Tonight, I cried with him…
To the lady in the bathroom:
Know that words hurt.. They ran deep to my soul tonight.. Why? I’m not sure as I’m usually this “strong person” and can “handle anything”, but tonight, your words hurt..
Tonight was Tatum’s last night of swimming lessons. As a treat, they always let the kids jump off the diving boards if they want. So, after many jumps off the edge, Tatum FINALLY jumped off the board.. ALL.BY.HIMSELF.. This was HUGE as this is something he typically would be wayyy to scared to do. Unfortunately, because he jumped off the side for way to long, he only got a few rounds of the diving board before class was over.
He was mad. He kicked. He screamed. He yelled. He bawled.
I tried calming him down in the pool, however, he wasn’t having it. So we got out.
He was mad. He kicked. He screamed. He yelled. He bawled, all the way into the shower room where we got dressed. I was trying –everything– in my will power to calm him down. I couldn’t do it.
20 minutes go by with NO behavior change. He was still mad. He was still kicking and screaming at the top of his lungs. I just kept saying, “Tatum, you need to calm down!”
Finally, a moment where he listened to me as I calmly said in a low voice, “Tatum, you need to calm down and listen to Mommy”…
In this moment of calm, I overheard a Mom say to another Mom, “Glad that’s not my kid, I’d beat his ass.” <—- and that my friends is when I started bawling…
You see, I didn’t “intend” for my child to get this disability. It is a struggle every.single.day.. He doesn’t know “calm”.. He fights until he no longer physically can. Somedays that’s 20 minutes, somedays that’s an hour.. And multiple times a day at that.. I wish I could help him, but I can’t….
But, let me tell you what…. Joining in his world of chaos and “beating his ass” won’t make it any better.
I cried with you tonight Tatum. Mama can only be so strong. People can be so rude. Especially people who have never dealt with a disability.
So.. After calming down, on both our parts, I asked Tatum if he was ready to go home for the night.. He gave me a kiss on the forehead and said, “Tatum naughty, sorry Mommy!”
You are NOT naughty little boy. We will learn how to calm down in stressful situations one way or another.. It will take us several tries to see what way works best for us, but I promise, we will figure it out. Don’t EVER think you are “naughty” for not knowing how to be calm.
And to the woman in the bathroom, I pray for you. I pray that you NEVER have a child with a disability. I pray that you know how to calm your babies each and everyday in every situation. I pray that your babies never act out in public.. But most of all, I pray that you think of my little boy tonight. I pray that God shows you how much you hurt me. I am strong for my little man, but tonight I wasn’t, and that’s because of your hurtful words. He saw my pain, he saw my weakness, and I’m NOT ok with that. I am his rock. I am supposed to remain calm while he’s not. And I wish you would have to and kept your words to yourself.
We all have hearts, and we all have feelings. Even the “strongest” of us get hurt