Last night my sisters and I took my kids out for pizza.
The hostess chose a table for us that was a booth/table split…meaning that 3 people sat facing the dining room, and 2 people sat facing those 3 people, which was also facing the wall.
The 2 people facing the wall were Zion and I.
Right after our drinks were delivered, there was a couple seated at a table directly behind me. When I turned my head to the side to look at Zion, I could see the couple out of my peripheral vision, and they were seated just within earshot.
Let’s get one thing out in the open right now. Zion is vocal. And active. He bounces and squeals and waves his arms. He said “Hi Mama” to me quite loudly several times, even though he was sitting right next to me the entire time. He also smelled my upper left forearm about 200 times.
To me, this is typical behavior for Zion. I find it endearing. He has been doing it for so long that honestly, to me, it is normal.
Yet I found myself overhearing whispers from the couple behind me, and all of the sudden I reverted to 2006 Angie, and I was completely insecure.
I discovered something about myself last night.
I don’t like sitting with my back to the room.
I found myself extremely uncomfortable in a perfectly comfortable chair.
I started shifting around. I could feel myself getting agitated. My inner monologue became angry and even self-critical.
“Say one more thing about my son, and I will kick you in the jittles!”
“Can people see my back-fat too well when I sit like this?”
“How many times has Zion sniffed my arm? Should I tell him to stop?”
Let’s stop the crazy train.
Just because of a few whispers and a back-stabbing ready seating chart, I am ready to careen off the deep end?
I held it together through dinner. As we were walking out the back door, I mentioned to my sister Carrie that I wanted to spider-monkey on that couple for whispering about Zion.
She looked at me, confused, and said “They were talking about Zion?”
Very defensively I said “Yes, they most certainly were!”
She put her hand on my back, like the sweet girl she is, and said “What were they saying?”
I opened my mouth to spout off, and I realized, I had no answer.
I sat in silence on the ride home. As much as I tried, I could not think of one thing that couple had said about me or my son.
So I thought about it the rest of the night. And what I realized is that the person with the problem was ME.
My insecurities are still there. They may be buried a bit, but they still exist. When I can be in control of the situation, such as facing a crowded room, I can maintain composure. I can control my son based on the reaction of the people in the room. But when I am put in an insecure position, I catastrophize a situation in my head which does not even exist.
Yet I have to ask myself….why am I even paying attention to anyone but my children? And I have to be honest with myself. It all boils down to insecurity.
I am going to have to work through this.
Zion squeals because he is happy. There is so much joy in that child, he has to let it out. He bounces because he has the energy of Tigger. He says “Hi Mama” to me 200 times because he wants my constant attention, and he needs to feel safe. And he smells my arm constantly, because well, my skin smells like lavender. And smell is very sensory to a child with Autism.
At the end of the day, the lesson is this: the only issue last night was my insecurity.
And that is no one’s issue but my own.