This time after watching him slam his fists against his head and cry over homework, we ended up struggling on the front yard after he threatened his brothers. It was my attempt to get him outside, away from his brothers, but he’s a lot bigger now and he refuses to go for a walk to calm down. So there I was, struggling to hold him down, yelling out as he bit me. It wasn’t a bad bite, but still...
Of course, a neighbor was outside putting up Halloween decorations. Bless his heart, he stayed on task, giving us our privacy. At one point I realized that there was no way I was going to be able to get back inside without my oldest chasing me in, so I told my youngest son to run back in and lock the doors so he could feel safe. He did for a short time, then missed me and came back out, which led to my oldest running back in and terrorizing my middle son, who defended himself before heading outside.
I told both of my younger boys to head over to our neigbhor’s house, who was still busy with the decorations and wait on his driveway, knowing full well that my oldest wouldn’t bother them there. My oldest threw shoes at the windows, slammed patio furniture at the front door, then back inside threw stuff at me from a balcony up above as I sat calmly on the grass waiting for the fire to burn out.
Then he stopped.
All the stress of the week was worked out and he asked if he could go back inside to study.
Just like that.
As I retrieved my other kids, who were now having fun with the neighbor’s dogs, I thanked my neighbor for entertaining the boys while I helped my oldest son calm down. He was so kind. I didn’t feel judged, instead he offered to help me anytime I needed it. Of course I jumped on it and said, “Well since you’re offering, can I call you to come over the next time he rages to help him calm down?” I explained that just the presence of an outsider will help him de-escalate. He said, “Of course,” with a smile, “no problem at all!”
Looking over the past two weeks, I’ve seen with certainty the stress my oldest has been under. But there’s another sign, one that seems to show up when he’s depressed. I’ve seen that sign several times this week. Maybe this is more than just stress, maybe depression has a foothold.
Please pray for my precious boy.