I loved him. He was my Sad Eyes. I got him all ready for school. I packed his little lunch. I hadn’t seen the “rages” or “outbursts” yet that were written about in his already very long case file. This precious little boy had only been in foster care for one month, yet after coming to us I learned he had already been placed in two different foster homes and a residential treatment facility for a short psychiatric stay. All of this at six years old. He was my Sad Eyes. I dressed him up, I took his picture with a little sign that said, “First Day of School.” He just needs a mommy, I told my mother-in-law, that is all he needs, a mommy who loves him. I walked him to his new class, I kissed his forehead goodbye. I left the building feeling really good about Sad Eyes’ first day. His teacher had been especially picked out for just him. She was a soft spoken, kind teacher with a huge heart and lots of love to give. We were set up for success, I felt. I did not receive a call from the school that first day, but when I came back to pick my kindergartener up, I knew something had gone terribly wrong. The school counselor approached my vehicle with a very worried expression on her face. The words, “it took four adults to control him,” and “I am scared for you and your family,” were used. My heart sank. “He has never been aggressive towards my children or myself,” I told her. Would they let him come back, I asked. She said that they would, but we would all have to stay in good communication with each other to make sure the situation was handled to the best of everyone’s ability. Then, the rages started at home. Uncontrollable, violent, physical rages. Screaming and yelling rages. All that it took was the words, “no,” or “not right now,” and Sad Eyes would fly into a rage. Tuesday night was the worst rage at home. I video taped what I could for the social worker to see. She already knew, she had experienced them herself, but she wanted evidence to show the counselor, so maybe she could get him the help that he needs. Wednesday morning we talked and she said she was afraid Sad Eyes couldn’t be around others right now, but that the best children’s therapeutic home was full and that the waiting list could take months. Could I hold on until then, she wondered. Of course I could, I told her. I am no quitter. I was sure we could handle this, it would just be hard. Hard to watch a child in such torture. A child who is so obviously hurting and he knows no way to express it and can’t keep his body in control. Then, Wednesday night happened and it was the worst night of my life. I can’t imagine a more terrifying scene. Well, I guess I can, but I don’t want to. To make a very very long story short, Sad Eyes wanted to go to the playground and once he saw one he bolted. It didn’t matter that there was a busy road in between us and the playground, he was going. I dropped everything and ran to catch him, yelling for him to stop! I could see the cars coming! As his little feet reached the edge of the pavement, I caught hold of his shirt and threw my arms around him. “Oh my goodness, Sad Eyes! Look! Cars! Big cars! You could have gotten hit! You can’t run away from me!” He didn’t hear me, he fell into a pit of emotion and didn’t come back up for air for a good hour and a half. I feel like I now know what a wrestler must feel like after a match. I had to use my entire body to keep this angry little boy from running back into that street. No matter how many times I tried to talk to him or tell him that we’d get to go he didn’t hear me. His rage went on and on. People stopped their cars to help me as they saw a 5’2″ woman holding a screaming, kicking, hitting, raging six year old. He was somewhere else, his body was in fight mode. No words were heard, nothing I said or did made it any better. When I let go, he would try to run. When I looked into his eyes, I saw nothing, but rage. We finally were able to get Sad Eyes closer to my vehicle and I stood beside it as he held the door and kicked at us still screaming. My daughter had to call our social worker. Three of them came. Nobody knew how many it would take to get him into their car. Would the police have to be called, it was an option we all talked about. It was scary. I was bawling, my daughter was bawling. The people around me just stared in disbelief. It was like a scene out of a terribly scary movie and an hour and a half after it started it stopped. Like the switch that had been flipped to begin this, was then flipped off. Sad Eyes looked up at me, took my hand in his and said in his little lisp, “I sawee bout dat.” “What,” I asked in shock. “You know, bout wat I dun, I sawee bout dat,” he said.
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