Another day in a string of not-so-good days.
Usually my kids explode one at a time, reach their individual boiling points at different times--making life consistently challenging but manageable. One punches a hole through the wall; the other three watch TV. One yells and threatens before running shoeless down the street; the other three eat dinner. One punches him- or herself face to create a bloody nose; the others lay in bed asleep.
But this week has been a four-for-one special.
And they have pulled out all the stops. As far as fireworks go, they upstage the Fourth of July. And boy, what I wouldn't do for a fire extinguisher for the emotional pyrotechnics.
You know it's bad when I say that my main motivation for cleaning the house is that if child protective services comes, they won't think we're slobs.
I talked to a teacher friend yesterday when I was volunteering at the elementary school. She asked about the kids and I told her, briefly, what was going on. She is particularly close to one of them. She could tell I was feeling overwhelmed and put her hand on my shoulder and said, "Yes . . . but isn't this what you've worked for all your life? The opportunity to have this family?"
Yes . . . and ouch. And thank you, even though it unleashed the floodgate that kept me bawling all day.
When I was a foster parent and then an adoptive parent, many classes and seminars taught me that "love isn't enough" when dealing with certain issues, and I wholeheartedly intellectually agreed. But I suppose that deep down I thought that if Bryce and I were loving enough, OUR children would be problem-free.
Now I have to grow up and deal with reality. And the reality is that some days, the various issues my children must deal with are so great that they interfere with their ability to enjoy life. The heartbreaking thing is to try and try to help but not being able to change anything. Not being able to love the demons out of them. Knowing what should be done and being met with resistance and refusal.
I once went to a religious education class where the teacher said, "They have a Savior . . . and it isn't you."
I know that Jesus Christ suffered for not only the sins of the world, but our pains, sorrows, frustrations, anger, and despair. Only He can make our burdens truly light. Only He can heal our wounds--not only the physical ones, but also the ones in our hearts and minds.
I pray. And I pray. I embrace science but I cling to my faith.
With all that is in me, I pray that my children will do the same, to find peace. To make peace. To be at peace.
So just so you know, today is particularly hard. In fact, one child has locked him- or herself in their room and refuses to go to school. Again.
I'm not looking for sympathy or answers . . . I just need to vent.
If you see my kids, give them a hug. They need love from every side.
And maybe, so do I.