I wrote this piece some time back actually, but it has taken me some time to post it. I was in a place of inspiration and awesome and scribbled down my thoughts on paper and I finally have the chance to type it up. So here goes!!
I am always surprised at what Kelso is doing is doing, thinking, feeling, etc. I am trying to be more sensitive, more patient and more attentive because the more I am paying attention, the more I learn about him. Seems obvious, but we get caught up in the hum-drum of daily routine, we um and ah when the talking goes on and on and all you want is just a little bit of silence. But it is rush to school, rush home, make food, eat, bath bed and the 2 hours at home is never quality time and many parents, myself included, wonder why our kids act out sometimes. But this is not about any of that, this is about how I am embracing the artist in Kelso.
We all have an idea of how we would like out kids to turn to be. We smile when we realize they inherited some of our traits, especially the when they are the good ones and will always blame the “other parent”; in my case, George, for the not so desirable traits (insert laugh because I joke, but lets face it, we all do it!). I am emotional, and as much as I have learnt to tame the temper, hold back the tears or laugh at more appropriate times (not always), I can go from 0 to 10 in seconds and it seems to be the trait that was handed down to Kelso too; I just try not to lose my shit while he is losing his because chaos erupts; I am not always that successful at that though. What I have learnt for myself is that we all need some kind of an outlet for all these crazy emotions that can come to the fore at the click of fingers. I like to write it all out, let my thoughts and emotions spill out onto the pages and watch them run over the lines; I have made holes in paper when emotions were so intense, but each word that is written creates some kind of relief.
From observation, it is drumming and drawing that does this for Kelso; it diverts his attention from that which is troubling him. Kelso thinks, internalizes and can conjure up some crazy shit sometimes. A few weeks ago he didn’t want to go to drums; he was in tears when we got there. I looked him in the eyes and said that he needs to just beat the drums, go wild and make a beat from his frustration. I told him to focus on the music notes and on the drums and that will take his mind to a happy place. Lee, his drum teacher came out and Kelso went in with him and I sat in the car and looked for Donatelo’s bo-staff that had caused so much unrest in the heart of the sad lad. Luckily I found it as I had promised I would.
He emerged 30 minutes later with a smile on his face that was so broad it almost touched his ears. As we walked to the car he stopped, looked at me and said; “Mom, you were right, I really do feel a lot better.” Instinctively I wanted to say; “thats right, Mamma always knows best!”, but we know that is actually bullshit sometimes. 🙂 But it was all we spoke about the whole way home. He said something that hit home and made me a little sad, but I also remembered that it is something we all do. He said; “The reason I didn’t want to go to drums was because I didn’t want Lee to see me sad.”. I pointed out to him that I was pretty sure that Lee gets sad too and that I bet he understands. Why are we so afraid to show how we feel, even at 7. I know sometimes I ask for Kelso to get his shit in check until we get home because a melt down in woolies is not ideal, and time and place, but is it always the right thing to ask our kids to wear a mask all the time? I know that we have to keep our emotions in check, be aware of them, etc isn’t a bad thing either… Sigh… finding balance I guess.
And… I digress…. AGAIN!!
In the end of all this, Kelso is who he is and I told him that doing what he LOVES when he is sad is the best time to do them, even when he doesn’t want to. He isn’t denying his feelings, but rather channeling them more constructively and having an appropriate outlet. Some people run, some play sport, some go to gym and hit a punching bag. Any outlet that is constructive is good. As parents we also need to be aware of our own outlets and learn to channel constructively, something the words; “Do you want me to give you something to cry about!!” never taught many of us to do. I think sometimes that is what leads to substance abuse, violent behaviors or the need for medication when there is no real imbalance that requires medication. I am not expert on the subject, but its just what I think about.
We need to help our children find their outlet, even if you wish it was playing rugby over dancing. Allow the individual to blossom, to find their way and guide in the best way you know how.
I gave birth to an artist and I look forward to watching the creativity unfold!