Michael Goes to Therapy

This past week was Michael’s first therapy session.  I was so nervous for like two days before it I couldn’t stand it.  I don’t even know why!  I guess no one thinks it’s quite “normal” to take a 5 year old to therapy and most parents never think they will need to take their young one to therapy but I felt it was best to be proactive rather than reactive.  So what I didn’t envision until the teen years jumped ahead a bit.

I did a lot of research to find someone who has worked with the type of scenarios we are working through and was thankfully able to find someone close to home.  I explained to Michael we were going to talk to a nice person to help us make sure we are doing all we can to ensure his happiness.  I reminded him that Patrick had to go to therapy a lot, which he certainly remembers, so he would realize there are different types of therapy and everyone needs help sometimes.  Mommy and Daddy have been to therapy too!

Donned in his new favorite black sequin jeans and his fave pink zip up hoodie with black cats we entered this new season.  Michael is so perceptive and in tune with things.  I knew that no matter what I said he was going to be nervous and unsure.  Thankfully he was still willing to talk but the fidgeting!  Oh the fidgeting.  He was rubbing the sequins back and forth on his pants so much I’m amazed they didn’t all fall off.  Once he was a little more comfortable he dove into the small toy box in the corner and played with everything no matter what it was.  I wanted so bad just to tell him to be still but I am sure he was so nervous and didn’t need a mom nag on top of it.

After we talked some about our concerns and why we were seeking therapy and the therapist got to know Michael a little we stepped out of the room so she could have one on one time with him.  At first Michael was scared but I was so proud of him for being so brave and willing to let mom and dad leave the room.  When we were invited back in she told us that he certainly opened up more when we were gone.  I was a little sad that he wouldn’t say some of the things to us but I’m so happy that at  least he’s talking to someone!  That’s the whole point of this right?  He started opening up about some kids at school who are not very nice to him.  Our biggest fear come to light.  She didn’t elaborate much and I’m sure it’s because she wants to build up that trust with him, I get it.  As we go we will learn more.  Baby steps.

She is going to work on coping skills with him and keep tabs on what’s going on at school and his feelings.  It’s not a situation where he needs to go every week, probably a couple times a month for now.  We just want him to have a safe space.  We want to be ahead of anything that may come up.  We want to know how to handle things as they do come up.  We want to be guided in the best way to handle family and friends who are less than supportive.  He is my beautiful sparkle boy and I do not want anyone to dull his shine.

 

Lead with Love.

When will we stop living a world that focuses more on ourselves and less on everyone else?  When will we stop allowing the lives of others and their opinions to drive us to hate and violence?  I want to raise my children in a world that doesn’t judge the color of your skin, the place of worship you walk in to, the person you love, the bathroom you use, the car you drive, the clothes you wear, or the passions you pursue.  I want to raise my children in a world that embraces love and inclusion, a world that looks on the inside first.

This is not a political debate.  This is not about guns or gun control.  This is not about who should use what bathroom.  This is about simple human principles.  Principles that this country was founded on.  The idea that we can have an opinion, follow any religion we choose, and be who we want are the guiding principles that led the settlers here in the first place.

Why do we allow what others say or do or how they live their lives effect us so much?  If someone decides they love someone of the same sex how does that change your life?  If someone decides they have been trapped in the wrong body their whole life and decide to change that to actually feel comfortable in their own skin how does that influence your life?  If someone decides to worship Allah, or Buddha, Jesus, or Zeus, does that have any hindrance on your choice of worship?  If someone decides to color their hair purple and cover them self in tattoos does that have any impact on your life what so ever?

The beauty of our country, of our freedom, is that you do not need to agree or like it, but does that give you a right to belittle someone?  To give them dirty looks, throw slander or take to social media and blast them?  How does someone being different than you give you any right to shame them, hurt them, fight with them, or worse?

How someone chooses to live their life and the opinions he or she has has absolutely no effect on your life at all.  Do you have to agree or like it?  No.  Should you move through showing mutual respect and acceptance?  Yes.  Until we can come together in a unified stance as a humanity we will not be able to defeat those who want to bring us down.  If we come together and allow love to prevail then we will be able to squeeze out those who fall out of line, those groups who believe their religion is superior and our ways inferior.  Until we lead with love nothing will change.

I want my children to grow up in and raise their children in a world that focuses on love and inclusion.  The only element of life that will ever win is love.  It doesn’t matter what war we are fighting, who the President is or isn’t, how many religions or ethnicities there are, love will always win.  I am not sure what it will take for our country, our world, to realize this fundamental truth and come together, but I sure hope that no more lives need to be lost to senseless acts of hate and violence before it does.  Lead with love.