Saturday, January 14, 2012

Day 830

Image borrowed from Wikipedia


Last night Darby and I had a life defining moment.  On the face of it, it wasn't overly major, but underneath it will be forever etched in my brain as one of those moments suspended in time.

As you know my boy just had a birthday.  In the last 6 months he has gone through a huge growth spurt in mind and in body, and the biggest bit to grow has been his resilience.  Self worth and resilience has not come naturally to our boy, so lots of work has been done on helping him believe in his own power.  Last night I saw evidence that it is working ....

We are back at the coast and we went to the fair (as we do every year).  It was very exciting to discover that he is now big enough to ride all the rides. Woo hoo!! So the first thing he did was to test out a few of the bigger rides (without mum by his side).  The next thing he did was try the Dodgems.  Now he has ridden shot-gun a few times in the past, plus he got to ride solo on Thursday at his birthday party (which was held at a gaming arcade) but that solo trip was on a closed circuit with the only other cars to dodge being driven by friends and family.  To ride solo at the fair was a huge feat given the dodgems floor was filled with adults and kids from all walks of life (and let me tell you, there were many out there who looked a bit rough around the edges).

So there he is driving his own car.  He was doing beautifully until he got a particularly hard knock that spun him around and jammed him into the side wall. It was still ok though, he was working on getting himself free.  But in the meantime a few cars started to get wedged around him and before he knew it he was completely stuck with other cars and the wall jamming him from the back and both sides. He was facing in the wrong direction.  I could see him start to panic a little.  Then a car being driven by a large bulky adult male came flying around the corner at full speed and hit him head on.  Given he was already wedged there was no where for his car to move so the impact jarred him completely and threw his little body upwards and forwards.  I was watching a crash test dummy in slow motion.  I could see the shock and fear on his face. The seat belt ripped at his stomach/ribs and his head slammed onto the steering wheel.  The entire crowd gasped. I thought his ribs might be broken.  It was high impact. His face registered pain (and possibly embarrassment) and with one panicked look in my direction he dissolved into tears.

I was at the fence in an instant and I reached towards him.  His eyes were saying "help me Mummy" and I knew he wanted out.  The tears were flowing.  Then humiliation started to appear and I saw him blanch.  Everyone is looking at me! Why would this man be so mean? I can't move.  I am stuck.  I am hurting.  I want this to end.

I was ready to climb onto the dodgems floor and get him out, but at the same time I didn't want to embarrass him further.  It was all happening in slow motion but in fact it was mere seconds. He tried to wipe away his tears but they continued to flow.  I climbed the fence.  It's time to get him off. Just then a carnival bloke jumped on the back of his car and took control, turning Darby's car and getting him back out among the other drivers.  I pulled back and let him go. His cousins and sister drove past him asking if he was ok and giving him smiles of reassurance. I realised that I needed to do the same.  So each time he drove past I smiled and gave him a thumbs up.  He continue driving, trying his best to be strong, and his tears finally disappeared just before the ride ended.

I'm not sure why this incident had such an impact on me.  As I said, on the face of it it wasn't a major thing on its own.  Just a ride on the dodgems. But for some reason it is deeply embedded in my brain - the anguish and pleading in his little eyes, combined with his need to move forward and push through.

Life is like a ride on the dodgems and Darby proved to himself that if you get side swiped you don't have to run. You can just turn your car slightly and get back on course. As I said, my little boy has gone through a growth spurt, in mind and in body.  And I am having to let him grow no matter how much I just want to take him in my arms and cuddle him forever.

PS:  After the ride we walked away and I told him how brave he was and how clever he was at driving.  Then when we were far enough away from the dodgem crowd I took him in my arms and we hugged.  

2 comments :

  1. Aww. Good for you guys. Well done Mum & Darby

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  2. " Life is mostly froth and bubble two things stand like stone Kindness in anothers trouble and courage in your own" love this quote can't remember where I got it from. I can sure relate to those feelings of being out of your comfort zone, but keep going anyway .I am just starting a new job and it will be a huge learning curve and I am in my mid forties I thought I would be more confident. Life is about perserverance sometimes just keep on going one foot after another we all get there in the end. Good job guys.

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