On Fridays I am going to write about something from the past. this is an incident in late Fall 2002.
I knew as soon as I entered the school and saw C with the educational assistant, in the hall and not in the classroom, I knew there was going to be trouble. I tuned out the EA (blah blah blah and then blah blah blah) as I tried to coax C into coming with me. Silently I was hoping the EA would grasp that now was NOT the time to discuss this. But it was too late. C’s face flushed red and he melted to the floor.
I found myself thinking of the irony that though he has such a struggle at school and was currenlty in trouble he wasn’t anxious to come with me and escape. He’d rather flail around on the floor. Part of me wanted to just wait him out but I felt all eyes on me as the hall grew busier with dismisal time. I just wanted him to stand up and walk out like all the other kids.
I took some deep breaths and closed my eyes. I willed myself to ignore all the glares and gawkers. “Come on C, lets go home and go for a bike ride” . Usually that would do it. BUt not this time, he was too far gone. I reached for him and he made his body limp so it was like truly lifting up a sack of potatoes. I found myself being thankful that although he wasn’t helping me he also wasn’t fighting me off.
I hiked him over my shoulder and the EA passed me his backpack. I could see the look of dissaproval written all over his face. I’m sure I fluished red with the judegment – and yet, what else was I supposed to do?
My eyes filled with tears and I struggled to carry C and his bag. We had made it a mere 20 or so paces when he decided he wasn’t going home with me. “Let me go!!!! I hate you” he yelled as he tried to launch his body away from mine. I struggled to hold on and to my horror we both were catapulted to the ground. The backpack went flying, his shoes flew off as I held his ankles and he tried to pull free.
“Let me go! You are not my mom, I hate you” he yelled. I tried to ignore all the eyes on us as I extricated myself from the pile. I reached down and pulled him up and over my shoulder once again. A teacher came over and put his shoes in his bag and handed it to me. I forced a smile through the tears and reddened face and murmured a “thank you” as we turned to home.
As I walked the block to our house I thanked god that we lived so close and that C was still small enough to pick up. I pushed away the thoughts about what I would do when he was older and had a meltdown. We were almost to our house and C’s rage had begun to dissipate. I could feel his body softening, curling into mine as his sniffled every once in a while. Almost to the house I felt the backpack slipping from my grasp. I decided getting C into the house was the most important and let it fall by the sidewalk.
We got into the house and C was sobbing quietly. I gave him a hug and he accepted it. I gave him a few moments to pull himself together and then felt it was safe to go out and gather his bag from the sidewalk. He sat on the stairs and I ran out the door,. I had grabbed the bag and turned around to see the door closed. My heart started to pound as I tried to enter and the door was locked.He hadn’t put the dead bolt on but had used the chain. I banged and called for C to open the door and I heard nothing. I demanded he open the door. Nothing.
I pulled back and slammed my shoulder into the door with more force than I had intended and the chain broke and the door flew open. C looked at me in horror and ran for his room. By now I was a hot, frustrated, angry and confused mess. Just at that moment the phone rang. Looking back on it I wonder why I didn’t just let it ring but I answered it.
It was our adoption worker wanting to know how things were. We were still on Adoption Probation with C so she checked in regularly. When I heard her voice I just couldn’t help it – I began to sob and sob. I couldn’t even talk. She told me she would be right over.
By the time she got to our house I had calmed down a little. I told her about what had happened and she was very sympathetic. Then she went one step further and said “Maybe I pushed you guys into this. Maybe its too much”
Through my tears I looked at her and said “Don’t EVER suggest that. He’s ours FOREVER”
and with that I knew without a doubt that while the days might be hard, he was forever ours.