Sometimes you just have to laugh about it.

Wow. At this point in the evening I’m going to have myself a good laugh and just sleep it off.

A great sunny day, fun activities outside, a short swim left a small one exhausted. I came home from my treatment and found that the kids tried to go to the pool with Daddy at 1:30 but the pool had been closed until 3:30 (which caused much sadness for a few minutes until Daddy remedied that with a “let’s go get ice cream and we’ll come back at 3:30”) which meant that I took them at 3:30 to the pool 😉 Daddy thankfully joined us and swam with the big kids while I supervised Wes in the kiddie pool.

After swimming, though, was when the night started to get fun. Braeden and Kris had their last baseball game of the season (conveniently starting at 7pm – {insert sarcastic eye roll} – Wes’s bibbity-bobbity-bedtime) so Wes, Abby and I took Logan to basketball practice, and the boys headed off to baseball. Somehow Wes got it in his head that he was going to go watch baseball, so when we later picked up Logan and I told him we weren’t going to watch the game, and that only Logan was going to watch…things started to unravel. Mind you, I’m already a few screws loose at this point in the day after my treatment.

Just prior to picking up Logan, Abby had all of a sudden come down with a “I’m so exhausted I just want to sleep now” which for her is a sure sign of migraine coming on (she has suffered from migraines since she was about 4, no consistent triggers). So I decided that instead of appeasing Wes and staying at the game to watch for the first 15-20 min and then leave, we’d just need to drop Logan off and I’d take the younger two home for much needed early bedtime.

Ha.

Ha.

Ha.

{insert completely exhausted half-hearted attempt at a chuckle at my own naive pea-brained thought process}

As soon as Logan got out of the car, I heard “I want watch baseball. I want watch baseball” coming from Wesley’s booster, at the same time, I heard “mom, we’re going home right?” from Abby, with an uneasy swallow attached. I started driving away and immediately a Niagra Falls of tears spilled over in the backseat. Complete, instant, utter wailing with “baseball” and “watch” drowning themselves in the waters.

I pulled over to an empty curb in the parking lot and got out to try to console the poor guy in the backseat (who wanted nothing to do with me if I wasn’t going to unbuckle him), but I had promised last time that if he was sad I would give him hugs to help him feel better, so at least I needed to verbally and physically attempt to keep my word!

Well, at the same time I’m trying to control the flooded situation in 7-year-old lungs, all of a sudden I hear “{gulp} mom?!” “I’m going to.” (translation: I’m about to puke all over your car and myself if you don’t help me get out.) Many times, the only release to her migraines is to just literally let it all out…yuck.

All our car doors open in the parking lot, screaming tearful child in the backseat strapped into his booster, (luckily I don’t think he could see straight enough through his tears to manage unbuckling, otherwise he’d have been halfway across to the baseball field by then), and I’m rushing over to the opposite passenger side to get Abby out before she — you know. I get her out and over to the barkdust, and after she’s done, I have to leave her there alone while I go console Little Man, because in all the hullaballoo I think he freaked out more because he saw us getting out and then he was still stuck in there – did he maybe think we were going to watch baseball without him? LOL

WHEW. OK. Puke done. Crying, screaming child still in the backseat but at least I can drive and we are only 8 minutes from home. So, continue driving home, trying to calmly talk Wes out of his grief about the lost baseball game, which was made worse by the fact that we have to drive by the ENTIRE BASEBALL PARK AND FIELDS to get home, so with each game we passed, a fresh volume of tears ensued as he craned his neck to illustrate further the fury he had that he was leaving those precious games behind.

We finally got home, and I sent Abby in because she just gets a sad, scared heart when he’s so sad and angry, and I tried to peel him out of the car, but I think he associated the car with maybe getting to watch baseball still, so he was clinging to the arms of the car seat. Literally peeling screaming child off the seat, I gathered him up and brought him in, then had to take him straight up to his room so we could at least try to attempt bedtime.

I am still functioning on about 15% of my normal physical and awake-alert ability here. LOL. See? It really is just absolutely humorous now that it’s all done!

At any rate, I had to carry him kicking and screaming all the way upstairs – I think he wanted to just be as close to the garage/car as possible, but that definitely isn’t where he sleeps. When we finally reached his room and bathroom, I tried a new tactic tonight. Other than having to pick him up and carry him (even if he was fighting me) to where I needed him to be (like the bathroom to pee before bed), I just let him cry it out. He cried and wailed for probably 35 minutes straight.

I’ll interject here – At this point, I’m sharing details for parents of children who may come home and display some of the same behavior, to help illustrate what we’ve tried, and what has worked. So, if it’s helpful, please read it – if it’s not – feel free to skip over it and read the nice wrap-up at the end 😉

This time, I let him mostly cry it out on his own. I was always nearby, within 4-5 feet of him, and every few minutes I’d close the gap, talk softly, get on his level and attempt to make some kind of gentle physical contact, either rubbing his back, his head, or just a hand on his arm. He shrugged a lot of it away, but about half the time he was so stuck in his own head that he allowed it even if he didn’t let it “reach” him or comfort him. The allowing is good – and I think I’ll continue to go this route as it teaches him that comfort when we are sad is there when he needs it. I didn’t over-do the lovey-dovey physical touch, in those moments he doesn’t want hugs, he doesn’t want cuddled or loved on, but he still needs to know that I’m there, and I’m not going to go away when he’s mad or sad.

After 35 minutes or so of his crying, and yelling, he slowed down a bit, and finally was in such an exhausted point that I have started to be able to recognize. In that moment there opens a point of entry for physical comfort. The point in time where I can ask “Are you ready for a hug?” and he may completely ignore me, but his body is too exhausted to fight against it. So I moved from that question to letting him know that I was going to help him go potty, and pick him up and give him a hug. He fought it a little, but eventually let me hold him, and slowly over the next minute or so relaxed into still crying and whimpering but arms around me and allowing himself to be held. That moment is a glorious feeling of relief, let me tell you. Whether you have adopted children from tough places, or just children that have tough days – that moment where you know their heart is finally (for even just a moment) soft and moldable is a sweet, sweet breath of pure oxygen.

I sat on the bed and held him, talking softly, and gently and he was able to tell me that he didn’t want to sleep upstairs tonight, he wanted to sleep on Mommy’s floor – which was awesome because he was using words and communicating with me. So we went back down to my room, and he laid down, and quietly snuggled in and continued settling down as we read stories. From there, he was happy and content, calmed and crisis behind us.

Abby had settled into my bed, and he had settled on the floor, so I now have two sleeping littles in my room…where I would really like to go sleep about now. 🙂

Anyway – Today, of all days – of course it would happen. Today, of all days – of course he would fall apart, and of course, I’d be alone to deal with it – and of course, I’d be running on empty. But sometimes, when it’s over, you just have to laugh about it – because you’re still alive, and your kids are happy and sleeping, (and hopefully will sleep past 5am because they are SO SO tired…).

We hear this cliché phrase often, “God will never give you more than you can handle” – well, let’s just call a spade a spade, folks – that’s a bunch of BS. (blue sharks). God gives me stuff I can’t handle EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. And my guess is that He’s given many of you stuff you can’t handle either. Sometimes those things amount to a mountain that makes you doubt His goodness, or even His existence. The thing is, when He allows us to go through these trials, struggles, temper tantrums and trauma aftermath, sicknesses, cancers, death and just plain old rotten stuff – He always, always, always gives us something else alongside it. He gives Himself. He offers His hand every step of the way, He offers His peace, His refuge, His comfort, His truth, His goodness, His mercy, His grace and His unconditional love. Never once will God ask us or require us to do it alone – that’s part of the beauty of knowing Him, of being engaged in relationship with Him – we are never alone again.

For many of you this hits home as something you know is truth for you – for others you may wrestle with these words and that’s okay – wrestle it, fight it out, kick and scream and refuse to look Him in the eyes. Shrug off His attempts to hold you, turn your face to the wall when He tries to wipe your tears, stick in your neon yellow earplugs when someone like me tries to tell you that He. Is. Chasing. After. You. Because in the same way that I planted myself right near my son tonight to make sure he knew that I was there and that I loved him – regardless of his acceptance of my words and my touch – the same is true infinity-fold for the Lord. He longs for you to look in His eyes, He longs for you to let Him carry you and all your junk, He is sitting there next to you while you’re going through your hard stuff, quietly trying to let you know that you don’t have to do this alone.

Just as I love my son, who came to me out of brokenness and grief, loss and destruction, so does our Heavenly Father love you – no matter how broken or messed up or wayward, how mistaken or just forgetful of Him you’ve become – You don’t have to do this alone.

And at the moment when you realize that – and take advantage of that partnership – after your tears are dried and your heart is held…

Then, sometimes you just have to laugh about it.

Blessings,

Laura

2 thoughts on “Sometimes you just have to laugh about it.

  1. melissa says:

    Thank you for sharing about the language! That is incredibly helpful! I want to get that app today! Sounds like he is doing amazing with English and communicating his wants! I love how you held off a bit when he was upset about missing the baseball game! I heard a therapist speak one time and he said when teens are upset, “get low” lower than them, even if you have to lay on the floor! It allows them to feel less like you are trying to dominate- also shows your humility and desire to help.Totally reminded me of how you handled that! Thanks for your posts!!

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