Seems harmless? Who doesn't love Woody and his bravery? Not so harmless when your eight year old son's obsessive compulsive behaviours are so extreme that he is driven to run away from the safety of his home, to dart out into traffic and hurl himself under MOVING vehicles to either reenact the scene above, or to search for his beloved Woody and Toy Story friends. Nothing can drive you to your knees in prayer like the sight of your son's bare feet sticking out from under a van, surrounded by strangers kneeling to look underneath. I thought he was gone from us. I thought he was run over. Someone was watching over him that day. And the day after when he did it again.
And after one of the most terror-filled and intense weeks of my life, of desperately shopping for, and installing even MORE locks that Will can't figure out, for every external door in this house, Will upped the ante again. So what caused the next horror in our home less than a week later? Could it have been this scene?
I am a woman who does not see the upper level of her home because she must have all eyes on her doors. I don't shower unless my husband is at home. I can go hours needing to pee, but don't because my guys wait for those moments. My twins might put themselves in harm's way, they might be naughty sometimes, over-zealous, opportunistic and too adventurous. But one thing they are not - is stupid. They are smarter than most adults that I know. They are uber-observant, their memories are SHARP, they are quick thinkers and they know what they want. Just when I think I've got a handle on things, they throw me a curve ball and remind me that I can't let my guard down for a second.
9am and my doorbell rings. I had just checked on Will and left him playing with his ipod on his bed in his room. A woman at my door frantically asks me "do you know that there is a little boy running on your roof?". My blood ran cold. Buzz Lightyear's fall from a window was the likely cause of Will's newest interest in my upper story windows.
What more can I say. I can continue to list the trials we have gone through this week. I can tell you that when we figured out a solution to secure our windows to prevent another escape, that I slept soundly for the first time in years - without the stress of waking from every creak or noise from outside, imagining that Will had escaped beneath our noses. I have dug deeper than I ever imagined possible. To find the strength to cope. To put on a brave face and smile with my children so that they don't know the terror I feel inside. To stay positive when talking with my husband so that we can keep each other from sinking into a permanent place of fear. I have shared this story. There is only so much phony "we're fine" lines we can sell. I'm sick of pretending we've got it all under control. In telling this story we've had offers of help and support from some of the most generous and kind people - people who barely know us. And I am learning to accept that help. Because I have to. Because it's for my boys. Because if I'm at a point when I am dropping to my knees and begging, I think it's time I take the hand that has been offered in response.
And in recognition to all of those who reach out a hand or a word of support when they recognize our need, here's a favourite scene from our beloved/cursed Toy Story movie...