Monthly Archives: September 2016

The Little Things

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At the start of the school year this year, my daughter, the nanny, called to share with me about her “boys”’ first day of preschool this year.  She was sharing a story about the morning and how Son #1, age 3, was anxious about school.  She coached him, talked with him and eventually she cut the shape of a heart out of construction paper and put it in his backpack. She told him to remember when he saw it that he would be okay and that the love she was sending him to school with, would be with him throughout the day.  She reminded him  that she would show him that love when he returned home that afternoon by giving him a big hug.  The boy’s mother was listening to the conversation as she was getting ready to leave for work that day and said, “Nicole, you are really good at that.  Did your mother do stuff like that with you when you were young?”  Nicole replied, “She still does.”

Yes, I still do do things like that for my kids.  The Little Things.  Currently, there is a 6 ounce box of mini banana Moon Pies sitting on my dining room table that needs to be mailed out to my daughter in Colorado.  (Better mail it before I post this blog or it won’t be a surprise.)  Last month I mailed out a Dollar Store car cleaning rag to her because it was soft and fuzzy and everyone needs a soft, fuzzy thing sent to them.  I was hoping it would almost be like a hug in a box to her.  I’ve mailed out tea bags in the hopes that it would evoke memories of tea and conversation at our kitchen table.  Even now, though my kids are grown, I still send The Little Things.  A bookmark, a magazine article, a stamp, whatever is sitting around .  A Little Thing that would be a reminder of a much Bigger Thing, my love.

It made my heart happy to hear that my daughter is keeping the tradition alive and sharing Little Things with others.  She said that she remembered all the things I used to do.  When I was traveling, I would leave notes taped to my kids’ headboards for them to open each night before they went to sleep.  When I first started to travel without them, I left more than one note per day and individual ones for each child.  As I got more comfortable and knew that they, too, were more comfortable, there were fewer notes.  Post it notes may be put on fridges, mirrors and book bags, I would leave lists of reminders of activities and reminders of my love.  After a few trips, it became clear that they really didn’t need physical reminders (they opened all their notes the day of my return or didn’t open them at all) but I still left them.  When my children were the ones to go away, I would load their suitcases with notes or trinkets as surprises.  My 10 year old daughter went to camp this year and I wrote a message on the inside of her water bottle lid.  She didn’t need to receive it, but I needed to send it.

In the days of quick texts and public posts on Facebook, it has become very easy to send your sentiments to someone when you aren’t with them.  I appreciate these electronic messages too, but I am also happy that my kids grew up before they were so available.  Occasionally, I will still find a note stuck in the bottom of a drawer or in a suitcase pocket.  The note forgotten for a long time, but the love it represented wasn’t forgotten for a second!

So, kids, if I never write you another note, if I never send another card, if I never get the opportunity to sneak a trinket into your backpack or suitcase again, I hope you’ll never forget that time….remember?….the time I kissed your hand and told you that you could take my love with you wherever you went and that you could apply a kiss to your cheek anytime, simply by opening your hand and touching your face.  Oh and don’t forget….I still have a smile in my pocket for anytime you are looking sad…there’s a chance you have one in your pocket too, so if you need a smile, just reach into your pocket, grab it and apply. Don’t forget to give these Little Things to others too…you never know how much they might need them.
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Filed under Big Kids, family, Life, Little Kids, Parenting, Uncategorized

Fear of the Unknown

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Fear of the unknown is something well known to the parents of a kid with Reactive Attachment Disorder.  I know something is going to happen, I just don’t know what or when.  Today my son left for school with a look in his eye.  A distant, far away, completely detached look.  My son who usually has an adorable cuteness, beautiful brown eyes and a warm smile, had a blank stare.  My talkative child who would argue any point, didn’t argue and really didn’t speak at all.  He made one sarcastic remark about restoring our relationship and went out the door.

I sent an email to the school saying that I feared that a bad decision was in his future.  Now, I sit with butterflies in my stomach and dread the phone ringing.  Will he actually do something?  How bad will it be?  Or will he be wise enough to seek out a trusted friend or teacher to talk about what’s on his mind?

The fact of parenting a RAD kid is that you will never be the one he will confide in.  You will never have the honor of being the one to teach her right from wrong.  You will never be the one who can give advice or guide him.  Oh, you can try….and you will.  You will spend years and years trying to guide and instruct.  You will spend years and years trying to comfort and nurture.  You will spend years and years trying to welcome her into a deep relationship with you.  But, you will fail.  Oh you may get a glimmer of a bond, but it is probably just superficial.  You may even believe you are making a difference…for a moment.  But you will never make the difference that you hope to.  You will never get out of this relationship what you put into it.  I know, I know, never say, “never.”

OK, so you won’t get the relationship with your child that you desire, but does that mean you get gypped out in the relationship department?  Absolutely not.  You will get to know many people that you would’ve never gotten to meet without your special needs child.  You will develop friendships with strangers that adore your child and bail him out at every chance. You will get to make deep, sincere friendships with other RAD parents. You will get to have deep respect for all those people who take the extra time to make a difference in your child’s life. You will revere coaches, teammates, therapists,classmates, bus drivers and even janitors who are called to bring joy into your child’s day.  Your relationship with your spouse and your other children will deepen as you all work through the pain, grief and bewilderment of having a child with RAD living in your home.

And, ultimately, it is my hope that you have a relationship with God and that it will deepen because of your ultimate reliance on Him to get through a single day.  It is during those times when you see that look, the empty, bone chilling evil look in your child’s eyes that the fear will make you run to the Lord and pray for the best.  You will pray that a smile from the lunch lady or school secretary will change the course of a day.  You will ask God to help your child make a good decision.  You will pray that God will foil any plan that your child may have that will cause him further pain.  You will ask God to comfort the pain your child suffers from his past trauma that now also causes you pain.  You will ask God to comfort you.  Your child’s determination to not have a relationship with you will cause you to deepen your relationship with the One who created you…and created your child…and knows exactly what the day will bring.

The fear of the unknown? There is no “unknown” to fear, even if it may be unknown to you.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.    –Isaiah 41:10

 

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Pen vs. Computer

maxresdefault       And today the Pen wins!!!  This is my first blog post in a long time and let me tell you why. Technology.  I knew that since I hadn’t used my lap top computer in a while, passwords would be changed, systems would need updated and it would simply take time to get back on track after a summer break.  I had no idea how frustrating it would truly be!

This morning I woke and I did my typical routine.  Fix a cup of tea, head to my dining room table, open up my Bible and my journal, pick up my favorite pen and write.  It’s as simple as that.  At one point, I wanted to see a dictionary definition of “integrity” and I stood up, walked across the room, got out the dictionary and looked it up.  Easy Peasie.

After spending time in my devotions, I decided to blog.  I have a routine for that too. Different room, different tools, different mindset.  I head upstairs to my studio to turn on the computer.  Took a long time to power up.  Typed in my password.  Incorrect.  Typed same password in a few more times.  Incorrect.  Tried various other passwords I sometimes use. Try Again.  My helpful computer told me that I needed to visit the website to reset my password.  However, I can’t sign on to visit said website.  Head back downstairs to the desk top computer, thankful I even have a desktop computer and begin the process to reset the password.  After receiving the reset code in an email, I can enter it in and set a new password.  Not enough letters.  Needs to include a number. Case sensitive. Not a password I have used in the past.  Finally, I have a new password. I am hopeful that I can remember the password. I can now simply head upstairs and start up my laptop.  It runs slow.  I’m sure there is a reason why but I don’t have the time to figure it out (since I spent most of my morning trying to get it to turn on.)  Finally, after a few more trips up and down the stairs, I am able to type a document on my computer.  Aaaaah.  Computers are so much more efficient than a pen and a piece of paper…..but maybe not in this house!

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