Why does he not feel well?
Why is she really angry?
What is happening that they act like that?
What's going on, Mom?
The questions come all the time. So, wrapped all around his gift of incredible empathy is anxiety of unknowns and icky things. Fear. Used to be, I'd go to volunteer at his school, and I couldn't let him see me, or we would just have to go home. Poor child lost himself because fear took over his little world. Again, his heart bumping mine and mine just about breaking for his fear. Then, over time, with help, he grew up enough to cope and walk around and feel secure in himself. There were lots of ways he figured out coping. He sucks in fresh air. He gained confidence through sports. But the secret cure? A little rock. He carries it in his pocket, and every time he touches it, he reminds himself Jesus is with him. He recognizes he is not alone. Not going through the day all by himself. Sounds cheesy to some, a nine year old holding onto a rock to remind himself Jesus is with him. But if you saw it, you'd be hard pressed to poopoo it. The rock, Jesus, well, it works.
So today, at my meeting with the guidance counselor (She has the best big southern accent a girl can have), I share our history. I explain about the panic attacks in second grade and the tears in third and the apprehension with field trips. And she explains that the reason she could just get to me this week is because she has been meeting with parents constantly for the past five days that have also been sharing about their child's anxiety. Lots of kids walking around terrified every day that something might show up in their world that they cannot handle. Fear ruling their day. I explain my son is stronger now, and that he should be okay. She told me about a third grader that hasn't survived a full day yet. The girl's mother just simply cannot be seen or the daughter has to go home. And I laughed, understanding a little too well. Because I have been that mother, and I know what it's like being her.
I want so much to go dump a bunch of Jesus rocks on that guidance counselor's desk and ask her to share our secret. It's a public school, but really. Jesus isn't too concerned about that.
The Lord is my helper; I will not fear;
what can man do to me?
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.
II Timothy 1:7