Twice today I had to push Eli into the school and close the door behind him.

Once this morning, once after lunch.

Both times, I had my hubby encouraging me to not go into the school with my boy; to just walk away and not look back.

This is tearing me up inside.  But I think it is becoming an act.

Eli has this special ability to pretend things.  He starts out pretending or playing around and before you know it, his pretending turns into real life.  Joking around about being angry very quickly turns into a full blown raging temper tantrum.  Hesitation about going to school turns into a meltdown.

He used to have stomachaches, headaches, random worries about gurgles and grumbles from his belly. 

He doesn't have those anymore.

He used to be pale, depressed, withdrawn from ALL areas of his life.

Now he chooses which days he wants to be anxious.  The first day of gymnastics, yes.  Sunday school this week, no.  Sunday school last week, yes.  Returning to school after lunch, almost always no.  Returning to school after lunch today,  yes.  Going to school in the mornings, almost always yes, but occasionally, no.

We make plans to help him, and he insists that he wants to do those things.  Then he decides that he is fine and he doesn't need to do those things.  Then minutes later, he changes his mind again.

It is exhausting me.

I want him to know that I care and that I am here for him.  But I don't want to be used.  I don't want to be played.  I feel like I am being played by my son.

I don't want my other children to suffer for attention.  I think my daughter might be suffering.  She has declared she doesn't like school "because it's too long," and when I asked her how her morning went, she said, incredulously, "me??" 

My oldest son mentioned that he is nervous at school and has brought up a few times that he doesn't want to go, but he knows he has to go anyway because he has responsibilities (he is a patroller).  Today he is on a field trip but still this morning asked if he could just stay home.

What is happening to my family?  I feel like we are crumbling.  I always thought that we were a smart, strong, bold, talented, organized, creative family.  But right now it is chaos around here.  I feel like I am scrambling to hold everyone and everything together.  I know I am strong enough, but I don't know about everyone else.  If only I could inject strength, faith and courage into each of them... 


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