Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Invisible kids

           Anybody who has ever had a child understands the unsurpassable love that you have for your child. Not much else in the world compares, and that love prevails through the good, the bad, and the ugly. It is so much easier to get hurt yourself than to watch a child get hurt. When you feel your child is hurting, this "mamma bear" instinct kicks in and you would do just about anything to make your little one feel better.
        So, a few days ago, when we were all sitting around just hanging out, Tucker says out of the blue
"Mom, you know what happened at Friday Fun Day today?" I ask him what, expecting something exciting to live up to the name. "I felt invisible" he says."Nobody wanted to play with me. Nobody even looked at me." Now, this may sound like normal childhood woes to everybody else, but to this mom it was like hearing your pet died. Honestly, even while writing this, my eyes are welling up with tears. I asked him what he ended up doing and he said "Nothing. I just sat by myself" Of course, I said all the motherly things. "Oh honey, you're not invisible. If nobody wants to play, than just find something fun to do by yourself. If you're having fun, that's all that matters"  Uncle Philip then told him the stories of his childhood at Mark Twain, when he was bullied and made fun of, and how Auntie JoAnna beat up his bully one time.
      However, picturing my little boy sitting all by himself, sad and lonely, in the midst of what was supposed to be their Friday fun reward, made me so insanely sad, I literally wept the entire night. It was verging on ridiculous, to be honest. I sat there and every five minutes, tears would start streaming down my face. About 4 hours later, Chris looked at me closely and said "Honey?!! What's wrong? Are you crying?? (obviously, being a guy, Chris had probably already forgotten the conversation hours earlier) Tucker piped up "She just sad because I felt invisible" very matter of factly. He gets it.  He knows him mom is slightly neurotic, and very protective.
        Truth of the matter is, as parents we blame ourselves. So running through my mind was, "Am I making him feel invisible??"  Since being pregnant and having Ryker, I have tried very hard to make sure that Tucker hasn't felt left out. But pregnancy and an infant is very demanding. During my pregnancy, he was lucky if I left the toilet long enough to wake him up in the morning. And now, I have a breastfeeding baby that demands a great deal of my time. Plus, with everybody around us doting on the little baby, poor Tuck has been pushed to the back burner. After all, holding a 63lb, 7 year old isn't quite as easy as snuggling a 15lb, almost 3 month old.
     Kid's are so resilient, I'm sure this has affected me more than him. I know I have many years in store of this. There are many times to come, when he will come home sad because somebody was mean to him at school. Someday, there will be a girl who will break his little heart. And along with every little heartbreak he experiences, mine will break right there with his.  I can't protect him from all the hurt in the world, but  what I can do is make sure that he never feels invisible here.


  1. Aww, love this post even if it's(sniff) a heart-wrencher! Poor Tucker....your family loves you buddy! Totally believable that Chris realized you were crying after 4 hours....sounds like someone I know...

  2. This breaks my heart, too! Like you said, it will probably affect you for longer than it will affect Tucker, but it is still hard to take! I'm sure that he loves Ryker as much as you do, school can often be harder than home. Hugs to the lot of you!

  3. I definitely think you did the right thing, by telling him to do his own thing. A lot of our happiness does depend on ourselves. But poor little Tucker!!! Hopefully it was just a one-off and the kids weren't meaning to ignore Tucker. And maybe Tucker was having one of those days and wasn't joining in as much as he usually does.
    I am sure Ryker has changed his world, but a worker once said you don't divide love...if there are more people to love--it multiplies. And I am sure Tuck can feel that there is all the love for him there ever was and even more swirling around your household. Life is just different and there will be a bit of an adjustment for him. As long as you keep loving him and Ryker beyond reason, he won't ever feel invisible to you. Well anymore than a normal teenager does! :-)
    Obviously I don't have a kid as old as Tucker, but I am sure every kid has these moments, when they feel like no one is paying attention. Some kids just act out to get attention, but it seems like Tucker is taking the mature route and talking about it to you instead of rampaging around.
    And if things DON'T get better, just make sure his Aunt JoAnna is handy... :-)
    Hug that boy!

  4. Aw, poor little sweetheart! A year or so ago, Hayden was having trouble at recess b/c no one would play w/ him. Mary spoke to his teacher and apparently Hayden refused to break any of the playground rules, so no kid wanted to play w/ him. His teacher loved him, tho! Anyways, it broke all of our hearts to hear it, but now he's got a good couple of buddies who don't break rules either and everything's ok. Kids are resilient, especially if they have a good home life like Tucker does. It's a bummer to go through, tho!

  5. I did not know this about Hayden. I did know that he had trouble with bullying when he was in Kindergarten though.

    One time I watched a movie with Brad where this little boy had written down all the things he did wrong and he was praying for God to help him at church. One of these things was "being bad at Maths." I cried and cried and cried about this (I'm actually crying a little right now, again), and I told Brad I didn't know if I could be a mom because I was so broken-hearted about this fictional little boy feeling like he was a bad child for not being good at math. Kids feel things so honestly. It breaks my heart.

    But I have a friend who is a Montessori teacher, and they teach that children deserve all the respect in the world, because they have gone through so much to get to where they are as adult. Time and time again they pick themselves up and keep going. I mean some kids have to endure abuse and neglect and live without love entirely. Thankfully most of us don't have it that bad, but our children still go through painful experiences. So as adults, it's really our responsibility to be kind to ourselves because it would be disrespectful to our child-self who went through all that pain and suffering to make us the person we are today. It's a nice thought. I worked really hard to get here. We all did. I try to remember this, when I'm being too hard on myself or observing children who are suffering.

  6. PS Joanna is Awesome. But then we knew that.

  7. I want to rush over there right now and give Tucker a HUGE HUG, I feel so devasted he felt like that, I can't tell you how many times in my childhood I felt like the invisible girl, you never get use to it, and when somebody loves you you never want to let go of them, I am crying for him, tell him gramma Geri loves him to pieces. I totally feel for both of you. Hope you know I love you and Tucker and Ryker, and Chris.