A TinyLetter from Robyn 9.20.20

A TinyLetter from Robyn ❤️  9.20.20

Much like myself, our middle son, Milo, battles separation and social anxiety. If you met him, there’s a good chance you wouldn’t know it and a slight chance you’d see the heartbreaking effects it has on him. He is 6 years old and in first grade.

This past week the boys started soccer again. Soccer is something Milo has always loved. Their regular league was canceled, so when another opportunity arose for both Milo and Rory to play on a team, we jumped at the chance. (We’d pretty much do anything at this point for them to exert their energy outside of our house.)

Last Wednesday was their first practice. They didn’t know any other kids there. Getting Milo there at all felt like a victory. Our older son, Rory ran off confidently, joining a group of other 8 & 9 year old boys as if he’s known them for years.

Milo wasn’t so eager to engage. I had to walk away from Milo and Joe to even have a chance at him participating, and he did. We were very proud of him for trying. Throughout the practice he did warm up a bit, but watching him walk with his head down, hands in pockets while kicking the ball just about made me want to cry. (Actually it made me want to run on the field, grab him, hug him tight and never let go, but I knew that for today, this harder thing was better.)

Two days later, on Friday, they both had their first game. We were a bit more strategic this go-around, so Joe took Milo to his game and I met them there right after the game started. Milo is able to transition so much better when I’m not part of the equation, which is both helpful and sad for me.

Milo did awesome – like really awesome. He was quick, focused and motivated. He even scored a goal, and while he’s not one to desire any attention, pride radiated out of him as he tried very hard not to smile. It was such a relief to see him playing instead of worrying.

But something happened after the game that blew me away. Rory’s game was immediately after Milo’s, and a small group of Milo’s teammates had congregated by a goal on a nearby field to play. In a million years, I wouldn’t have predicted this, but Milo (with Sheldon as his sidekick) came to me and asked if he could go play with those boys. Of course I said yes and was incredibly eager to see what would transpire.

I possibly have never been more proud than I was as I watched Milo (with Sheldon by his side) walk over to the goal and begin playing with the other kids. It was beautiful. I captured this photo to hold onto. I always want to strive to create spaces and opportunities for Milo to feel confident but quite frankly, I usually don’t know how. We are grateful for professionals who do have tools that can help and as for me, I will just keep loving him the best way I know how.

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