I sat beside him crying. “I can’t keep doing this,” I said over and over. I’m sure it was lost on him, but the feelings just become so huge and overwhelming to me. Okay….so it’s just a window – I say days later. Yes, it’s the stained glass window that he kicked out – recently replaced and huge – but it’s still just a window, and just the corner of the window. Yes, it’s another expense (you know, in addition to the TVs he has destroyed), but it’s still just a window. It will cost about $1000 to take it out and back to the store to replace the corner and bring it back, but it’s still just a window.
And yes, it’s another marker of his inability to control his anger. But really, who am I to judge? Sometimes (a lot…) I don’t control my anger either and I’m 36 years older than him.
Sometimes though it all just feels so “Big” – that suddenly everything is crumbling – that my son has enough “problems” to be asked to leave a school (okay, so a private school that worries they can’t meet his “needs”…); that I’m an awful parent who can’t figure out how to stop the “antecedents” and triggers of anger explosions in my kid in time to diffuse the situation; that we’re never going to get anywhere.
You ever sink into this abyss?
So deep that you drive sub-consciously to Grandma’s house with the youngest child while tears stream down the cheeks?
And you remember sitting down on a date the other week and pausing at the question, “Do you ever regret it?” Tough question. Do I regret adopting three boys? My honest answer – “It’s pretty hard sometimes. But I don’t regret it. The boys need a mother to love them and I do think that the brothers need to be together.” And admittedly, I need them to bring depth and joy to my life.
But driving away from my angry and now grounded son, my tears return to that question. Do I regret it? It certainly has been harder than I could ever have imagined. My mind briefly recalls reading about “reversed adoptions”…. “failed adoptions.” I remember being appalled (especially as it would completely undermine a kid’s sense of belonging and family and hope) and yet I think I can understand the draw to find an “easy” solution to the complicated mess called parenting.
Sometimes it’s easy to pretend that this parenting is all fun and games. It’s the cheesy Facebook photos. It’s the awesome crafty Pinterest project. It’s the hugs and kisses and gentle sleeping snores of tuckered bodies. It’s the fluff and love. But it’s actually so much more than that.
I talked to a mother of a two-week old last week in for a pediatric check-up. She lamented, “Everyone keeps saying ‘enjoy these wonderful moments,’ but I’m not really feeling it. What’s wrong?” I smile graciously, shaking my head, “Those moments – those moments are rare. So very rare. They will happen, so grab them and hold them in your heart. Because the rest of the moments range from mundane to pretty darn hard to down-right heart-wrenching horrific. But the good moments are just fantastic.”
The other morning the moody, grumpy, stained-glass-window kicking Super Tall Guy rolled over before completely waking and said, “I love you, Mom.”
To us all.
I am so grateful – every time you post I’m reminded of the struggle I had raising my son. Anger, frustration, and so much guilt piled on me that to this day I wonder how I could have helped him more. But seeing your posts helps me realize that others struggle in the same way. And now, from this decade away perspective, I just want to say – remember you are his support. You can’t fix his troubles. All you can do is guide him when he is reachable.
*** As for my son, he still struggles sometimes, and takes different paths to get to where he should be, but he is now working, being a great dad, and an all around great guy.
Dreama – thank you so much for your words of encouragement. This is why I decided to start “sharing” because it’s true that many are struggling in similar ways but we don’t want to be seen as odd or different. But to me – it’s more helpful to support each other. And I’m always encouraged when people remind me to “stay the course” and that it can turn out well on the other side! Thank you!
I so appreciate your honesty! Every time I take the time to read your blog, I am always moved. Parenting is so much harder than i ever realized it would be. Those sweet times are sometimes few and far between. But we grasp onto them when they are there. Hang in there mom! Hugs from MN!
Thank you so much! I think I originally thought there would be a flood of “sweet moments” and so the “enjoy the moments” didn’t make sense….until recently, when I’ve learned that if you don’t pause….and really pause….you’re going to miss those fleeting moments that we all desperately need! Hang in there too and grab some moments this season!
I don’t know why, but your family popped into my mind today as I was driving home from dropping my middle son off at preschool. I just felt like I needed to say a prayer for you. I know we have never met, but I am so moved by your choice to adopt children who needed a home and a mom to love them. I also know it isn’t always easy, but what an amazing calling. On hard days at my house I often have to remind myself that “I can’t see the whole picture yet.” Today might be terrible, but tomorrow (or ten years from now!) life will hopefully be much sweeter. Stay the course. And know someone was thinking of you today! Blessings!
Thank you. And I do love the comment, “I can’t see the whole picture yet.” I think that’s what Faith is….continuing to walk even though the whole picture is still a bit fuzzy. I am grateful for you.
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