Sunday, June 08, 2008

Little Things

Yesterday, we took Isaac to a playground, and I watched as kids half his age blew past him on the equipment, giggling and running and leaping and climbing and swinging one-armed from bars and falling down and getting right back up again, all while my own son shuffled hesitantly up stairs and over bridges, clinging to railings, edging along walls, getting pushed aside as he failed repeatedly to move quickly enough to get out of someone else's way. Obviously overwhelmed by the heights, by the strange textures under his feet, by the bright colors and the rushing bodies and the noise. Afraid to climb the ladders there, afraid to go down the slide.

He was so determined to stay there, among the other children, despite his obvious fear and discomfort, despite his not fitting in. But finally after several minutes of halting exploration, he broke down and cried for me to come get him off a high ledge, because he was too scared to go back down the stairs he had climbed up to get there. I went up to the ledge, but I wouldn't carry him down. I made him walk down the stairs, holding my hand. He cried the whole way down, convinced he would fall.

I was feeling pretty beaten by Sensory Integration Disorder, yesterday.

But today, Isaac rode a pony for the first time. We've tried a number of times before now to get him to go on a pony ride, but he's always been absolutely terrified at the prospect.

Today I could tell he was scared, but he did it anyway. Under beating, bright sunlight, in a brisk, hot wind, surrounded by buzzing bugs and chattering children, he let a strange person put a strange, heavy helmet on his head.

"I won't fall, right, Mommy?" he asked.

"Of course not," I answered.

And he sat straight up in a saddle, and rode a wobbly little Shetland around a yard. Without a single complaint.

I was so proud of him.

Maybe we'll try the slide again on Tuesday.


Anonymous said...

I might not have had SID, but I was definitely a fearful child, scared to try anything new. . . scared of making a fool of myself. . . scared of not having my mom rightbymyside. . . scared of so many things. So reading this, I too am proud of Isaac. . . he did us well.

Ruth Dynamite said...

One step at a time. What a brave little guy!

Carmen said...

SID therapy is about making them do the things that they don't want to do, the things that scare them and make them insecure, all the while being there for them as security.

We spent the first six months in therapy with my daughter screaming her way through each and every session. And then, one day, it clicked.

Keep on keeping on.

Carmen, Mom to the Screaming Masses

Anonymous said...

Baby steps, man. Go Isaac!

Zookeeper said...

Good for him! I'm sure you'll have many more stories like this one to share. I hope you and Isaac have a fun summer!

Lisa said...

Yeay for Issac! Its the little victories that mean so much. It is amazing, what a difference a year makes. Every year he'll get braver and be willing to take on more.

Anonymous said...

Go Issac!

Debbie said...

i'm so proud of him, and of you.

and also teary.

jeez. way to take the sneak-attack route on the getting-me-to-cry angle.