Blogging through Tears

I’m typing this at a 16 font – because I can’t see anything smaller through my tears. I write from a broken heart. I write of broken dreams, unmet expectations, pure frustration, and uncertainty of the future. I’m actually a little surprise how genuinely downcast I feel.

I chose to drop Rose from ballet. Not life changing – but for me it is.

ballet-8

She loves to dance. Since she was little she has put on a tutu and danced around the living room performing for anyone who was available. Heaven forbid you don’t clap after her 28th twirl – even if you clapped for the 27 prior ones. I knew she would love a dance class and performing on stage where hundreds of people were clapping for her.

Travis Academy of Fine Arts was the perfect fit for her. It’s focus is training artists to use their gifts and talents for the glory of God. The staff and the teacher were so accommodating, loving and supportive of her disabilities. It was perfect.

ballet-6

After the first two classes, she happily put on her ballet uniform at home after class and demonstrated her “happy toes, sad toes” (flex, point) and her  popcorn – “pop, pop, pop, explode” (releve, releve, releve, jump). We clapped.

The third week she was comfortable with the class. She made “friends.” But everything changed. The teacher had to send her out in the hall with me because she was invading her “friends’ personal space, and the other students were upset (a social clue she missed).  She was supposed to sit with me for a couple of minutes then go back to class. Instead she had an all out melt down – fell on the floor, kicking, screaming, sobbing – and it didn’t end. I picked her up, and took her to the car and drove home.

ballet-1Since then, every time ballet is mentioned – she becomes anxious – her entire body becomes tense, she contorts her face, and she rubs her fingers together until almost raw in obsessive, repetitive manner. Last night, as I put her to bed – I tried to reason with her that ballet class would go better this week, and she’d like it again – you know, “if you fall off the horse – get back on” – right? She started crying uncontrollably and gouging her arms with her finger nails. I simply held her and prevented her from hurting herself farther. I realized – getting back on the horse was not possible at this point in time. It may only take one good class to make her enjoy it again – but that one good class was not going to happen. She is incapable of bouncing back and having the “one good class.”

I dropped her from the class – and I cried the whole time I did so. It is about so much more than a ballet class. Enrolling her in the class had made me feel like a “good parent” – I was giving her a social outlet, I was building upon her interest – her gifts and talents. Enrolling her in the class had made me feel like she was a “typical” “normal” little girl – instead it opened my eyes that she is not “typical” or “normal.” I knew that in my head – but dropping ballet touched my heart – and I can’t seem to stop crying over it.

Ballet was my wake up call. At this point in life – Kymee doesn’t need her gifts, talents and interests encouraged as much as she needs skills to pursue her gifts, talents and interests. She needs social skills so she doesn’t “pop other people’s bubbles” (invade private space). She needs skills in dealing with change and transition (being sent out of class was an abrupt transition). She needs skills to manage her anxieties – so she’ll stop harming herself and start enjoying life. She needs therapy not ballet.

That’s a hard pill for this mom to swallow and I can’t stop crying I will reset the type to 12 now.

 

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Judgement Day

Kymee had a melt down at the store today.  
I had the audacity to tell her she couldn’t pull a child’s suitcase around the store and fill it with everything off the shelves. I know – I’m a horrible mom.
She fell to the floor and started crying and screaming her high pitched wail … and didn’t stop –  I did. I stopped. I stopped shopping. I stopped breathing. I stopped thinking like a rational adult. 
The pregnant lady,
 probably with her firstborn,
glared at me as if she knew how to parent better than me.
The old lady looked at me as if to say,
“Back in my day,
I would have picked up my kid and beat their rear- end
if they did that in the store.” 

And then there was the “perfect mom”
who stooped down to her child’s level, held them by the shoulders,
 pointed to Kymee and said,
“You’re such a good boy for not acting like THAT.”

I tried to reason with my three year old. Disclaimer: I already told you I had stopped thinking rationally.

I tried to hug her and pat her back. She kicked me and screamed louder.
What I really wanted to do was sit down next to her and cry and scream with frustration. Instead, I looked around for the closest exit. 

If I had been a part of Andres’
“Zombie Survival Squad”
I would have known the fastest way of escape with a screaming toddler.
I left my cart in the middle of the isle – at this point I had to make a choice between offending the poor clerk who would have to restock my stuff or the poor customers who had to listen to Kymee scream. I choose to offend the clerks.

I picked up my screaming child,
headed for the door 
I started singing the first thing that came to my head … “I’ve got peace like a river; I’ve got peace like a river; I’ve got peace like a river in my soul.”  
We must have been a sight to see – a screaming little girl held by singing mom. Too bad no one had their phone camera on for “America’s Funniest Videos.”
I threw her in the car – still screaming, still screaming, still screaming.  As my stress boiled inside of me ready to spill over at any moment, I continued, “I’ve got peace like a river,” I started praying in my head, “Dear God, make the river have rushing and roaring waves which engulf me and drowned me with Your peace.”
As we drove down the road screaming and singing, God gave me peace …

 in the form of a McDonalds  

Now all my “Food Nazi” friends can judge me – you know who you are: you are the ones who posted Face Book pictures of the inside of you fridge to brag about how healthy you eat – or to make the rest of us, who sometimes feed out kids nothing but bananas all day, feel bad. But today, God gave me peace through a McDonalds – because as soon as we turned into the drive through line, Kymee stopped crying. She sniffled and swallowed her sobs along with the French fries.

I stopped singing. Rational thought returned. I survived to tell the tale. I survived the ridicule and stares of strangers. And I learned it’s not over til the fat lady sings, and buys french fries.