Friday, December 21, 2012

Hush little baby don't you cry

As a mother, you wipe your children's tears. But who wipes a mother's tear?

Maybe it's Christmas. Maybe it's reading about other mother's pain of losing a child. Maybe it's thinking about bullets tearing into a 6yo's body. Maybe because this is Kai's last week in kindergarten. Maybe because I read about the rapes in India.


Kai has night terrors. He has been having them since forever. From when he was little, just before he falls sick, he'd have night terrors frequently. There's nothing we could do, can do. We used to try to soothe him, talk to him, and eventually we'd just go in to check on him and go back to our room. He never hurts himself or anybody. He'd just scream the house down. SCREAM.

Last time, I would just listen to him scream and breathe a sigh of when he stopped. I'd be jittery before bedtime because the night terrors would go on for a few nights and a few times each night.

Then a few months back, we had to drive him to the hospital emergency unit because it looked like he could hurt himself. It didn't look like a normal night terror episode. As I sat there and looked at my 6yo thrashing and hopping about on the bed, with terror in his eyes, and screams that echoed through the silent house, I broke down and cried.

It dawned on me then that there could be something seriously wrong with my kid. Neurologically or otherwise.

We have been sending him to the neurologist a couple of times since. Sometimes it gets so bad that he goes into some sort of a panic or seizure-like attack where his body just freezes up before his bed time. He contorts his arms and legs and stiffens up. Yet, he is conscious during these pre-bed time episodes. It terrifies him. It terrifies me. I am ashamed to say I've screamed at him because he can control himself but he chooses to let the panic take over.

I forget that he's a 6yo who's frightened.

The good thing is that we've concluded, together with the neurologist, that there is nothing neurologically wrong with him. I talk to him about his fears, which usually involves me dying, his dad dying, his loved ones dying, leaving him and Kit alone in the world. He doesn't want to grow up because he is afraid of dying. I do breathing exercises with him when he gets the pre-bed time panic attacks. He now listens; calm, yogic breathing works wonder in calming him down.

But there are nights where things will spin out of control again. I forget he's a frightened 6yo again, and I feel guilty for what I say to him and for not keeping calm all the time during the episodes.

So, who wipes a mother's tears during moments of fear and uncertainty?

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