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.