Saturday, April 25, 2009

Gut Wrenching

So, Big Kid and I had a great day. We went to the kid's orchestra program, out to lunch, and to a friend's birthday party.

The birthday party was at some crap-ass "amusement" park (I put amusement in quotes because it's not very amusing at all) with shitty rides. One of the rides was a row of seats that they'd lift into the air and then drop, over and over again.

It didn't look like fun to me at all, but Big Kid's friends were going on it and he was excited to go on it too.

The first drop he turned gray. His face was so scared. Every time the chairs fell his legs would shake in terror. When it ended he was shaken and quiet. A friend of his (who didn't go on the ride because he was scared) laughed and said it was funny he was so scared (it was kind of funny, in a helpless, heartbreaking kind of way). I pointed out to the friend that at least Big Kid tried it and I told him he did great.

It was time to leave the party (the SUCKIEST party EVER, for a number of reasons) and when we got in the car, Big Kid said, "Next time, I'm gonna try to be brave. I dest wanna be brave."

"What?? You were brave! It was brave to even go on that scary looking ride!"

"I didn't feel very brave," he said in a quiet voice.

"Well, you felt scared once you got going. The ride is made to make you feel scared. That's fun for some people, maybe it's not your way to have fun. You were brave to try it though."

"I didn't feel very brave," he said again, in the same quiet voice.

I changed the subject to the fun parts of our day, but I could tell he was still thinking about it. As we got out of the car, I saw that he looked sad and I asked what was up.

"I feel...asamed. 'Bout dat ride," he said in a small, hesitant voice.

"Ashamed?? Did you say ashamed?? NO! No, no, no. That's so silly. You didn't cry, or pee your pants, or throw up. You were brave!"

"I felt like I was gonna frow up. I didn't feel brave."

"You were brave! You were so, so, so brave. Those rides make everyone feel like they're going to throw up. That's what they're designed to do! It was awesome that you tried it. You don't have to like it, you don't have to do it again. Lots of people don't like that sort of thing. I wouldn't like that."

I then promised that I'd find a way to get him violin lessons and a child-sized violin, hoping to bring back the earlier magic of the day. (I'm not so sure how I will swing this, but I was in a panic at the time)

Mr. Ashley took the boys to the monster truck show tonight, and I'm still sitting here heartbroken over his reaction to the ride. Ashamed? Oh, goodness. He is just so sensitive and sweet, I live in constant terror that the world will chew him up and spit him out one day.

22 comments:

Claire, Sam, and Olive said...

My daughter is only 2, but so similar. I worry about her every day because she is just SO sensitive. She is scared of a multitude of things - microphones (on or off) being one of them. She uses this sad self talk after dealing with these scary things - "...just a microphone. No biggie 'bout that". But it obviously IS a big deal to her, and she talks through it about 100 times before moving on. I hear ya. Poor, sweet, lovely kiddos.

Claire

Holly in Tampa said...

Awww, that is so sweet and sad at the same time. I'm sure you are giving him lots of hugs. He's so sweet!

~Gretchen~ said...

tell him you should only be ashamed of the stuff that you wanted to do and never tried or did and weren't supposed to.


my brother was 4 when he started violin. they make 1/32 and 1/16 size real violins. find a Suzuki method teacher--that approach will really appeal to his methodical nature

Anonymous said...

My goodness. You tell Big Kid that being brave isn't not being scared, it's about doing something even though you're scared. (He's braver than me- I've been on a ride like that ONCE, and Never Again.)
And then give him a hug from me, because this post? Made me cry. What a great guy.
Korin

Ashley said...

Oh Claire, that is so sweet and sad. They do sound a lot alike. He does a lot of self-talking too, and you can just read him like a book.

Gretchen, I should've known to ask you about the music stuff. Today at the Phil some Suzuki-trained kids played afterwards and he was amazed at their little violins and how young some of them were.

I've chosen a future bride for him, she's 6 and plays the violin and has the posh spice haircut, it would be easier to stalk her if we could do lessons with the same people, but I bet it would all cost a fortune. I am going to look into it though, he needs to do something with all of that brain and interest.

Holly, he gets lots and lots of hugs. He's just so cute it kills me.

Renee said...

I want to hug him right now. This post made my heart flutter and ache and sing too. The world needs more sweet souls like Big Kid.

-The Renee

Maggie said...

Aw! That is so sad. Poor little guy. That brought tears to my eyes reading it.

peggy said...

Maybe you could work on a drawing about the scary ride. Then have him draw himself next to it wearing a crown. He's king of the scary ride. And since he's a writer, a little story with a happy ending? At least he's not going to be an adrenalin junky.

Joy said...

He is so sweet

I too have one of those boys school is so hard on ME. He is such a sweet boy that when I told his teacher he may have to ride the bus in the afternoon she was scared for him and said he is too sweet.

It hurts me to see him worried to do things his friends love he is a timid guy that is trying to come out of his shell.

I am pretty sure I know the ride you are talking about and I am pretty sure he wouldn't ride it:) so hats off to BK for getting on it.

denise said...

ashley,

there are a lot of reasons i like your blog, but my favorite is because you RESPOND to your reader's comments! i appreciate the fact that you take the time to read what we have to say in response to your hilarious (and sometimes heartwrenching) posts. *muawh* give one to big kid for me too!

denise

Beck said...

My eldest is only 2 1/2 but he has a very sensitive side and I am always worrying for him ): It's hard to be a Mama sometimes huh? Sounds like you handled it exactly lke I would though!

Mama Kat said...

I feel your pain. Maile is only five and just the other day she said she doesn't like herself and that she has a moustache and that she's icky.

With each work my heart crumbled a little. I don't want to hear my beautiful girl talking like that.

She's perfect.

Jess said...

I think, as mom's, when our kids feel something, we feel it, too.

I agree, being brave isn't that you didn't do anything that scared you. It means that you did do things that scared you, and you did them anyway. Mean, mean little boy for making him feel ashamed.

Ashley said...

On the way home, he did ask for my day planner and a pen so that he could draw a picture. The picture was of him on the ride and he had drawn a smile, but then drawn a frown over it. :-(

Debbie, actually I sort of suck at responding to comments. You have to catch me at the right time. A lot of times (and I mean A LOT) I'll read a comment right before bed or while I'm too busy to respond and I'll have a response and mean to comment but then just forget. I'm flaky like that.

Kat, that kills me about Maile. Please don't pull a Madonna, if your child is ever in need of waxing/bleaching intervention, it's your duty as a mother to get it done. It's so sad and weird how self-aware little girls these days seem to be.

Melodie said...

Sarah started taking violin in 6th grade at school. We rented her violin for the first year (I think she only had a 3/4 size then) for about $25 a month (it was a used rental). In 7th grade, we rented a full-size new violin for $35 a month. We ended up buying the violin last summer when she said she wanted to stick with it. You can also check on eBay for deals - my dad bought my brother's clarinet really cheap on eBay.

As for the lessons, we only signed Sarah up for lessons during the summer to keep her skills progressing. At the place we went to, they charge $17 per 30 minute lesson, or $30 per hour lesson.

mommy dearest said...

Poor Big Kid! Did you feel the fear as you watched him on the ride? My DD's first "ride" was that stupid dragon that goes around in a circle and she was 3. She enjoyed it until it went around the second corner. I watched her get dizzy and start to lose it. I was the psycho mom begging the guy to shut the ride off so she could get off. It went on for 5 freaking minutes! She hasn't been on another ride since.

Emmy said...

I'm going through the same things with my oldest. My youngest is fearless, nothing gets to him. You can joke around with him, and he doesn't care. But, if you say the wrong thing to my oldest you can crush his spirit in a second. It's so hard because I'm such a fearful person and I'm trying so hard to make sure they don't end up with all of my "stuff".

Mitch said...

I love the range of culture the Big Kid gets in one day - the Phil, scary rides, and Monster Trucks. That kid is exposed to so much!

But that story was heart breaking. So sweet! Where were you? Cuz, I want to make sure I don't take Ray and Chay there. Ever.

Ashley said...

Awww, poor BK. I feel for him. I don't like those feelings either. It's hard when they start getting those complex emotions like embarrasment and being ashamed.

Big hugs to BK!

Piece o' Coconut Cake said...

Please explain to him that the definition of brave IS trying new and different things. That's how one decides whether or not one likes it (food, rides, French classes, etc.). He's VERY brave for getting on the ride without knowing what it felt like. Now he knows that he doesn't like that ride.

Migraine Mom said...

Oh Ashley he sounds so much like my oldest. It breaks my heart sometimes how sensitive he is. Tell him I'm proud of him for being scared and doing it anyway...I think he's brave!

Anonymous said...

the world WILL chew your child up and spit him out, over and over. (b/c this world can be a suck ass place for ghandi-like souls)...and he will be stronger for it and in turn, eventually, the world will be a better place for it ...b/c that child you have has gifts to give this world that most children do not. hold tight to his sensitivity. you are doing a fantastic job making home be a safe place for him to be himself. i guarantee you he will grow to do great things in this world.