Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The tender feelings we try to hide

Yes this is a super old picture of Steven. But it is one of my favorites!

Sometimes I hurt, so deep inside,
I feel it robs me of my pride,
I need attention, I need love
I need to be special, like a dove,
Please, listen, carefully, to what I say,
Help me move past yesterday;

Excerpt from Little Children Hurt Deep Inside by Mary E. Coe

Steven surprised me this morning. He was angry and when he is angry he either buries it and tries to ignore it or he takes it out on another family member. This morning, he took it out on Bekkah. He wasn't deliberately trying to be naughty. He just didn't know how to safely express his hurt and frustration. And, in our crazy, busy family; sometimes it's difficult to notice when someone may need some extra attention or when someone is hurting. Yesterday it was Steven.
Evidently, he's been getting into it with his friends from school.  In fact, he got into it with two of his best buddies. Someone told him that one of his friends said they thought he was on drugs because he hasn't been all that talkative lately. Then, during recess he was playing soccer. Well, soccer got physical. He got shoved, and he shoved back and his friend called him a "homo." I know there are 2 sides to every story but he was genuinely upset by these events.
Steven may seem rather tough. Often it seems like he doesn't pay attention to what is said. He shields his emotions. He keeps his innermost thoughts and feelings rather close. Very rarely does he share with stuff with us. And only when it gets too much, does it spill out - usually in the form of an inappropriate outburst and then we find out what is going on and can address the problem.
Seldom have I seen Steven so upset as I did this morning. He was sobbing and crying; his whole body was heaving with emotion. I sat on the stairs as the chaos of the morning swirled around us and held and soothed him. Initially, he didn't want to discuss it. He finally spilled his guts. I told him I didn't want him to go to school today. I instinctively knew that he needed some down time, time with me without all the kids around, time to be still.
So, we've had our day. We did nothing special. We hung around the house. He watched some television, we bought the match boxes he needs for his science experiment tomorrow, and he miraculously got the Wii to work (it has been acting up intermittently). He looks a lot more relaxed and peaceful. We talked about how boys trash talk and how they generally don't always mean what they say in the heat of the moment. 
I'm grateful that he felt comfortable enough to share his feelings with me. I'm glad we could have this day together. I love him.

No comments: