Oh, how proud I am of my boy, he is a strange mixture of bold craziness and caution, with a smidge of anxiety. When he was little, and I would have my heart in my mouth as he climbed up over the monkey bars; but at the same time he would freak if he saw a dog. He would scream in unimaginable terror if we went to the beach and the tide was high up the beach. I use to feel such a hag for dragging him onto the beach, showing him it was fine, the sand was FUN and ooh look we can splash each other, and that the tide was receeding. Ignoring the aghast looks of other parents; knowing that once we were sat and playing he would love it, and knowing he himself would be really upset if he missed out on the beach.
Slowly his anxiety subsided, he is still wary of dogs, but will stroke ones he's become a bit more familiar with. He now loves the sea, although there is still a wariness; which frankly, this mama does not mind; especially when he couldn't swim, and now, as he's a beginner swimmer.
I do know how he feels; I remember keenly, being a sixth former and a trip to London to see Cezanne at the Royal Academy; I remember clear as day, the spiral staircase, my classmates pressed around me as we went up; and then the realisation it swayed; the fog of panic, my breath caught in my chest, yet my heart beating ten to the dozen; and just one thought in my mind; GET OFF. I fought my way back down to the ground and slithered to the ground shaking and crying.
I also remember the unsympathetic response from some older members of our group; adults, telling me not to be silly, to go in the lift - I refused, the lift was a glass one on the outside of the building (shudder!).
"Just close your eyes" I was impatiently told. Sorry. NO.
I remind myself of this whenever I find myself becoming impatient with Rye's foibles, it also helps me to appreciate the great strides he has made in overcoming his fears and anxieties. He truly amazes me.
Tonight he swam on his back, while holding a float to his chest and the instructor holding his head. It took him most of the lesson to work up the confidence, and even after he managed it once, it did take him a while to do it again - but he did it. Oh, bless my boy, he did it; and the excitement and joy on his face was simply beautiful.
Pride doesn't do justice to how pleased I am for him; I'm fit to busting with joy. For a child who can suffer with bouts of anxiety, these achievements are mammoth!