Every day the wonderful happens…

and I'm here to blog about it.

True Colors October 17, 2011

Filed under: mama of boys,Matthew — Elizabeth @ 2:55 PM

Today after a trip to the library, I surprised the boys with a trip to a local lake to go for a walk.

We got there and sat down for a snack of pretzel sticks before heading out on our walk.

{As a side note, we learned that ducks do not eat pretzel sticks–too crunchy, I’m thinking.  But we apologized profusely and promised to bring bread next time.}

Then we headed out on our walk.  Basically, there is a walking track around the lake and that was to be our course.

The boys began to run ahead and contrary to my more “stay close to me and calm down” anal tendencies, I let them run ahead.  It was a quiet day and they wouldn’t be running out of my sight.  The next thing I know, as I was admiring some landscaping, I hear a loud shriek.  The boys were already about 1/4 of the way around the lake and Isaac had apparently tripped and landed face down on the cement.

I broke into a run, and it is amazing the thoughts you can have in such a short time.

I hope he hasn’t broken his arm.  I wonder why he isn’t getting up.  I’m going to have to carry him all the way back to the car.  Oh no….and Matthew.  This could get really bad.

You see, Matthew has made progress over the last two years, but we are still very much entrenched in some anxiety/fear-related/emotional-type issues.  To put it mildly.  We can be walking as a family through a parking lot and there can be a 20-minute tantrum over whose hand he is going to hold.  At church, if the hallway is crowded, and I get out of his line of vision (bear in mind, he is holding Jason’s hand)–complete freakout.  If a stranger speaks to him, his hands immediately go into his mouth, he freezes, and stares at the floor or hides behind me.  These are the kinds of things we are navigating with him on a daily, hourly basis.  And it’s hard.

So as I ran to Isaac, knowing I would have to carry him back, knowing there were drinks and snacks to carry, knowing Matthew might very well begin to panic and refuse to move unless I carried him as well……that made me worry.  Cause I’m a tough chick, but I can’t be carrying 70 pounds of screaming children 1/4 of the way around a walking track.  Not gonna happen.

As I knelt down by Isaac, I noticed Matthew a few yards ahead fiddling with something on the ground.  He was muttering and I couldn’t figure out what he was doing.  I picked Isaac up, trying not to get blood on our clothes, and finally realized what Matthew was doing.  He had picked up Isaac’s water bottle and had set it upright on the cement.  He was saying, “I helping Isaac.  I help.”

I said, “Matthew, I wonder if you can be mama’s superhero?  Can you carry BOTH water bottles and this bag of pretzels?”.

He answered, “yes ma’am!  I a superhero!!”.

And he carried the two water bottles and a bag of pretzels, which is much more awkward than it sounds for a 4 year old with a weaker left arm and not the greatest balance.

The load slowed him down and he never once cried that I walked quickly ahead of him, because I told him I was going to the car for band aids.  Every once in a while, I would stop and call back to make sure he was okay and I would hear him chanting, “I strong.  I strong.”.

We made it to a picnic table where I set a shrieking Isaac down while I walked the rest of the way to the car for the first aid kit.  Matthew sat down calmly on the bench and emptied all of the mulch out of his sandal, without complaint.

Sometimes I can drive myself crazy with worry about Matthew.  About how he will navigate life.  About how we can help him with the overwhelming feelings he has.  There are days I wonder what kind of teenager, what kind of man he will grow up to be.

And then I see these glimpses–the true colors of who he really is, underneath all of the hurt and fear.

My hero.


16 Responses to “True Colors”

  1. deb jacobs Says:

    OH!!!! ohhhhhhhh xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  2. Jenny Says:

    I understand, on a different level, but I know.

    and you made me cry.

    and I wish we could go with you to the park.

    xo, jenny

  3. How touching! Matthew is my hero too! How is Isaac?

  4. hardingswing Says:

    Bless his great big heart! God answered a lot of prayers that day!

    How is Isaac doing now?

  5. What a sweet story! Definitely a superhero. I love the part about him repeating, “I strong,” as he walked. Too cute.

  6. Kimberly Says:

    Way to go, SuperMatthew!

  7. Yvonne Says:

    Matthew is a super hero – saying “I’m strong” and “help Isaac” – wow. It made me all teary! The depth of love children have for their siblings is amazing and wonderful. I hope Isaac heals quickly too.

  8. Tracy S Says:

    OH MY GOSH.. Sorry about Isaac. But wow. How wonderful of Matthew. Way to go little man. I have faith you will grow and be some lucky womans superhero one day!!! Keep being your mama’s for now.

  9. Beth Says:

    What a SUPERHERO…and yes, tears are flowing right now. 😉

  10. christine Says:

    Awww… I love this. My heart is all warm and fuzzy just reading about your wonderful boy.

  11. Melissa Says:

    That is a fabulous example of good parenting on your part by quickly figuring out what might work, and how wonderful for Matthew to have managed that situation so well!

  12. Jennifer Says:

    Oh, i’m crying at my desk! I hope Isaac is ok and how proud you must be of “superhero” Matthew! (that was excellent quick thinking by the way!) I know exactly what you are going through with Matthew – we’ve got it here with Michael -it’s BAD! But I’ve caught a few glimpses of his true colors as well…. gives me hope that everything will be ok! You are such a good mom – Matthew will be ok too!

  13. KJ Says:

    I LOVE it when they exceed our wildest expectations! That’s your future–he’s gonna get there.

  14. Lori Says:

    I truly loved reading this.

  15. Kelly Says:

    WHY DO YOU MAKE ME CRY AT WORK?!!! Oh man, when it *really* matters, the real Matthew shines through. What an awesome kiddo.

  16. claudia Says:

    Oh, this is BEAUTIFUL. Feeling pretty teary right now.

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