A family's story

Say “When”…

I wish that Tate could just say “when” if things are getting to be too much. By now Hubz and I are more adept at knowing when it’s “when”….but dang it, if he could just say it.

This weekend we had some turmoil, and routine went out the window. Hubz’s uncle passed away after a battle with cancer and a bought of pneumonia. My mother-in-law stayed with us during the hectic last days.

All of us juggled and reprioritized our days. It was not easy, but especially so for Tate. He was a trooper, though. He tried to keep up with the rest of us. He tried to take it in stride when plans changed and we had to switch gears. He even tried to play amongst the children who gathered outside and in the basement while parents and relatives talked in hushed tones in the family room.

He bobbed up the stairs once, asking for me. I waved. He bobbed up a second time, holding a stick and began to stim with it. He resurfaced a third time, stimming with two sticks (one in each hand), and got himself the Xoom tablet. He was holding on for dear life. He tried Angry Birds. He tried Wubbzy on YouTube. He tried Imagination Movers. Nothing was doing the trick. I looked up, and he was gone, vanished into the noise coming from the basement.

Hubz went in after him. Hubz came back upstairs alone. “He’s buried under a blanket…prepping himself for a nap.” Whew.

A short time elapsed, and all kids came streaming upstairs and outside. Tate came up with them. So much for a nap…and that’s when we should have said “when”, but didn’t.

My poor kiddo lost his marbles. Over something as silly as a shovel. He really lost it. Hitting. Throwing. Screaming. Crying. Snot running down his face. He lost it. I lost it. My heart was breaking as my brave boy unraveled, as he plunged into the depths of frustration. I could feel the looks. I could feel shame creep over me. Why did I make him hang with the kids? (He wanted to.) Why didn’t I pull him into the room with me and give him a break? Why didn’t I give him quiet? Ughhh..

Thankfully the breakdown didn’t last long…and thankfully it didn’t derail him permanently for the day. But I hate that it had to happen. Hate that my boy had to drown in overstimulation before we rescued him…all because we thought maybe he knew enough to say when…but still doesn’t. Someday, sweet boy…someday…

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