The Journey - Fireworks 2003

I’ve always loved fireworks. Move to New England – dream come true. Fireworks like you can’t imagine – sumptuous, glorious.

2002 – his first fireworks. The test shot, launched to verify wind direction and speed, was enough to send him to the floor of the car, quivering, screaming, hiding in terror under his “blankie”. Make note to self – don’t park where you can get blocked in by other cars.

2003 – a year older, probably not as sensitive this year, friends tell me. Doctor says expose him to new experiences – don’t shelter him. Besides, they all say, many children are extremely sensitive, but they outgrow it.

So You Must Choose…........

1. Continue picnic/fireworks tradition. Don’t sacrifice the family tradition. Don’t exchange 3 lives for 1. His difficult behaviors are becoming overwhelming in all areas of life. It isn’t just fireworks.

2. Change. Stop trying to keep your life the same. Divide up. Two of you stay home. Two of you go. Why should everyone be secluded, isolated, removed from the activities we’ve always loved – the fairs, barbecues, visits to the beach, and camping on weekends. “We can alternate”, we say – one parent this weekend, another next.

If the fireworks were the only issue, the decision would be easy. There would be no hesitation. Skip ‘em.

But, it isn’t just the fireworks – it is everything. We can’t seem to go anywhere without his difficult behavior.

Resolved – a family pact – we’ve determined we can weather this storm, no matter his grumpy, fussy, whiney, gagging on food, ripping-out-his-own-flesh, nothing-ever-quieting-settling-him behavior, as long as we three can be together because, after all, that counts for something….doesn’t it?

Parenting “normally” developing children reaps enough “should have”, “could have” guilt. But to look at the photo of his fear…............self-loathing annihilates further articulation.

This is a classic scenario of why families become isolated, hermits…......


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