The other day, on our way to school, Robbie told me that some of his friends scratched each other. From the front seat, I said, “But you don’t scratch anymore, do you?” I received a very emphatic, “Noooo. And I don’t punch no more either.” I told him I was very glad to hear that but asked why he decided to stop. His answer stopped me in my tracks.
“I’m not angry anymore, Mom. I was really angry and sad when we moved to ‘Tucky. And I was nervous about my new school.”
Are you kidding me? Really? He’s figured all of this out, and I had no idea? Justin and I thought he had handled the move really well. After all, how traumatic could the move have really been for him? He was moving to a place where he knew people and living in a house he was familiar with for three months. We’d talked about it for months before the move happened. But hearing it in his words, it all made sense. And, eleven months ago, he didn’t have words to describe being angry or nervous.
I would have been angry and sad and nervous, too. In the course of a month, he left the only home he had known, went into a bizarre living situation with four adults living in the house instead of just two, and started a new school where there were more than three kids and he wasn’t the center of attention. It wouldn’t have mattered how well-prepared I was; it still would have been brutal. And throw in the stress and tension Justin and I were feeling about the horrendous sale of our house… No wonder he was lashing out.
Of course, the afternoon after this conversation, I picked Robbie up only to learn that he had actually scratched another student late in the day…