Thursday, May 18, 2006

Straw To Gold

We didn’t do anything today. It really started to bother me at around 3:00. We haven’t done a durn thing! Until I thought about it.

We made frog puppets. We made good and bad fairy paper dolls. We played (for what seemed like an eternity) with the frogs and fairies.

Bad Fairy seems really important. She can say and do all of the things he is unable to do and say. She can be mean and exclusive and even turn people into nasty things.

I kept begging him to go outside. Every time the answer was, “Not yet.”

Finally - I suggested we go outside. He could wear his wings and bring the bad fairy. He agreed to this idea. (The fairy wings, giraffe costume and leopard outfit were completely forgotten in the U.S.) But, upon our return, he seems to need these costumes and props to face the public.

I became aware of the depth of his phobia in The States. One day, on the playground, he fell. An older boy saw and ran towards him to help. Winston panicked. He jumped up screaming and ran towards me. “He’s going to hurt me! He’s going to kick me! He’s going to hit me!” He shouted as fat, juicy tears splashed all around him.

The mother came over to let us know that her son had seen him fall and was going over to help. I apologised and let her know that we live in London. (I’ll refrain from the rest of the conversation.)

I explained to Winston that the boy had wanted to help him. We talked about it for two days. We’d be at our favourite Indian restaurant and suddenly out of a pappadom bite he’d say, “That boy wanted to help me.” And we discuss it again. And again.

The rest of the visit saw him gregarious, outgoing and independent on the playgrounds of America.

But, what has been learned from the trip, is that he doesn’t feel safe here. And I’m at a loss for what to do. Of course, he has ingenious coping mechanisms. And I’m proud of him for finding ways to feel safe. Still, I’m trying to spin this straw into gold.

I get the feeling that the “nothing” I have in my hand is "gold." I just can’t see it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh my--that post broke my heart! The poor child, and you too-you must feel helpless. I truly hope he can get past his fear and that nothing ever causes him such fear again.

Elizabeth