i have found myself thinking a lot lately about micah going to kindergarten in the fall... it has been surprisingly difficult and i have already shed many tears about it. the comical thing is that he hasn't even started yet and i am already having issues with letting him go. i know that for the rest of my life i will be letting him go in one way or another. that is just what happens with kids, but yesterday something happened that really solidified the reasons as to why i am so apprehensive.
i had a really hard time in school. maybe not so much my elementary years but starting with 6th grade on i was made fun of, felt ostracized and was teased relentlessly and i have spent much of my adult life overcoming this in one way or another. i feel in many situations very much a child still, stuck in that adolesent mind set. i handle problems today much the same way that i did than. this being, stuffing. i stuff issues until i get so emotional that they burst forth from me with no control.
yesterday i took micah to a birthday party of a little boy in our neighborhood. he was turning 5. now micah really doesn't know this boy very well yet i was trying to be neighborly and go anyway. this little boy had a bounce house and all day long micah talked about how excited he was to go to this birthday party. so we went. when we arrived the parents welcomed us with hugs and hellos. micah told the birthday boy hello and they proceeded to play. well like any mother with an 18 month old i watched beatrix in the bounce house and sadly i also watched the interactions of the b-day boy with my son. micah tried again and again to play with him. it was heart wrenching in and of itself. what made it worse was the b-day boy continually blowing micah off. which culminated in him hitting micah in the face. what was i supposed to do? he was the main attraction, it was his birthday party, it was his day and yet he did something that made my son cry. i was faced with a dilemma and i reacted first by telling micah we were going home and than when he cried i told him ok, we will stay but you don't have to play with that boy. he said, "but mommy i want to play with him". i was stunned and said, "well why don't you try telling him how you feel and what that did to you". so he went up to the b-day boy in the bounce house and started to cry again, he said "....you really hurt my feelings when you hit me like that." the boy looked at my son and with genuine regret said, "i am sorry". than an older boy came along and they continued to ignore micah. he was devastated and i was angry.
after giving him a 5 minute warning and excusing myself from the party saying that i had to work that night and i was exhausted we left. i continued fuming....all the way home i fumed and got angrier and angrier. i was reacting on pure and raw emotion. i was 14 again.
when we walked in the door matt could instantly tell that i was upset. what happened he asked. i was too furious to even begin to know where to start. micah was still crying and i started to yell...."why do you even care about that boy? why do you want to be friends with a jerk like that little kid? you are better than that micah. you don't need those kinds of friends." i was crying and he was crying even harder. i couldn't talk anymore about it. i had to go and cool off so i left matt to sort it out with micah and i disappeared to my room...to....sob. i sobbed like i haven't in so long. i let it all out and as the emotion poured from me so did understanding.
that little boy is 5, newly 5 in fact, yet when i saw him do that to my son i saw another's face. i saw the faces of those that hurt me. and in micah's devastation at being rejected, well, i saw myself. as an adult i could say all of the things that i wish i could have told myself at that age. that it didn't matter if everyone loves you. that people who are jerks really aren't worth being friends with and that you are better than that. that it is better to be alone than to be ridiculed. i said it all to a 4 year old, but i was really saying it to myself. i am terrified to have micah go to school in the fall. he is so sincere, and kind, and sweet and sensitive and i am afraid that someone will mock that in him, that other kids will make him feel inadequate and small and stupid.
after i had a good cry i came out of the room and sat on the kitchen floor with micah in front of me. i held his little face in my hands and kissed him. he asked me if i was crying, and i said yes. he asked me why, and i told him the truth. cause it is really hard on mommy to see people being mean to you. cause kids weren't so nice to me all of the time when i was little. we talked for awhile longer and he told me he loved me and off he ran.
i walked into the other room to talk to matt about it all, but he already knew. he knew what i was feeling and that my outburst was the result of stuffing years of hurt and anger. see i think that i am most afraid of micah going to school cause really it is going to force me to deal with all of the pent up anger i feel towards others and their ability to truly wound me. it is going to force me to see my vulnerability my deep deep desire to please everyone and have everyone like me. through my kids i will watch their hurt and i will know exactly how it feels. i should have remained calm and waited to see how micah would handle himself. how he would deal with it. that is going to be the hardest part of letting him go little by little. i know it is the right thing, but dear God it is going to be the hardest thing.
so i am starting to prepare for it. now. while i have time. while the emotions aren't nearly so high. i am letting him go little by little by little. and through it i am reclaiming me, little by little by little.