I have mentioned before (or at least, I think I have) that my primary concern regarding our upcoming move is our son, and how he handles it. Most people think of it as, oh he’s 8 years old, all 8 year olds worry about not making new friends. This is the only 8 year old I’ve ever had, so I wouldn’t know…it might very well be true. Naturally, I think my son is pushing that limit of normalcy a bit.
He’s a very anxious kid. Heck, he gets it honest, from me. But when I say he’s anxious, I’m talking: there are days when I seriously wonder if I should talk to his ped about putting him on some anti anxiety medication. Yes, he gets that bad sometimes! Somehow, I can’t see all 8 year olds not sleeping at night because all they can think about when they close their eyes is dying, either him, his parents, or someone else. But that’s what he does. Last year’s bully mess really messed him up for a while, the poor kid was terrified to go to school…but finally he started doing better after we went to the superintendent and raised a ruckus.
Thursday night, at my parents house, I made the mistake of not sending him out of the room before I started discussing my brother’s health issues with my sister-in-law and my mother. Actually, I did suggest he go to the other room and watch TV with his sister, but I didn’t push it when he didn’t go. I had no idea that my SIL was going to suddenly burst into tears, or that her outburst would send both me and my mother into waterworks…and it wasn’t until later on that I realized he was quietly sitting there, watching the whole scene. Before we left for home, he had a little breakdown and cried because he didn’t want his uncle to die. Now, granted, I think knowing how upset we were and then seeing his only nephew so upset might have been the thing that sealed the deal and convinced him to see a doctor (hereditary blood pressure issues, I have been treated for almost 4 years now, he’s just been a stubborn jerk who, up until now, would rather stroke out than take a pill every day.)
The Boy hasn’t slept well all week long. I just figured it was because his daddy was out of town. He’s not usually the kid who wanders around the house at night, but me and him both have lost a lot of sleep the last few nights. I have finally resorted to giving him a little Benedryl at night, just to try to help him sleep. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I finally relented and let him spend last night in his sister’s room, because he wanted to be close to somebody.
Tonight, as soon as we turned off his sister’s lamp, his eyes popped wide open. Even though they’d been in bed for over two hours, he had yet to go to sleep at all. We talked to him for a long time, and finally managed to get him to tell us the real reason he was having such a hard time lately.
I was completely floored when he said that his daddy being gone so much reminded him of last year when daddy was staying with his sister. Geez. I was so not expecting that. We separated for a while last year, after we’d been having problems for a long time, and JB stayed with his sister most of that time. Once we worked everything out, he has never mentioned a single word about it until tonight. Not that I thought for a minute he’d forgotten about it, because the kid has one heck of a memory; but I didn’t think he was relating it to this.
We spent a long time explaining to him that this was absolutely NOT the same situation at all. In a few weeks, we will all be together again every single day in our new house. I think he’s understanding it better now. I just wish he hadn’t let it go so long before telling us that was what the problem was…