The other day, things took an unexpected turn for the worst...or at least the not so good. About the time of day when my youngest gets dropped off by the school bus at our door, I got a phone call from the transportation service. "Please meet the driver at the bus. There's been a problem..." No more details than that...was my boy hurt? Sick? In a fight? No way to know so I planted myself on our front porch and anxiously waited for the bus to arrive. The bus pulled up a few minutes later and I could see my boy standing at the door...OK, he wasn't sick or hurt, that's good, right? As I ran to the bus, I saw that the driver wasn't opening the door and my boy was kicking it with all of his might. Hmm, definitely not a good sign. When the door opened and he tried to bolt, I wrapped my arms around him and asked what was wrong. He was crying and very, very angry. The bus driver was angry, too. She was quick to tell me that my boy was rude and swore at her, that he threatened to punch her and a student as well and that he said he would tell me lies to get her in trouble. She said he would be suspended from the bus...and the whole time she railed, I was trying to hold onto him so he wouldn't run into the street.
He was a mess...it took all my strength to get him safely from the bus onto our porch...trying to ignore the stares from neighbors as I forcibly escorted my 13 year old across the street. Then it took another 5 minutes to convince him to come into the house with me...he was raging about how I wouldn't believe him, that he would run away and never be found, that he couldn't trust anyone. I kept repeating that I loved him, that I wanted to help him but that he needed to tell me what the problem was. I finally got him into the house but that wasn't much better. He was still raging and trying to run; it was like the bad old days before he was hospitalized two years ago. I kept trying to talk him down, kept an eye on him while trying to give him space, kept reminding him that I was his mom and I loved him, that nothing would change that. He told me that he had sworn at the bus driver and he knew I'd be mad at him and take away his videogames...I said that might be true...but I'd never stop loving him. He told me that the bus driver swore at him first and when he said he was going to tell his mom, she said his mom would never believe him. Sigh...once again, trauma is triggered and abandonment is feared. Why should I love him, believe in him, choose his side over an adult's?
My reply? "Because you're my son and I believe you...because no adult will ever again be allowed to treat you with disrespect without your Mama lion snarling in her face...because you belong to me." Even if it means no playing video games for an afternoon for swearing ( and he didn't!), I'll still fight for my boy.
Like a squall that passes quickly, the storm broke and my boy was suddenly in my arms, sobbing and apologizing. Sweet boy, scared, but much more willing to trust...how far we've come from 2 years ago when the only answer was hospitalization. This time, we hugged and soothed our sorrows with homemade ice cream. We made a plan for the next day on the bus and we moved on. We had a good evening and a great day after, even the bus ride, complete with apology to and from the driver.
And then there was that Mama lion phone call I made to the driver's boss about PTSD, special needs, and the school district's policy about swearing at kids...roar...don't mess with my kid!