My Son Has No "Masks"
So to preface this post, I need to explain that I'm reading a book titled "Excuse me your life is waiting" by Lynn Grabhorn. It teaches that we are all "magnets" either bringing negative or positive things into our lives by the feelings and energy that we're putting out. If you walk around in your daily activities with a very negative attitude and approach to things the thought is that you'll receive nothing but negative experiences. "The electromagnetic vibrations I send out bring everything into my life. Good or bad. No exceptions." So in essence, like attracts like.
So great! So I like this idea and the first day I try it I'm really getting some positive things to come into my life through my business and with my relationships. Great! It works, and I'm only in chapter one! This is for me!
Then it happens......as it always does. My 11-year-old son with autism announces today, as we are leaving for school, that he'd like money to go to the book fair. Sure! I want to promote reading rather than the Wii or DS, so I give him $10.00 to buy a book. He's already packed about 10 books in his backpack loading it down to the point where I wouldn't want to carry it around, but he's fine with it.
On our drive to school he is happily discussing one of them from the back seat. It's going to be another great day I think. We're off to a good start.
We walk up to the gate and are greeted by the usual joyful exuberance of Ms. Gray. She's so wonderful to my son. She seems to have a genuine interest in him and his well-being. She throws her arms around him in her usual upbeat manner.
Anthony proceeds to tell Ms. Gray that he's going to buy a book at the book fair today. And that's when it all turns to poop! My stomach! It wrenches and tightens up inside of me! I know that my sweet little boy is about to explode not caring who sees! Poor Ms. Gray stands in a helpless state as her happy Anthony becomes a raging ball of fire!
We tell Anthony that we'll go to Barnes & Noble, something I had already told him the day before, but he doesn't hear us! He throws his backpack down shouting "I'm outta here!". My mind goes through so many different emotions and fears all at once, as I try to run after him to bring him back. "Oh my God, Susan! Everyone is watching! Once again you and Anthony have become the entertainment for the group. I want to run away and hide, but I can't! I need to hold it together! I need to be the "eye in the middle of the storm". This is not a little 3-year-old whose tantrums are expected as the norm. This is an 11-year-old boy who comes up to the shoulder of my 5'6" frame! They see right through me! They know that I'm a terrible mother. That I don't have a handle on my son! I can hear the screaming internal judgments coming from my little audience! "Why can't she control her kid! My God! He's acting like a baby! Where's the discipline in that family?".
I can't listen to that now. I've got to get ahold of Anthony and bring him back to the gate; back to his backpack he threw to the ground. I quickly tell him "Anthony, we will not be doing this today" (brilliant right?). "You will go back and pick up your backpack and get to your classroom, and we'll go to Barnes & Noble to find a book later".
I watch him slowly walk through the gate and up the walk. All the while realizing that it's my fault. I set him up for this meltdown by not making sure the book fair was still happening. If I'd check before we left the house this morning I could have avoided our "little show".
Then there's the pain and intense disappointment I know my son is feeling, and I collapse into myself as I walk back to the car.
So much for being a positive "magnet" today!
I call the school to warn them of his turmoil, and they assure me that they know all about it! He's already tantruming again in the classroom and needs to be removed to calm him down. They don't seem happy at all. "Perfect" I think to myself. "Now I've got them angry with me as well".
It's now 12:30 pm as I finish my thoughts here, and you know what I think?
Who gives a damn! Who cares what the rest of the world thinks? This is my SON and this is how he expresses himself. He does not worry about the outward appearances that we all get so caught up in. I can guarantee you he's not sitting at his desk right now thinking "boy I wonder what people are thinking of me. I'm so embarrassed." Nope! I'll tell you what he's thinking: He's thinking about Barnes & Noble! His main objective is to GET THAT BOOK!! His heart and mind are so pure. He doesn't put on any pretenses. He doesn't wear one face in public and then another, much different one at home. He is who he is. He is "perfectly Anthony". There is no guess work with him. You will always know right where you stand with him. No guess work involved.
He spends so much of his time trying to peer deeply into peoples eyes (literally getting close to their eyes to find the true mood of them). Why does he do this? Because the "normal" world wears so many different masks. We have masks for work. Masks for home. Masks for friends. Masks for acquaintances.
Anthony wears no mask. His honesty is brilliant and his heart is true. His expressions are strong and very clear to navigate.
Today he has been MY teacher. I will take off my many masks. I will walk exposed for the world to see me in all my fears and feelings of inadequacies. Today I will know my friends who are true. My friends who will not run and hide. Today I am purely me. Today my son will have no guess work around my feelings, and he will feel safe.