It took me about a week to take Cedar back to the park after this day I captured above. You see...there were boys teasing him. He was being a bit bullied. There I stood even more confused than him. What is my role? Do I allow these events to unfold before my eyes, hoping for a teachable moment? Allowing Cedar to find his own center without me trying to find it for him by scooping him up and removing him? This is what I wanted to do. Remove him. Run away. Protect.
My heart broke into thousand jagged pieces to see him be so misunderstood. Cedar can be a bit quirky. If he hears a plane far up in the sky flying over the park he will stop, point and scream out. He is obsessed with planes and helicopters. If there is a hint of music from a car driving by he will stop what he is doing and start grooving, in his own little world, bobbing his head with his eyes closed, feeling the rhythm deeply with every orifice of his body. He doesn't care who is watching. When he sees someone he is attracted to, he will squeal, run and hold onto their back if they're sitting down. The older, tougher boys saw these things and decided to mock him, to run up to him and scream in his face. Their mothers giggling a bit along with them as I looked over to them for support. I felt like I was outside of myself, looking down at what felt like a scene from my elementary years. I know I was a bit quirky too.
It hurt me more than it did Cedar. He ran to the sand with his truck and smiled at the little girl beside him. I sat there holding back my tears. I know my emotions were coming from a deeper well. Perhaps some fears. Some unknowns about how to mother and parent in situations like this when he is older and either being the one that is teased or the one that is teasing. Knowing that there is that space between how we desire our children to be in this world and how they will naturally unfold and the process of letting go and accepting and not projecting.
This is all such new territory for me. Feeling so protective of my sensitive soulful flower boy and yet knowing he needs to explore and discover and evolve without me hovering. Also getting that there are times he too will channel his myriad of emotions into acting out at others. So this gives me compassion for those boys. Although I didn't feel that compassion right away. It took a week for me to get there. A few emails sent between family and girlfriends, being supported and guided and reminded that those boys need to be sent love and that their behavior comes from a deeper root.
I felt guilty that it took me a week to get there. Perhaps as time goes by, as these situations happen more often than not, it will come sooner. The ability to breathe into the hurt and the need to protect and soften the knee jerk reaction of judging or assumptions. To remember that some of my child's experiences may be a mirror to my own hurts and that it can be a teachable moment for both of us.
Perhaps most of all, Cedar's reaction is my greatest teacher that day. The fact that he walked away and found a spot with a like-minded soul and continued to play and create despite those voices whispering to him that he was different and different wasn't cool to those boys. He was so grounded in who he was and he found another soul that got him.
This is just the beginning. I know, I know...and I am grateful for the gentle souls in my life circling me through it all. Circling us. Celebrating this journey.