Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Getting rid of guilt

And so it goes. There are wonderfully good days, where James and I play "SingStar" or Wii and laugh and laugh... and then there are days like today. His first day of school went well. I had emailed his teacher with our situation and also asked for her opinion on his day. I got a great response and laudatory comments on how respectful, sweet and well behaved James is. (hugh sigh of relief). When I picked James up, he seconded the great day comments.

We shopped for new gym shoes (Oh my gosh, how I love Academy) and went out to dinner with family. James also (***finally***) got to see the inside of a truck cab because Suzanne's brother is a truck driver.



We came home. As he was readying for bed (too late for my taste) he "realized" he still had homework. How does one "realize" they still have homework after answering their mother to the negative all afternoon?? Then came the meltdown, while I was trying to help him. Everything from the day was horrible, he hates the school, he misses everyone one, no he hates it up in Michigan too and doesn't want to "break any more hearts", and on and on. Sobbing little mess of a boy, scooped up in Mama's arms. I hushed away as much of the hurt as I could. I realize, on the sane side, that this is the result of being up too late last night, missing his daddy, and not understanding homework in a brand new school. The paranoid, "looking for signs" side of me worries that he is ruled by guilt (like his daddy) and that there is nothing I can do to change/stop/alter that. I have talked with family up in Michigan and family down here about not saying even the most innocuous little thing that might make him feel guilty. Tonight, even, he apologized and apologized and on and on...until I hushed him to sleep with assurances that it was I who took care of him and not the opposite. My broken little boy is now asleep.

This too, shall pass... I only hope it soon becomes less and less and that this was the right thing to do. I have missed you, my little voices of reason and assurance.


Cherry said...

New situations (and being overtired) always throw twists and turns on emotions, perspectives and stress levels.

Of course you are going to worry and analyze his reactions, you're a mom and to add to the mom-bit, you have all been through a sad sad experience.

Today was a first day. Let's see how day 2 goes. :-)

BTW - We've all missed you too!

Gigi said...

I'm glad his first day of school went well. I'm sure tomorrow morning will look brighter too. I am so happy to hear about the days you guys are having laughing together. Sorry we missed getting that coffee :-(

Laurie in Ca. said...

Oh Laura,

Bless James' little heart. These are some big changes going on in both of your lives right now, but I believe with all my heart you made the right move. It is hard to be in a sea of faces in a new classroom and not know a single one. This will change soon as he draws kids in with his sweetness. I am so glad he was able to melt down with you where he is safe. I am praying for you both to find the peace that is waiting for you right there in your new home. It will take time, but it will happen.
I love you girl.

Love and Hugs, Laurie

GR in DC said...

Don't underestimate the power of lack of sleep. You hd a good day with a rough ending but it sounds like you handled it very well. There will be bumps in the road but you know that you are doing the right thing for your family.

Marshamlow said...

I feel like it is sometimes more about making your decision right than wondering if what you decided is right. Life will have ups and downs no matter where you are, you made a great decision and it comes with some adjustment pains but you will make it work.

Sometimes when I am feeling off I can't really put the reason into words and I search through my day to find the reason I am feeling off. Not really that the little bits of inconvienences and frustrations of the day cause me to feel off, I just feel like a need a reason.

Sounds like James really likes to be happy. His natural state of being is one of being easy going and happy. That is a good way to go through life. I think you guys are going to be ok.

What about you, any plans for work or other ways of meeting people while James is in school.

Rebecca said...

That poor baby. And poor you. What a rough night.

((hugs)) It'll keep getting better - I know it will.

Courtney said...

Wow, I am so sorry Laura. James should not be feeling riddled with guilt - he is too young. I'm sorry you had to go through the meltdown, I know it broke your heart! Hugs to you and sweet James.

becomingkate said...

I bet the homework was just the last straw. All the new stuff is stressful without realizing, and the poor kid had just had enough.
I'm glad that he let it out, because that really helps. Hope the rest of the week is better!

Shannon said...

You are the best of mamas.

Rach said...

Changes and routines and exhaustion have a way of coloring EVERYTHING. He's fine, you're fine and you did what needed to be done. Hang in there!


artemisia said...

I am thinking of you, always.

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

I hope as time passes, he finds good days to balance the hard ones, and reasons to laugh and feel true joy as well. I wish the same for you.

Kesha said...

He had his Momma's arms to cradle him in his meltdown. You all have done so remarkably well Laura. There will be nights like this again and again he'll have the best Mom in the world to care for him. His good days will outnumber the bad I'm sure. Sending good thoughts your way. I truly wish we'd had a chance to meet face to face before you moved. Perhaps some day.

be good to yourself.


Sharpie said...

It will all be alright. Promise.

Emblita said...

Oh poor James, its never easy to go through this much change. I'm glad you were there to comfort him.

Jess T said...

Awww...I'm sorry. Hang in there!

Betts4 said...

Hugs to both of you. It should get better for him as he adjusts. You are giving him support and he needs to know that. Good for both of you!

Kathy said...

Thinking and praying for you daily. I am so glad you are back. I kept checking on you. Most of the time I can't comment, computer conection problems and blogger seems to have something against my comments.
You are a lovely person Laura. We all care so much for your sweet James and wish we could reach out and help hold him with you.
I think good thoughts of Leonard too. Your stories of your life with Leonard are a wonderful way to share him.

haylee said...

Hi Laura:

I think of all human emotions, guilt rates to be one of the nastiest. I would rather feel physical pain than guilt. On the one hand, a conscience is a good thing but when it is in over-drive -- not so much.

Our young fella had some troubles dealing with guilt too. This is what worked for us.

We'd ask him what he thought he could have done to get a different result. Through replaying it, he'd either realize that his feelings of "blame" were disproportionate, that he really had little control over the circumstances or he'd admit his mistake and come upon ways he could have done things differently. (in this case, doing his homework when you first asked)

Afterwards, I think our son felt more empowered to take control.

Talking things through seemed to help -- along with massive doses of hugs.

Sounds like you got in all in hand.

Just a caution: I am sure James knows how distressing these situations are for you. Is there a possibility that he meltsdown to take the focus off the fact that he lied to you about having homework? Kids have an inherent sense of right & wrong. Perhaps it will help for him to realize that had he done his homework earlier when you asked, he might have avoided some tears. Instead of guilt, he'd feel pride at having done his "job".

I realize it's a dicey situation for you, Laura. From previous posts, I know that James tend to be hard on himself - he probably felt guilty about the homework -- you sure don't want him to feel more for pulling the wool over Mom's eyes.

What a handsome lad he is!

All the best,

BetteJo said...

Tough to be overwhelmed at that age.