Wednesday, May 11, 2011

In Need of Coffee

I drove into the driveway of our home after the weekend visiting my hometown and was met with the face of our older son, looking expectantly to the road as he paced nervously back and forth. He was waiting for me. A connection. A blessing.

No, I was not able to hug him "hello." Nor could I kiss him. I just quietly knelt to the ground, and soon, his circle of pacing became smaller and smaller. He touched my cheek with his index finger to see if I were real. Pace. Walked back to me and stared. Pace. Walked back again and leaned in very slowly to touch his lips to my cheek.

Each time he does this to me, I'm afraid to breathe for fear that I will disrupt it.

The kiss was enough for him, but I knew what he was feeling. He was glad that I was home, and, I was actually glad to be there. Home needs me.

Less than 48 hours. That is how long this post-getaway euphoria lasted.

Now I am sitting in the calm after a storm of anxiety and depression that plagued our son all last night, and I feel a hundred years old. I think our older son worries that I'm going to go away every time I have left his sight.

"Mamamommy! I want upstairs, please! Mamamommy, walk please." Oy. He calls for me all the time. Sometimes, he just needs to see my face. Sometimes, he needs to hold my hand in an OCD ritual that is in a heightened state. "Sit, please." he'll say to tell me that he doesn't want me to leave his sight.

I suppose it is at this point where older, more experienced parents would tell me to cherish the fact that he wants me. This time, they say, will pass quickly. Yeah, well, I kept telling myself that in the wee hours of the night as he would constantly call my name, beckoning me to denounce sleep so that I can quiet his nerves around the clock. I wasn't cherishing any bit of it. Last night was a long, laborious lesson in patience for me.

The crying! He cried, and cried and cried a sad, weepy cry that he just couldn't shake. I kept thinking once he got the cry out of his system, he would feel better.

I guess the cry just isn't out of his system yet.

This poor, tortured child. His life is so hard on a daily basis. Special circumstances, such as mom going away for a couple days, is too much for him to handle. And, so I continue to go to him when he calls. I sit beside him when he asks, knowing that this is the best way to comfort him. I'm the only mom he has. He needs to be able to depend upon me for that.

Operating on less sleep this morning than usual, I am listening to a fervent narration from our younger son of the evolution of the Pokemon Pikachu into Raichu. His lung capacity must be amazing. I don't think he has come up for air.

Chair. Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. Simple tools used to regroup and start a fresh day.


  1. Probably way too simple of a thought, but would a picture schedule of how long you'll be gone help him to know you will come back? For when Teale goes to respite and times any of us has gone away we do this. Simply it may read something like dinner, playtime, sleep, breakfast, playtime, lunch, playtime, dinner, playtime, sleep, breakfast, playtime, Mom comes home. For Teale, she especially wants to know the number of "nights" she will be at respite. I am totally over simplifying Trey's fears, I know it was a rough night, as we texted back & forth. I just want to offer something! If he knows you will be home now, will he let go of some of that anxiety? A schedule of the next few days, explaining you will sleep @ home? I LOVE that Trey kisses your check, how incredibly sweet!

  2. Ellie, I thought I sent a reply to this on my phone? You may get it, but I thought I would also post it for anyone who may be in a similar situation.

    When I leave on these trips, I usually put together a crude picture schedule showing that Will and I have gone in the van to _____ (fill in the blank). I then put the days that I will be gone (Mon, Tues, Wed., Thurs.) and allow him to cross of each day until I return.

    I thought that was enough? I didn't think to show him a picture of the next few days to denote the fact that I will be here. I SAY it to him (I'm getting on my pjs now and will be here in the morning when you wake, etc) but maybe those are just too many words. Maybe having it in picture format would help.


  3. Maybe, we all know nothing is concrete for our kids! Teale seems to understand the picture schedule for respite BUT we still get what I call respite backlash. We got something similar when I went away to see my girlfriend in TX too. Not pretending to know the answer, just looking at it from a different view. You are a FREAKING FANTASTIC Mom! XOXO