Eli was invited to a classmate’s birthday party this past weekend.
When the invitation came in the mail I cringed. Birthday parties are hard for him. This was a bowling party. Lots of noise, lots of people. How would he do???
We hung the invitation on the magnet board and went on about our days. We shopped for a gift the week before the party. It was a nice, calm trip to Walmart to buy something he might like. The gift sat on the kitchen counter as a constant reminder of the upcoming event.
Saturday morning rolled around – the day of the party. Eli woke up in a mad whirl. He was on the move as soon as he woke up. He was talking at full volume. He was rhyming. He was using his baby voice.
Yep, anxiety struck and it struck hard.
Fortunately the party started at 10:45 so the amount of time he had to be anxious was minimal. About 10:15 he and my honey left home for the party.
Yes, there was a lot of noise. Yes, there were a lot of people. Yes, he was nervous about seeing his friends (ALL of his school friends) outside of school. Yes, he hid under the tables a few times. Yes, my honey bribed him with those crazy claw games that we NEVER let the boys do. Yes, he survived it all.
And when he got home he was relatively calm.
Later that day my honey and I took a moment to reflect.
Prior to the worry doctor, if there was an event like a birthday party Eli would have been anxious for at least a week ahead of time but would not have been able to voice the problem until he either hit meltdown point or the event arrived. Anxiety related behaviors would have continued until a day or two after the event.
Saturday we got a few hours. We got a boy who could tell us what was wrong. We got a boy who could try to calm himself with techniques he’s been taught. We got a boy who actually got to enjoy himself a little.
Yes, he still has anxiety. Some days the worries are worse than others. But, our tool box of helping ideas is growing. We are eternally thankful for the worry doctor and for all of the supportive people around us. We will not be changing anything in his therapy regiment right now because what we’re doing is working for him.
So, a big thanks to all of you for continuing to support us and care about where we are. My little boy is finding some happy and, more importantly, finding some peace. Gotta love the ripple effect of that!