Yesterday’s euphoric moment of starlight and peace slowly petered out as we neared bed time. We had a long time out session in which Simeon screamed and yelled and pointed fingers at Leo and I. During our parent huddle later, we both had the same thought during all the drama: “This is an angry boy, even if he doesn’t know he’s angry or why, he just needs to get this out of him and our job is to let him…” So that’s the choice we both made independently. We sat in front of him, not saying a word while he babbled nonsense pointing fingers, stomping his foot, shaking his head. We just took it. We listened and we prayed. We let him be angry, ’cause if my mom chose to sell her self for a dime and left me to fend for my two year old self, I would be angry too. Nothing would make me feel better than to get it all out, so we let him get it all out. Then he was done. We still had some timeout battle left, but all of us were feeling better after that.
This morning Leo left early for church and Simeon and I came to head again. He was standing on a stool leaning over the stove (ummm… no), so when he didn’t obey after a 3 count, he went to time out where he fought and screamed and kicked and threw his head back and wrestled. Then I let go. I sat in front of him and held out my hands and told him that I know he feels angry and that he can do whatever he wants to do. I told him that it was ok to be angry for a minute. He half-heartedly slapped my hand, then sat back tired. He doesn’t want to hurt me, he doesn’t want to be angry. He doesn’t know how to express himself and he doesn’t know that we will love him no matter what he feels or how he acts. I told him that I loved him. That hitting was wrong and that he just needed to obey. We had a minute and then it was done.
I know that seems like a lot of feeling and thinking for a three year old, but I believe that Leo and I were given wisdom in this. We’re watching this boy change before our eyes. His coping skills are very different than they were to two months ago and his self expressions are changing too. And We both feel that it’s OK. If we can help him to figure out how to deal with his anger, his fear and even his joy, then his life will be easier in the future. A future that is uncertain and with fill people who may not give him the room he needs to learn how to deal with his thoughts and feelings.