We signed Bo & Sam up for a week long baseball camp this summer so we needed to get them some gear. They each needed a glove and some balls to practice at home with. It was a very long shopping process but we got what we needed and everyone was happy.
And then the first day of camp came and all the fun was replaced with tears, tantrums and screams of "I don't want to go!" Bo was a wreck and beyond difficult. He would not get dressed. He would not put on his shoes. He definitely would not get in the car. And he was by no means going to camp.
By the time we reached the ball fields, he reached pure panic attack and was uncontrollable. The crying and fighting was embarrassing and painful. It's hard being the mom at drop off who is being kicked repeatedly in the shins by her son while getting screamed at, but I know it is even harder on him. His anxiety level is all encompassing and it transforms him into a raging maniac. I know he does not want to be this way nor does he like to be this way but he is not in control. His anxiety is. His fear of the unknown is. His anger towards the situation is. He is not and I have to keep reminding myself of that over and over and over. But it is not easy. So so not easy. Not to mention the toll it takes on Sam & Max. Sam started crying and whining too. He crawled back into the car with Bo and locked the doors. Obviously if Bo thought camp was a bad idea, then Sam most definitely did too. It's like the plague. So not only did I have to figure out how the hell to calm Bo down but also how to convince Sam to play in the midst of so much screaming that neither of them could even hear me talk, much less unlock and open the car doors.
My face was hot and tears were wallowing up. I did not know what to do. Part of me, a large part of me, was done and wanted to say "fuck it" and throw in the towel, but I knew deep down that that was not the answer. I could not let the anxiety win. Bo needed to win. Giving up was not an option. If he is never pushed outside his comfort zone, he will never learn the tools to grow out of this.
So a gazillion deep breaths later I somehow managed to get the doors unlocked, Sam out on the field with the rookies and Bo to sit in the dugout with me to watch his group. While the kids warmed up and started some drills, Bo slowly became more relaxed. His posture changed and he began to talk to me on the bench. About 30 minutes later the kids came into the dugout where we were sitting for a water break. They were laughing and telling jokes. Bo's posture relaxed some more. The kids were normal and this wasn't quite as scary as he first thought. I told Bo I needed to go to the bathroom but would be right back. I knew if I left him alone, he would cling onto the group instead of to me. When I returned, he was out on the field.
That morning truly took every last ounce of energy and parenting patience I had. I came so close to loosing it more than once, but I didn't and I am proud of myself. It was hard for us all and we all prevailed.
Bo - third from the left
Sam with Coach Kayla