Family 2015

Family 2015

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Gradual Epiphany

I was going to come on here and say that I had an epiphany today, but that's not exactly right.  What occurred to me has occurred to me's just that I feel like I understand it a little better every time it makes a, I dub it the "gradual epiphany."

Here it is.

I cannot control how my children experience life.  (I know, it's mind-boggling).

Before we moved, I felt very responsible to make the transition as easy on the kids as possible.  I did not (bless the Lord) make the grave mistake of telling them that everything would be wonderful all the time - that life would magically become amazing as soon as we got to Virginia.  No.  I was pretty honest about there being difficult times and taking time to adjust, etc.  I did, however, take the burden of their emotional response onto my own shoulders.  In fact, I recently realized that I have been doing this for most of their lives.

Somewhere along the way, I got the idea that if something difficult was going on in one of their lives, my job was, not necessarily to make it better (because, let's be honest, I had to admit early on that that can't always be done), but at least to make it FEEL better.

That seems reasonable, I mean what parent likes to see their child sad or upset or overwhelmed or stressed out?

But, trying to magically fix their emotions: 1. doesn't work, 2. makes them feel bad for having emotions in the first place, and 3. doesn't make the problem go away.

The high school the girls go to does block scheduling, so that basically means that they get 4 brand new classes at the semester.  Originally, I thought it was pretty cool and it is... on paper.  But, what I didn't realize was that meant they would essentially have another first day of school in January.  New schedule, new teachers, different lunch...starting over.

It wasn't as hard as the first day of school in August, but yesterday was a pretty rough day.  I learned, though, between then and now.  Back in August, I was all in cheerleader mode, "it wasn't so bad!  you don't feel nervous or scared!  pretty soon life will be grand!  Rah, rah, rah!"  Not effective.  Also, not true.

So, yesterday, I tried a different approach.  "I'm sorry your day was so stressful.  It sucks that you have 2nd lunch and the people you used to sit with have 3rd lunch.  Yah, I would be pretty upset too.  Hey, even God gets angry - the Bible says so. It won't get better over night, just keep putting one foot in front of the other."

I don't know if it helped them anymore, but it sure felt better to me.  I don't need to worry that because they have a bad day, or week, or season, that they will be irreparably damaged.  It is unrealistic to try to keep them from ever feeling negative emotions. My honesty and sincere empathy go a lot further than my "it's all fine" facade.

Lesson learned.

I pray day 2 was a bit easier on them.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Time to Celebrate!!!

I'm guessing that my title lead you to believe that I was going to be making some grand announcement about something amazing that has happened.

Well, no.

Today is pretty normal in the sense that I got up, got the kids up, ready and on the bus, had some coffee, threw in some laundry, put dinner in the crock pot... you get the picture.  But, all morning I have had this sense of...hmmm, how to say it...tenacity.  That's it, tenacity.

I get so bogged down sometimes with the worries of life and thinking about how this or that is going to work out.  Wondering why something did or didn't happen.  Wishing this or that had happened differently or, maybe even, not at all.

But today, I'm done with all that.  Because, gosh darn it, I am still putting one foot in front of the other.  Everyday.

I have a great marriage to a wonderful, hard working man who is a great father to my kids.

I have 5 pretty amazing kids (if I do say so myself).

My kids may not have all the latest and greatest gadgets, but they woke up in a warm house, had breakfast and marched off to a good school with clean clothes on their backs and shoes on their feet.

They will come home to a warm house. a good dinner and plenty of love and encouragment.

We are healthy.

We have been welcomed into a great new community and have lots of opportunity before us.

So, I will relinquish all those thoughts of  "woulda, shoulda, coulda."

Forward, march!  :)