Wednesday, July 13, 2011

We All Face It Alone

Roo woke up this morning complaining of a stomach ache and wouldn’t eat.

I gave her medicine, I tried crackers, toast, juice... she just nibbled.

She stayed in her pajamas and wouldn’t get dressed.

She stayed home from Art Camp yesterday complaining that she was sick and she does have a cold or allergies, but no fever.

I kept encouraging her to do one thing at a time and I got in the shower.

While I was in there, she came and stood next to the shower curtain.

“I miss you when I’m at art camp,” she said in a small voice.

I pulled the shower curtain aside.

“Is this what your stomach ache and sickness is really about, Roo?” I asked. “Are you nervous about art camp?”

She nodded.

“Is it too new? Is it that you don’t know anyone there?”

She nodded again and started to cry.

She went for a full day on Monday and seemed animated and excited by her time there, but my Roo has a hard time adjusting to new places and new people. She's just as shy as can be until she feels safe and comfortable.

When I got out of the shower we talked about bravery, but Roo cried all the way to art camp.

She kept trying to wipe away the tears and get her game face on, but she was scared and nervous.

I thought maybe she’d grown out of this, but I suppose not. I felt ashamed not to have understood what she was feeling when she stayed home yesterday.

Am I too distracted?

I talked to the art camp director about Roo and she promised that she would help her make a special, new friend.

Roo fell on me crying one last time, kissed me, wiped her tears and walked into the classroom with the camp director.

I looked back at her as I left, but she was blurry.

I cried all the way to the office.


Colleen said...

Oh, my heart just breaks for poor Roo. I feel like this is how my Ana will be. At 3 years old new faces and places make her anxious. My 6 year old, Zoe though??? She is a social butterfly like no other. Everyone she meets is her friend. Learning to deal with both personalities has been quite the test.

Anonymous said...

Now that breaks my heart. . .She will have friends soon.

Kara said...

Change is so hard for them. Good for Roo for being brave enough to go it alone to find a special friend.

Anonymous said...

Where have you been? I miss your posts. Are you posting somewhere else or something? I ask because I see that you're going to be involved in a blogging conference coming soon and I didn't even think you were a blogger anymore?

Post more often, please!

HeyJK said...

@Anonymous - I took a job in social media for a nonprofit. So I work on blogs, etc. all day and don't find a ton of time for the personal blog anymore. :(

Amie aka MammaLoves said...

ugh what a kick in the gut

Angela said...

Miss your posts! Poor Roo. I hope when you pick her up today you find she had a great day with new friends. Hope the Mayor is doing well too.

Virtualsprite said...

Ugh... I've been there. I remember one sports camp where my son just fought me all the way there and all the way in. I dumped him there and walked away, feeling absolutely terrible. I went back 15 minutes later, just to see... and there he was. Laughing, playing and chatting up friends like he was the social butterfly of the world. It's amazing.

matt said...

I love that she worked up the nerve to be honest with you, though - "I miss you when I’m at art camp."

Jenifer said...

How hard for both of huge insight. These are the moments no one tells you about and you are never prepared for...even my outgoing daughter feels the same way sometimes. We all do. How good that Roo at her young age can put it all into words, knowing her wonderful Mom would understand.

Sayre said...

Aw... My boy is 12 now and next week he's going to sleep away camp for a week. It's his first time. And My first time. Somehow, I don't think that part ever gets easier.

sayresmom said...

I am over 70, and I can still remember how it felt to be in a new situation with new people to face--terrifying for a shy girl. My insecurity lasted until 5th grade, when my parents finally "got" why I was sick all the time and moved me to a special experimental school, where I felt accepted. I blossomed.

I've been reading about Roo since she was a baby, and I know her current insecurity is temporary. If there was ever a kid with the "right stuff", Roo is the one. It sounds like you are accepting and understanding, which is what she needs. She will be fine. Keep up the good work.

Introvertster said...

I was just like that as a kid and I think my kiddo is following in my footsteps. The difference is that Roo was able to tell you why she was feeling anxious (my mom is very much a stiff upper lip type, so I had trouble telling her what was wrong). Speaking from experience, she's going to be fine and you've helped her learn how to make the transition a tiny bit easier.

WILLIAM said...

I feel so bad for Roo.

Amanda said...

What a title, what a story. Every bit was achingly familiar. Funny how one side of the equation can seem so cruel and the other side is a certifiable triumph.

heidig said...

Ahhhh, I had a little one just like Roo. She's now 18 years old and a sophomore in college. She got over her shyness and she's a social butterfly now and loves living away from home (much to my relief AND dismay!). Roo will do fine with you by her side. You did the right thing.

Merrily Down the Stream said...

Poor little peanut. {{{HUGS}}}

All Adither said...

Aw. It sounds like you handled it as well as possible. Those times just crush your heart, though.

jeanie said...

Oh my big girl still has her moments like that - heck, I do too!!

One thing I used to tell her was that I used to visualise all that stress in your stomach like a big bouncy yoga ball and to use it as a strength to push against when feeling nervous.

Good to "see" you again.