Ian got upset yesterday when he accidentally was hit in the face with a soccer ball and someone laughed. Ian wanted the coach to make that kid not laugh.
I reminded him that there is an entire genre of comedy based on people getting hit in the face. And while it may have been upsetting for Ian, another person can't help but laugh just a little. Also, laughter is a nervous response. He's done it himself when I'm monologuing at him about flushing the toilet and say the word poop with such fury.
Daddy tells a story: A man was driving along a country road very late one night when he got a flat tire. Opening the trunk, he realized he had no tire jack! Far in the distance was a porch light.
The walk was a long one. As he trudged along, the man began to imagine waking a farmer up from his sleep and finding him unfriendly about the intrusion. Other thoughts came to him. What if the farmer had a gun? What if he sicked a big dog on him? What if the farmer robbed him when he realized he was alone?
After almost an hour of stumbling, getting caught in sticker bushes, and losing a shoe in a mudhole, he could finally see the front steps.
The man was so upset about the whole situation. He just knew the farmer was going to have a fit about a stranger at his door! It's not like the man could help this predicament. How could someone treat a fellow in need that way?!
The man knocked on the door. A light came on. The man was wracked with worry, stress, fatigue. Surely, this farmer would be furious with him.
Footsteps. The door cracked and a voice said, ”Can I help you?”
The stranded man, red-faced and raging shouted, ”You can keep your damn jack!” and stormed away.
Right now Ian is that stranded man. He's sensitive, in a vulnerable position, feels alone, and spends a lot of energy scripting how things can go wrong.
My job is to help him calibrate. And to remind him that like Rich would say, "Everyone is the hero of their own story." There are 40 kids at soccer camp. Most of them are kind to him. And every single one of those kids has a life they're struggling with and navigating the best they can. Some of them don't have the emotional or supportive resources he does.
Stand your ground. Be kind. Try not to yell at farmers.