As Cole jumped out of my car and ran to catch up to a friend, a knot of anxiety I wasn’t even aware of, dissipated. My baby was excited to go on a field trip to Austin!
Every year, the 4th grade class takes a field trip to Austin to see the Capital and the Bob Bullock Museum. It works in with their study of Texas History perfectly. There are the guides, teachers, and parent chaperones that help herd the around. Jason went with Jalyn’s grade and had planned on going with Cole too, but work reared its ugly head.
Cole and Jalyn are both sensitive, anxious boys (they get it from their mama) but they express it in completely different ways. Jalyn tends to be a control freak and will lash out when things don’t go as planned. Cole is more of an avoider and will become a mess of tears and nerves and a sensitive tummy when things are different from expected. It was the avoiding that had my own anxiety peaked this morning.
I had on my excited face, made every attempt to have things prepped, and guided the morning for maximum smoothness. Cole surprised me from the moment he woke up. There was no “I’m too tired” or attempts at sleeping more. He popped out of bed, got into the shower, and was out and dressed before I had my coffee made! There were no arguments or moans about the lack of breakfast food – he just ate. All while talking non stop (I call it “Stream of Cole” – like stream of conscious thought but out loud from Cole’s brain).
I really felt that the other shoe would drop eventually. Maybe it would hit him once we got in the car. The tears would start and he would balk at getting out of the car at school. Or his tummy would get upset. Or the ‘what ifs’ would start. But it didn’t! He had a moment of tummy distress in the car but let me smooth it over with some canned statements.
When we pulled up to the school, he saw a buddy. I was trying to take a 6:00am picture documenting our early morning, but Cole was bouncing. He paused momentarily for a picture and was gone. I watched as he jogged to catch up to his friend and my heart lifted.
This boy who struggled so much with anxiety (we still have our moments), was leaving me without even looking back. I seriously teared up. There were times I wasn’t sure we would get here.
I owe a huge chunk of that ease and excitement to his teacher Ms. Holz. Her passion for her kids, the trip, and life in general can’t help but bleed over into the lives of her students. We’ve also worked with a counselor and others to ensure Cole has the tools he needs to live his life with ‘normal’ anxiety. It takes a village.
All this to say – I am one proud mama. Can’t wait to hear all about Austin.