About a week ago Griffin and I were at the “Y” to go to for a swim. The “Y” is like a second home to us and because of this Griffin feels very comfortable there.
But on this day there were some flies in the family locker room which started causing Griffin great distress. Griffin loves bugs and has even had large snakes placed around his neck.
But flies are a whole other story. It’s the unpredictability of when and where they’ll fly by that stresses Griffin out. So seeing two of them where we normally don’t made it very difficult for Griffin.
He wasn’t having it and wouldn’t get ready to go into the pool area.
“Mom, kill them!” he kept repeating. All I wanted to do was get in the pool. Momma didn’t have time for this drama!
“Just hurry up and get in the pool. They won’t bother you there” I reassured him.
I could feel myself getting impatient with him. I try to honor Griffin’s anxiety, especially since I also have anxiety but on this day it was a challenge.
In the past creating a story around whatever is bothering Griffin has helped him. For example when it comes to encountering smokers we say that they’re his great-grandparents, who were also smokers. We say that it’s just them coming to say “hello.”
“Give the flies names” I suggested. It helped and before we knew it we were in the pool.
As I thought back on the day I couldn’t help but feel like I could have been more patient with Griffin, this is a common theme. I also feel like I could do better as a mom.
A day later we were back at the “Y.” I was waiting for Griffin in the lobby when I struck up a conversation with another mom.
We soon realized that she had been in the locker room at the same time as the great fly debacle of 2018 😉
I expressed how I felt like I could have been more patient. That having a child with special needs makes me feel like I can never make mistakes and when I do, which is often, I feel like I’ve let him down.
We continued to talk about motherhood. It was just as she was about to leave that she told me she thought I had been very patient with Griffin that day in the locker room.
I didn’t realize how much I needed an outsider to tell me that until she did.
I probably will always feel like I could be doing more for Griffin, that I could show him more patience in any given situation. But I know that every parent feels that way no matter who their child is and that makes me feel less alone. Knowing this also helps me be kinder and more patient with myself.