This Is My Hero.
This is not the most Instagramable picture in the world but this is my hero. This was me and my hero this morning just after our breakfast. The lighting is so bad even filters and lightroom couldn't help, no hair brushed and the messy background but I don't care because he is my hero after last night.
You see this little man pushed himself so far out of his comfort zone last night that he amazed me and himself. He is a quiet child, shy and suffers with crippling anxiety, now don't get me wrong he is no saint. Children are children after all and they all get into trouble from time to time but he has a softer side than some others. Since he was small he has always been anxious about changes in his routine, worried about getting hurt or just worrying about what's going to happen in general. This was easier to help him through when he was younger because you could distract him more and then he would be fine but then he started school. We started to notice he would feel physically sick if his school routine changed, he freaked one day when they had their first fire drill in school and had to come home. He gets anxious if he is asked to another kids party, to a point where most of the time he won't go and if he does he can't bring himself to take part in the activity. We have had issues with him being bullied by others in his class some telling him last year they hoped he went home and died, they were 7yr olds!. This hasn't done anything to help him but kids will be kids and they will always be mean to each other. He has also had to work really hard at his reading since he started school which hasn't helped with his confidence. He has been very lucky to be surrounded with teachers who are starting to understand him more and really show him support and for that I am very thankful.
So this year was always going to be a tough one for him because it's his first Holy Communion year. Its a year of going to church as a class group, kids doing readings, bringing up gifts and being part of the celebrations. This was always going to be very tough for him because he gets anxious about even being in a church let alone having to take part or worse do something on his own. We have had a few times now where he has been asked to read a little prayer and he just refused and I totally understand why he does. So when he told me he was going to read a prayer all on his own I was amazed but to be honest I never thought for a minute he would do it. They practiced loads in school and then last night was the night.
I came home from work to find him already stressing about it and wondering would he be ok if he did it or could he say no. Myself, his Dad and big brother all told him he would be fine, that he was amazing and no matter what he decided we would back him 100%. I went with him, all the way to the church I had to reassure him and try my best to encourage him. We got there and the colour slowly drained out of his face but we sat in our seats and the service started. We sang some songs, he brought up a gift which was totally amazing but all the time he was watching for his turn to read. I promised I would watch him the whole time, his teacher said if he needed her to just wink and she would go stand beside him and then off he went. My heart ached for him as he stood in front of all the people and his class, the colour gone from his face and I praying it would go well so he wouldn't get bullied if it didn't. Then he opened his mouth and quietly the words came out, they were shaky and slow but he read his prayer. He read it word for word to his whole class, the choir and all the parents, he totally nailed it.
This little 8yr old stepped so far out of his comfort zone that he nearly passed out but he did it and he was so proud of himself when he did. He showed so much strength, courage and anxiety ass kicking power he became my total hero. For such a little man to be so brave amazes me, he doesn't find school easy and simple things like parties, going away for a day trip, changes in routines are really hard for him but he proved last night his own strength. I am hoping that as he gets older he will find the skills with support that will help him to be able to always push himself.
I don't know if I could push myself to that point, I don't know if I have that strength but I am proud of this little man. He is my hero and maybe even an inspiration that I should push myself more out of that nice comfort zone we all have.