10 years of parenting and you’d think we’d have it worked out. Truth is, it doesn’t get any easier it just changes. As children grow so do their problems and when you think you’ve worked one problem out, before you know it, you’re faced with another one. The last few weeks have been trying to say the least…hell what am I talking about, most weeks are trying but the last few has seen me gain a whole new batch of grey hair and wrinkles!
When you give birth and ride out the little person years, one thing you have a lot of is control. You can control what they do (well sometimes anyway), where they go, what they eat, what they wear and most of their decisions are being made by you. This gives you a sense of security and safety that you know every little step of their being. But then suddenly they hit an age where they are making more of the decisions and your control has reduced…this is an uneasy feeling at the best of times, but something we as their parent have to accept!
Boys! They are rough, tough, active, carefree spirits. They think differently to girls and conduct themselves in a different manner. They are closed books and to try and find out any information that is possibly floating around in that head of theirs – it’s like pulling teeth!
Our son Bailey Kane Trew, has had a very successful sporting year thus far. He had an awesome football season that saw him and his team come third in a state football carnival in Townsville and to end the season, they won their local under 10 carnival and Bay received player of the carnival. He also received the Logan Brothers Under 10 player of the year!!! He received age champ at his school athletics carnival and went on to have a very successful district athletics carnival where he placed 1st in 100m, high jump, discus and 2nd in 200m and multi event. This meant he was off to the regional athletics carnival which was held last month!
If you’re a regular follower of my blog you would know that Bailey has a moderate to severe case of Tourette’s Syndrome, accompanied with anxiety and OCD. As the end of each school term draws to a close, he becomes very tired, therefore his Tourettes has been pretty bad in the last month or so. Towards the end of last month, as each day became closer to his Met West Regional Athletics carnival, his mood, anxiety and Tourettes was worsening. Come the morning of day 1 of the 3 day carnival, you couldn’t even look at him without getting your head bitten off.
This is how it played out….
Day 1 – 100m heats and final….
We got there with plenty of time to spare, although the way Bay was carrying on in the car you’d think we were 2 hours late. The anticipation was killing him and he just wanted to be there. We couldn’t find his district team for about 10 minutes and of course they were the furtherest team away – you can imagine how stressed Bay was at this point. Once he got his competitors singlet on and checked in, he seemed a bit more relaxed. I went with him to warm up and he didn’t want to be told. I’d say one thing he’d ignore me and do his own thing.
I kept my cool but I really wanted to get him and shake him…but what was that going to achieve. After he warmed up we went back into the arena where the 10 year olds were being called to the marshalling area. This is where the nerves really kicked in. Every time I made a sound he jumped down my throat…once he got his named marked off I stayed clear. I gave him a final kiss and wished him well and I took off like I was doing the 100m sprint! He was in heat 3 lane 5. Each race was rolled through quickly. Before I knew it he was up. I felt sick. I just wanted him to do well for his sake. I knew how bad he wanted to do well in the 100m as this is his pet event. The gun went off. He got an OK start and looked great for the first fifty metres as he was in the lead. He pulled back a bit in the second fifty and ended up coming second and automatically qualified for the final!
He wasn’t overly impressed with his performance no matter how much we told him he had done a great job. We knew the next four hours until the final was going to be long. He just couldn’t relax. He didn’t know what he wanted. He was like a cat on a hot tin roof. I thought back when he was little. If he was like this I would take him him home for a nap, I was in control of that…but this time it was out of my control.
It finally came time to warm up. I left him to warm up with his team mates. I just wanted him to be happy and calm and that seemed to be working. Sadly the lead up to the final was painful. They were held in the marshalling area for 45mins before his race. It was cool and windy so you can imagine his muscles would have cooled down since his warm up. It was finally his turn. I kept praying he’d make the top 4 -that’s all he wanted so he would be part of the relay team. Gosh my heart stopped when the gun went off. He missed the start, faught back and caught up to the pack and gave it his all and came 6th. Still such a great effort but I knew his heart would be broken and that it was!
He was very upset and disappointed in himself. The boy he beat twice at districts came 2nd and he knew he didn’t run the race he should have. I was upset inside for him. We kept telling him how amazing he was to come this far. He was in such a soul searching state, that afternoon when we got home he asked me to take him to the hairdressers and cut off his hair…wowza!
The second day saw him do discus and high jump. He seemed a lot more relaxed than the first day. The weather was horrible – cold and rainy. Because of this the whole day was put back and they spent so much of their time waiting around. He did really well though and came 9th in discus and 7th in high jump. He accepted discus, but he was upset with his high jump performance. I told him for someone who doesn’t train in these events he did amazing to place in the top 10 of the biggest region in Queensland!!! Once again I took home a dejected boy!
I took a different approach on the morning of the third day. I really fired him up. We sang songs on channel v, even danced and I made him scream to the top of his lungs “I CAN DO IT!” He needed this as his head space after the previous two days was not good and the 200m has never been his favourite event. I knew it was going to be a great day! He was back to my happy Bay. He was calm, he was joking around and he did an amazing job. He came first in his heat, qualified second fastest and he didn’t seem nervous at all! He had nothing to lose. All I said was give it your all so you don’t go home disappointed in your performance and that he did. It was a close race but he came 3rd and made the Met West Regional Athletics Team…the tears were flowing!!
He was so proud of himself. We were so proud of him. To pull himself out of his hole and to claw his way back to victory was such an amazing thing to see. You couldn’t wipe the smile off his face for days!!! His Tourettes was so bad from all the anxiety and excitement. It was out in full force to see, but that didn’t stop him from standing proudly on that podium to collect his medal. He didn’t let his Tourettes defeat or embarrass him…our hearts were happy and sad all in one! And when he tried his Met West jacket on for the first time he said “mum I’ve been waiting to wear one of these since I was a little boy!” Bless his cotton socks!
What an experiment. We’ve all learnt a lot from this moment. We as parents, learnt to take a backward step. Bay is of an age now where he is making more decisions for himself. We won’t ever stop encouraging, supporting and giving our advice based on experience, but we will back off if he doesn’t want to listen. Failure is learning. When he didn’t succeed on the first two days, he learnt that his attitude was apart of his problem. Once he fixed that, he was successful and only he could fix that. He’s not only dealing with the hormones of a 10 year old, he’s dealing with his neurological disorder. We can’t even begin for a second to know how that feels – one word…inspirational!!!
So the time has come. For the next 2 days, our boy will compete in the State Athletics Carnival. He automatically qualified for the 200m and upon receiving all the nominations, he has also been nominated for the 100m and we just found out on the weekend he’s got the call up for the relay team – this has excited him the most!!
Thank you to everyone who always supports our family and everything we do….it really takes a village to raise a child and we are apart of one big special village!
Good luck Boo…we are so proud of you no matter what!!!