I must admit I’ve been taking a break from blogging in order to celebrate! My eleven year son who has a lot of anxiety was able to go on a camping trip with his class and spend two nights and three days! This was a huge accomplishment for Chase, who has a phobia of sleeping, and it warmed my heart to see how proud he was of himself after he did it. It was not easy and it took the help of some very compassionate and dedicated school advisors to help him or should I say exhaust him. He called me twice the first night telling me how scared he was because the other boys had been telling scary stories. Then at eleven p.m. he told me he wanted me to pick him up and bring him home. After he realized that his plight was futile I tried to help him relax for the next hour.
The next day I talked to the chaperone, Mr. Andrews, who told me that Chase didn’t sleep all night and that he paced the floors, but Mr. Andrews said “I am confident that I will be able to wear him down today!” I wasn’t quite sure what to make of that comment but I was hopeful that he knew what he was doing because what I had been doing sure wasn’t working. Just as I expected I got another phone call that night from Chase begging me to come pick him up. I reassured him that he was going to be able to sleep because I knew deep down inside Chase wanted to be able to sleep at camp. I told him that he was so tired that he was going to lay down in bed and fall asleep in a second and that is exactly what ended up happening. He even slept through his roommates screaming in the middle of the night because they thought a wolf spider was in the cabin.
I don’t know if there are other parents out there that feel the way that I do (exhausted by the end of the day), but if you are like me you probably invest a lot of your life helping your children to grow, learn, build self-esteem, make new friends, and SLEEP through the night. At the end of the day I usually feel like if one more hand tugs on my shirt, one more voice asks for help, one more scream needs attention or one more pet paw steps on my foot I’m going to sit in the time out chair and stay there. On the other hand I don’t know what is more rewarding than seeing that my efforts have paid off! I sometimes forget to be so grateful for the things that are right in front of me because I’m so busy trying to take care of someone or something. I see other kids doing something terrific and say “why don’t my kids do that?” Then when it’s quiet in the morning and I’m the only one awake and I’m waiting to hear the footsteps of little feet coming down the stairs, I remember how grateful I am of the family that I’ve been given and the opportunity that I have to celebrate their accomplishments with them. The quiet mornings help me to remember how different we all are as human beings and one person’s accomplishment is just as great as the next. After all life is so short that it can pass us by while we are busy trying to get it right. I have to remind myself to live life sometimes instead of work it. I remember that saying “Life is what happens when your busy making plans.” I think it also applies to making promises, making goals, and making expectations. So as a part of my celebration I did nothing! I realized that by watching my family I didn’t need to take care of anything or anyone. They are quite capable of finding their own happiness. They are also quite capable of finding their shoes, pouring their own lemonade, fixing their own snack and organizing their own life. I’m sure I’ll forget this tomorrow, but today I’m celebrating.