"Childhood is the most beautiful of all life's seasons."
Beautiful and true quote, yet very bittersweet. Seeing the changes in my son hasn't been easy lately, especially after this past weekend. He has such amazing determination that I'm unsure of knowing when to stop him at times in fear of extinguishing that fire that burns so brightly inside.
Saturday was difficult for me to watch Camden have to call it quits early when he used to spend all day running and playing so hard outside at my Dad's house. He had a few down moments but took himself inside to the recliner where he needed to be. I got his DS out of the car to play and before long he had two sweet cousins by his side playing along with him.
Sunday he was determined to play football and stay outside all day. I didn't stop him. My mom was worried after he told her a few times "I just can't run fast like John and Cameron. I want to play good too." These are always hard words to hear but I find it fascinating that despite it, he keeps trying. He played so hard and was probably on the ground as many times as he was up but with each fall Matt or my sweet brother would just lift him back up and they kept on playing. I watched in awe as they all were pretty careful and let him "run" past them at times too. Regardless, he had fun. In the back of my mind I couldn't turn off the thoughts "he is going to be in bad shape later". That night he was in tears at the drop of a hat. Exhausted. I felt bad and made sure to stretch him good. We rested that night and drove back on Monday.
He seemed ok yesterday but today was a different story. When he woke up he couldn't roll out of bed as usual so I lifted him out and steadied him onto his feet. We got downstairs and I brought them their school clothes and instructed them to get dressed. Camden couldn't put his clothes on. He said his legs and arms felt too tired. So I dressed him. When I picked him up from school his teacher was worried and said he had a very off day. He wasn't himself, lacked energy and complained of a headache. She sent him to the nurse to check him out but she sent him back. She said at recess he just laid beside her on the ground and used her jacket as a pillow. At pickup, he normally stands up in the back excitedly with his buddy but she said he just collapsed against the fence. My heart just sank. This was all my fault. It was just too much on him like I feared and probably destroying more and more precious muscle. In that moment I wanted to hit myself in the face! I should have known better. Those instincts telling me not to take him for another long weekend knew the truth and I didn't listen. I didn't want to miss out and I wanted the memories for him.
As we were walking back to the car, Camden was telling me about how today was Earth Day and what he learned about taking care of our earth. We got near the front of the school and he points out all the trash on the grounds. Before I know it that little man was bending down and gathering all the trash! With each movement he faltered but he didn't stop. It was all I could do not to stand there like an idiot and sob. He came back with an armful but couldn't spot a trash can so I promised him we'd take it in our car to our trash at home. He was so proud!
This is the child whose "most beautiful season of life" is being stolen unfairly. Although I sit here sad, angry, frustrated, I can't help but sit here and be proud and amazed too. Why can't we all have that kind of spirit? Even on his worst of days, he shines. Camden McAlpine, my hero. #teamcamden #teammcalpine #camdenthestrong