I had so much to say that day last week when Cameron decided to “go for a walk” but we all needed time to process what had happened and why.
We touched briefly on it in our therapy session last night and it actually helped me make sense of it all.
Every afternoon I fetch the kids from school – 4/5 afternoons I am waiting at the gate for them. The other day I may be a few minutes late and they end up walking to the car. But I am ALWAYS there.
On the way home we chat about their day – I can see when they walk to the car if they had a good day or a bad day and we talk a lot about what happened. Who got shouted at, who fell, who was naughty, who they played with etc etc. We TALK! Cameron has had a rough time with this class – from the sounds of things the collective class is a bit of a handful so they are kept in a lot, teachers shout a lot and he doesn’t enjoy this but it is a part of life and he deals with it.
When get home and we do homework. I sit with them and help them. Some afternoons I will have my laptop out and just supervise what’s going one – I mean they are 8 and 10 and the homework isn’t like Grade 1 where I need to still be very hands on. But I am THERE.
I help them find pictures for projects and print out information. I collect boxes and wobbly eyes for robot projects. I organise Mad Hatter outfits. I am at their sports matches. I bake cup cakes for Cake and Candy.
I am involved. I do the best I can with what I have.
And yet my kid still ran away! He STILL made a stupid decision.
Obviously I am not the perfect parent and our house is far from the Brady Bunch with calm, serene family scenes and fresh bread baking in the oven.
I mess up a lot. I don’t always pay attention. I get annoyed a lot and I shout and I want to be left alone.
I obviously felt hugely responsible for what happened that day. I felt like I had dropped the ball. I had messed up. I hadn’t paid him enough attention. I hadn’t seen the signs – the list goes on and one.
As the parent I am ultimately responsible for what happened that day and it is my responsibility to fix it and make sure it doesn’t happen again and the issues are addressed BUT was it my fault? Am I a bad parent? Am I dooming my child to a life of dysfunction and counselling.
I really don’t think so!
I just think we hit a bump in the road and Cameron choose the wrong path.
We are, as a family, working towards figuring out where the gaps are and things will get better but I suspect there may be bad days again.
I can say though that it was the most terrifying experience I have had as a parent so far!