, he asked why. I said I don't know.
"She probably couldn't have done anything about it" he said.
"Maybe not, but maybe she could have and even if she had not she at least would have been there for me and it would help knowing I wasn't going through it all alone."
He agreed that I should have told.
So last night as we sat there, trying to figure out what was going on, I hoped and prayed there wasn't something more he wasn't telling me.