I bet you thought I fell off the planet, huh? No, I’m still here; grasping the Joy of the Lord with all my strength. NOT an easy task.
Hubby got a job offer in NC 2 days before we were leaving for NM; he accepted (as you might recall in the last post, Hubby was headed here with us). The teenager and I got into the car and came to NM anyway. For weeks, Hubby pushed me for a decision on what I wanted to do. I held him off for a good week and a half before I finally made the choice to bring the kiddo here to finish school. And once I set my mind, apparently my auto-pilot took over.
I believed I had very solid reasons to come here and it was all thought through and prayed about (since last April), but that’s not how I ended up in Albuquerque. I think the walking that was helping with the grief of losing my dad set off the flight response that I’ve battled all of my life. Hubby was extremely hurt when I drove away from him that day, and naturally, with this being Kiddo’s senior year, I gained an enemy.
Over the last couple years, Hubby and I had been discussing me coming to live with my mom for a few months to help fix her house to sell it. Well last April, Hubby and the Kid had a HUGE blowout that ended really badly. My guys have never gotten along. They never learned how to deal with each other, so they didn’t at all; just necessary conversation…….for 12 years now. Each of them blames me for the other’s behavior and says I take the other’s “side”. I disagree! I take MY side. I have my own opinion regardless of if it happens to match up with yours.
Well, after their fight, I prayed about and we talked about the option of sending him here to stay with my BFF (of 20some years; she thinks she’s the boy’s dad anyway) or for me to bring him here and help with mom’s house. So, yes, for sure I was on auto-pilot…..but not blindly. It had been discussed, combed through and picked apart multiple times. But, if there had been a place for us to stay in Tucson with my step-mom and siblings, we would have gone there instead. Hubby and I had been seriously discussing AZ after my dad’s death.
Within 3 months, our son (who is now 17) got into a fight at school and was suspended for 5 days……not his 1st rodeo.
Now, I pretty much raised myself. Mom was working long hours on the other side of Albuquerque, my big brother was off in the wind (he’s 3 years older), dad and I did nothing but misunderstand each other (he was in Tucson, anyway)and my step-mom didn’t want me (I’m SO thankful for the relationship I’m rebuilding with her now). As a child, I spent a lot of time exploring the mesas and hanging out with my friends. When we went to AZ to see dad and step-mom I was always so excited to go. Then a couple days would pass and I’d wish it was time to go home.
I didn’t have a parental guide and I had no idea how to be a parent. I had never even changed a diaper before my son. The nurses at the hospital had to teach me. In fact, I didn’t want to have kids at all because I knew I wouldn’t be very good at it and I didn’t want to ruin a kid. I didn’t think God could rely on me to do the job right.
My son was always a feisty one….from the very beginning when he refused to come out and they had to plunge him out (I thought he was going to have a cone-head forever). But as he exited me, I felt him kicking his way into the world.
He got kicked out of kindergarten for lying on the other children, climbing out the windows during class, and stabbing a fellow student with a pencil when he was trying to climb over her and fell on top of her instead. The schools talked openly in front of him. He needed counseling, psychological tests and medications for the ADHD they had labeled him. I did what they said; I just wanted to be a good mom.
Single parenthood is hard because it’s not the original design. The average family nowadays, is a split family. Too often the step-parent doesn’t know how to relate to the kids and the relationship tends to be a frustration or a source of angst. But, it takes a village to help a child. And I needed my village. It’s funny how as kids, we think we know it all and that the freedom we so badly crave means we get to do what we want in life.
A month ago, he got into another fight at school and was moved to a behavioral school to finish his last year of high school. Naturally, he was “justified” in his actions and it wasn’t his fault in the slightest. He was supposed to have spent the night at a friend’s house that night and after finding out that wasn’t going to happen and he couldn’t get his way, he tried to jump out of my car (which was going 55 miles an hour on a highway). I pulled over let him out rather than run him over or lose my door if he was just bluffing. He disappeared for 4 days.
Rivers of tears, newly grinding brakes (from searching the mesas in a low-rider Scion) and 2 ½ tanks of gas later, I finally got him to come home. The funnest part about all of this was the fact that Hubby and I had just bought my ticket to come to NC and spend some time with Hubby, 10 minutes before the school had called. We had decided that it was ok to leave the boy for 6 weeks…….at the teenager’s insistence that ‘I’ll be fine mom. Go be with your husband. I can’t wait ‘til you leave”(Can you hear the nastiness?)
One of our big societal problems is that we think life is all about us; that we were justified in our actions, regardless of consequences. We are fine with achieving things at another’s expense. We have taught our children to put themselves and their emotions ahead of others. We teach them to judge others by our own actions. We aren’t showing them that others have valid feelings/needs and that we all make mistakes. We have become so set in our own way of thinking that we create a fantasy world in our own minds. We assume we know peoples thoughts and opinions before even asking them. We think we know how someone will react to what we say, so we are prepared ahead of time for the worst in people.
I know the battle is not yet over. But I do know who my son really belongs to and it’s not me.
In this whole thing, God has taught me a lot about the part I’ve played in this life trial. He has shown me what it truly means to give your child to Him…..I get it now. It’s not an easy task; it’s a daily handing over (sometimes multiple times a day). I’ve learned that you can’t “make” people accept one another; all you will do is create a larger rift. I’ve learned that it’s not ok to place expectancies on people when I should be looking to God to fulfill that need. And I also know that God can fix any mess I’ve made and turn it for His glory. I happen to have some powerful weapons in my arsenal: the Word and prayer.
I don’t want to be a hindrance to either of my dude’s journeys. I know they have their own lessons and relationship with the Almighty and it’s not my place to butt in. What I can do is lift them up in prayer. It’s not the last resort…….it needs to be the first option.
We are all sojourners here on Earth and we weren’t designed to do life alone. We need each other whether we think so or not.