Sometimes I don’t feel like being funny.
Mostly, when I’ve been robbed of my humor over the past two years it’s because I’m thinking about my son. I’m thinking about his experiences at school – the difficulties he’s had as we try to figure out how to help him through a maze of possible issues.
ADHD, Asperberger’s, ADHD of the Inattentive Type, low self-esteem, anxiety…all of these?
Personally, I don’t care what it is. I just want him to be happy. I want to help him.
I want him to walk into a room full of children and feel like he belongs. I want him to know that he is liked. I want him to have a friend.
It’s tough when we’ve made it to March and he hasn’t had a single invitation to a birthday party this year. He hasn’t been invited to any play dates and our playdate invitations have gone largely ignored.
How do you explain to your son that the other kids do like him when this is happening? How do you explain to your son that sometimes, the other parents are too busy to call back?
I watched him at school last week, standing in front of me with some children from his class. We were sharing stories about the dogs in our neighborhoods and when Joe began to speak, anxiety caused him to stammer. He began to take too long with his story and he rewound when the others began to interrupt. One little girl rolled her eyes and walked away. That’s what seven-year-olds do. They don’t know any better. Their level of patience and empathy is still developing, but Joe sees it and it hurts.
We’ve been going to weekly therapy appointments. Last week he broke down and told the therapist that none of the other kids like him. He told the therapist that he doesn’t have any friends. He got up from the floor where he was coloring and curled against my side on the couch. He turned to me with a look of desperation on his face as the tears began to flow, his eyes pleading, wondering why we were making him talk about this painful subject.
Later, I cried in the car while he happily chatted about Legos and spelling words.
This morning I left some messages, inviting children over for playdates after school. I really hope that this time, someone’s mom calls me back.