Children are the keepers of our hearts, aren't they?
Yes, they're also the little mites that cause us the most weariness and frustration while in the next moment causing our smiles to beam and hearts to swell.
This evening the boys and I attended my nieces 17th birthday celebration. The fact that Shiny is 17 at all blows my mind. I remember very well being 17....it feels like yesterday. I'm old aren't I?
Anyway, prior to birthday parties the boys and I always discuss what to expect, how to act, etc. And tonight was no different. (Except I left the "earmuffs" at home by accident.) Group singing is one of those things that hurts W's ears beyond compare. The sensory pain is rampant and strong when a lot of people are singing, which obviously happens at birthday parties.
Now, did I ever think that at the end of Grace, there would be a lot of loud noise to hurt this little one's ears? Never. It did not cross my thoughtless mind. For some reason there was some cheering and laughing.....
...and I saw my little man melt.
I saw him sit with his elbows on the tables, his hands tightly covering his ears, his lip tremble and eyes fill with tears as he tried so hard not to cry. I scooted around the table to comfort him immediately, while telling W, "It's okay, It's okay" but I was too late. The damage was done and rather than cry in front of everyone, he took off. Ran out the front door and was going home to get his ear muffs, the tears streaming down his little face.
Eventually I convinced him to come in the house, go the basement where it was quiet and we would all leave, the three of us. I was barely keeping it together when W agreed for me to get his earmuffs. So off I went home (it's only 3k away...no biggie...) and sobbed the whole drive. It just broke my heart! To see him hurting and fighting so hard to keep it together....to want to escape so badly....to hurt so deeply....it hurts. I just wish and wish and wish that W didn't have these struggles and could enjoy a birthday party like most other kids....singing and eating cake too.
When we left the party, there were more tears because W wanted cake and doesn't ever get it! (Thankfully, my sister is thoughtful and did not present cake until we had left.)
Oh, if only one day, life in general will be a little easier for my boy, W. Does a parent ever ask for anything more? Really ask for more? Not really. No.
Until then, we'll keep moving forward....and sharing a tear or two.