Posted by: Louise | March 18, 2013


The Boy Racer has been angry for some time now.

He was born with sunshine radiating from him. He loved people. People loved him. He thrived on people. I love people, but I am cautious. He just loved them and his openness drew out the best in everyone. It fascinated me.

But he started getting frustrated. I thought he needed more academic challenge at first. We had sent him to a kindergarten when he was four rather than straight to school. His frustrations grew. Anger, in time, became his first port of call.

I put him sitting behind the passenger seat in the car. If something frustrated him in the car he would kick and thrash and it wasn’t safe to have him behind me or K when we were driving. He saved the anger for us. Everyone else saw the Boy Racer we always knew. He was the kid who was there for his friends, in the middle of everything. I watched him stop a game in the school yard once and invite the kid on the side lines to join in. How I love this boy.

But he wasn’t happy.

I talked to a colleague, a therapist. She recommended cranio sacral work. It works wonders with kids.

Some kids maybe, but not this one. He loved it, but there was no dramatic change.

We had a parent/teacher meeting in school. You know what I want to talk to you about, his teacher began. We didn’t. She recommended we have him assessed by an Occupational Therapist. She didn’t see his anger. She saw something else.

The OT report didn’t enlighten us hugely. We were thinking of play therapy at the time. They recommended we pursue this route and have him assessed by a Physiotherapist.

It is a slow process. There are suggestions people  make. There is the time taken to act on these suggestions, the waiting time for appointments. There are holidays. There is humming and hawing. The Boy Racer is now seven. He started getting angry when he was four. Laura died just before his fourth birthday.


I was talking to a friend a while back. She wanted to know how the Boy Racer was doing. She is an Occupational Therapist and knew the journey we were on. We chatted and I recounted a recent incident.

Our little man has developed a new obsession – Lego – embracing it with the same passion as his (until now) exclusive obsession with Hot Wheels. He had spent some days making a lego vehicle and Astro Boy and I were in the room with him when we heard the tell tale mutterings of his rising anger.

Can I help you with something? I queried.

Astro Boy echoed my query as the grumblings became more agitated.

We both tried again… and again, but the Boy Racer’s frustration grew and grew until his anger erupted and his creation was flung across the room smashing into pieces.

And how was he then? my friend asked. Was he upset?

No. I replied. He left the room calmly and went to clean his teeth.

It sounds like the outburst was a release.

I had mentioned the Boy Racer’s empathy to her before and his constant watching for my tears if something sad comes on the telly.

It sounds like he has taken responsibility for making it all alright for you. That is such a big responsibility for a little kid. Every so often he must need to release the pressure.

That was a couple of months ago.

We had a review with his play therapist a couple of weeks ago. The Boy Racer hasn’t said much during his time with her. He shuts down if you tip toe anywhere near the stuff that matters. He had, however, mentioned to her that he wanted to help Mum and Dad with their worries.

K cried.

I don’t know if this is the answer. I am inclined to think it is one answer. I suspect there will be more. We are feeling our way through this, parenting our living children as best we can. Picking up the pieces as best we can. Loving as best we can. Living as best we can.

My children have a sister and she isn’t here and her parting hurt us all in different ways. And in different ways we are living with that, together in this family.

I can understand anger…

… and the need for release.


  1. So sorry for your loss. I had a very angry child. No grief or family trauma was involved but she was very difficult. Thankfully she is 21 now and rarely ever looses it. I have no advice for you only hang in, and try to find a way.

  2. Poor sweet boy- it changes our kids in ways we never imagined. My heart aches for LBR- know that I am thinking of all of you.. xxxxx

  3. Me too. I have been thinking about this piece and about your Boy Racer, with his responsibility and his empathy. Dear boy. I struggle to understand my own reactions to this, to accept and to identify the release that I need. And I am not seven, I am nearly five times seven. But all that extra time doesn’t seem to help – I am lost.

    I don’t get angry but I do cry. I am fairly certain that I have cried every single day since she died. And perhaps that is my release? That it isn’t about the trigger, or the Lego, or perhaps, in my case it has even ceased to be about her? But it is the release that is the necessity?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: