Finding the Line

I sometimes wonder where the line is. When is too much, enough? When do I stand up and call it quits? If I do, am I stopping something that has potential? I never know, and I hardly ever say no to things. Especially in the name of help. For one of the kids. Especially Josh. He has gone through so much these past few years, that saying no to something that could help him, just wasn’t possible. And as a result he has gone to every bit of therapy that has been suggested. Some has helped, some hasn’t. Some have seemed like the biggest waste of time, and some simply close the door on his face. Its how things are. And while we keep looking and hoping for something, I have to wonder…when. When is enough, enough?

When does “Just being a kid” come into play? When does he get to be a seven year old boy? I get that he might not be the same as every other seven year old. I get that he has things he needs help with and I get that he might be treated differently because he is different. And for the most part, I am ok with this. For the most part, I try to help him around it. We draw the line at certain things, and allow other things to go unnoticed. It’s a guessing game most of the time, wondering when an action was related to something and when he really didn’t know better.  Im not saying we should excuse something he did was wrong, but what ever happened to treating him like a boy?

Ever since the incident at school a few weeks ago, he has been followed around by a woman I personally, dislike. Her know it all attitude has rubbed me wrong from day one, and from past experience, she had nothing to offer Josh because he doesn’t work the way the books say he should, and she is a strict book follower. When she first invited herself to our house, I was worried. The week before I panicked. Her attitude was one that she would be evaluating me, our house, and the situation he is in – one that she obviously doesn’t agree with. She has made it clear more than once that she thinks I might be part of the problem. Asking questions directly related to my relationship with Josh, how I deal with his “behavior issues at home” and what kind of discipline tactics I take.

The night before she came, I cleaned the house top to bottom. I scrubbed the floors, cleaned the fridge, I even emptied the trash and made sure there was plenty of food in the cupboards…and then I got mad. If she was really coming to do what she said – to evaluate Josh in his home setting – then I shouldn’t be worried about appearance. I wasn’t suppose to be preparing for a HOME evaluation. The state hadn’t hired her to make sure the living conditions were up to par. Yet there I was – scrubbing the floors at midnight. Because I worried that she was coming to evaluate much more than Joshs behavior.

Ever since meeting her, from what I have seen, she hasn’t been the least bit interesting in Josh, instead she has asked me personal questions about him. All the information is there. In his files. Stuff I don’t WANT to relive. As far as I know, professionals should be able to read. And she held the answers in her hands. But instead she was interested in MY version of “What happened” and questioned if I had ever abused him.

Thursday morning I canceled the appointment.

Im all for getting help for him, but I have wondered since the beginning if this was just foolish seven year old behavior. How much of what happened – really warranted all of this? Im upset with myself, for letting things go this far – over this. Im not saying what he did was right, but if any other kid did this – they would have been told NOT to do that, maybe taken to the principals office, or possibly told to apologize. I know that Josh isn’t like every other kid, but what if? What if he was just playing? What if every action of his isn’t directly related to what happened, but instead just him being a kid. Wrestling. Playing. Fighting. Acting out. Not ever seven year old is a saint with angel wings. And that is one things that Josh is no exception to.

Hes rough. Hes boy. He wrestles. He fights.

And some of it, is just because he is a boy.

Im not saying that what he did was right, Im simply saying Im not willing to risk loosing him, over the wrong person getting involved again.

Underneath all that, under the shy face, the hidden smiles, and the scared attitudes…hes a boy. Wanting to come out. Wanting to play. Wanting to act like a seven year old boy – and while he might not know HOW to be that, hes trying. I know hes trying, because I see him every day. I see him struggle, and I see him get scared, I see him cry, and beg for him to just tell me whats wrong. I see him get frustrated, I see him back away, I see the fear in his eyes.

But I also see the little boy in there. I see him aiming to please, I see him trying. I see him wanting. I see him smiling. I see him. Day in and day out. And that isn’t something Im willing to give up again. No matter what it is in the name of.

Its a thin line – trying understand if one action warrants more therapy, or if he is just acting out.  Its hard to know where to draw the line, where to get him help, and how to help him.  I dont claim to have it figured out, but one thing I do know is that Im not letting go again.

Im holding him tight. Attitude and all.


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