In four weeks time, every apple core, lemon rind, piece of salami, loaf of bread and gallon of milk has disappeared.
Tears come, and every single one gets wiped away continuously as they flow, something new for two of my kids. The two that don't understand why we love them or how we love them. They don't understand that when they hurt we want to be there to make them feel better.
A seat between us in the pew at church. I gesture for him to sit closer, he ignores me. Oh, but he can't stop me from getting up from my seat and squeezing myself closer to him, reminding him, even if he tries to put distance between "family", we will always be there. A small smirk on his face and the absences of him moving away gives me the feeling of peace (and maybe him too?).
Oh, but the other, sweet Yana, her walls are melting away in the hot Southern California summer (I know it's not summer yet, but almost)...
It was nine at night as we got home from Adam's school event, the grey mini van is filled with adults and children...Lily and Elliot asleep in their car seats. As we pull into the garage Yana closes her eyes and pretends to snooze as well. Adam carries the girls one by one into their beds. It's comical to see him lift his 13 year old daughter and awkwardly carry her long body up 16 stairs and down the hall to her room, as she "sleeps." Her body is lifeless, not helping him at all.
A long way from 3 weeks earlier when she did not want to be in the same room with Adam alone, but now she calls him dad and treats him as such.
Every smile by any 4 of my children has been embraced by an overreacting mother smothering four children with huge hugs and forced kisses to the top of their head. Actually, this is my reaction to basically all positive behavior...
- Yana made eye contact and said "hi" to a person at church (with lots of prompting) equals grab and a kiss from mom.
- Alex took out the trash without asking equals grab and a kiss from mom.
- Lily sounded out a new word equals grab and a kiss from mom.
- Elliot wore matching shoes and kept her clothes on for almost the entire day equals grab and a kiss from mom.
At home.We have set a routine, something we really haven't ever done before. Game night, and movie night, and family read-a-louds. Smore's roasting on an outside fire, as marshmallow and chocolate drips down Alex's face.
Home is safe. A controlled environment where family knows, and seeks to understand each other. We do great at home.
But outside the home is a different story...
I have anxiety when we leave, so I limit all outings...I know I shouldn't feel this way but I have seen their frustration. I have witnessed the shut downs in the unfamiliar. I have been the target of the anger, when they feel uncomfortable.
Adam and I are learning and we make so many mistakes.
For instances, taking a large family of 6 to a Padres game, two teenagers with salty attitudes going where they have to talk to people... will never happen again.
Or like learning teenagers need limits and putting a Christmas timer on the WiFi so it automatically turns off indicating "go to bed."
God continues to fill us with the knowledge we need to be their parents. He is ever knowing and ever loving, and He pours into us so we can pour into them.