Caden-8yr is yelling, loudly to be heard. Not right this second. Just, in general. He’s frustrated. He has opinions and emotions and the conviction that all that should MATTER and he deserves to be heard just as much as anyone else, and he is forcing the issue.
I’m kinda proud.
Re-directing, when he does it in ways that aren’t quite safe or appropriate, but glad to hear him speaking up for himself. It’s better than the alternative. The ‘hmm. this person doesn’t want to hear anything that is mine… so i’ll just keep it to myself forever because i seem to not matter enough to have a voice….’ approach.
I’m working on speaking up and being heard, too. Not in the same way Caden-8yr is. THANK GOD. Last week, Caden-8yr didn’t feel he was being taken seriously about his stated hair preferences and he had a Britney Spears meltdown moment and got Mike’s electric clippers and shaved the sides of his head.
It looks dreadful. Mike had to buzz it all off in order to ‘fix’ it. It looked like a very short mullet.
We had a long discussion about safety, hair preferences, communication, and appropriate non-mullet-y means of self expression.
But i do appreciate where he’s coming from. A lot. I think he got Mike’s attention. And everyone else’s.
This morning I awoke to Caden-8yr yelling, at the top of his lungs, “DO! NOT! KEEP! BRAGGING! ABOUT! HOW! GOOD! YOU! ARE!!! I! HAVE! ASKED! YOU! NICELY! TO! STOP! THREEEEEEEEEEEE! TIMES!”
I called to him and when he appeared in my bedroom door, he expected some sort of negative reaction. I laughed at him. I asked if he was frustrated. I kissed him and hugged him and told him to try it again with respect, then come to me for backup if he needed me.
A few minutes later, he hauled Ethan-12yr into the room and politely requested that the bragging cease. Ethan-12yr politely responded and apologized and the two of them returned to the living room. And that was the end of it.
Mothering, before getting out of bed. But i LOVE it. I really do. Still as honored as ever that this is my life and these are my kids and their issues and I get to talk them through it with whatever measly amount of positive influence I have before 7 am and a diet coke on a Thursday.
Then I got dressed and hostessed a “laundry party” in the living room. I think that’s the kind of crap you can only get away with once, so I made it GOOD. We all sorted and folded and put away until EVERY piece of fabric was clean and put away. I don’t ever do the kids’ laundry. I talk them through when and how, but I do not wash, dry, sort, fold, or put away their laundry. They SO need to know how to do that themselves, and it might as well be now.
I had an interesting epiphany yesterday. Interesting to ME. Lemme clarify that. (And watch out, those of you who do not share my faith, because my Holy Roller Wheels are coming out. I can feel it.) I was driving back from the doctor’s office in the next town (two boys, two different minor ear/sinus infections. neither one is affecting anyone’s sleep, neither one is contagious, and neither one is really a big deal but could be if untreated so YEA as far as that crap goes, I’ll take it if I have to and be glad.)
Back to the epiphany. Sometimes people don’t actually WANT the forgiveness they ask you for. You can actually dig deep and in an “only God can do that through me because MAN that was AWFUL of you but YES I can really do this with/through God” style TOTALLY and completely forgive…. and it not be enough. SOMETIMES… the person doesn’t want that precious divine gift at all. With the acceptance of that kind of forgiveness would come repentance – or the other way around actually – and… maybe that’s not really where they wanted to go in the first place. Not REALLY. What would be better would be if you just go back to when you didn’t know the terrible things that needed the forgiveness in the first place. Back when my image was exactly how I wanted it. Could you just “un-know” that, please? WHAT? You can’t? But THAT is what is needed. THAT. And only THAT. Because you can’t THINK that. You can’t KNOW that. You can’t TALK about that. You can’t FEEL that way. You can’t… KNOW. And if you do… this won’t work. THAT is the problem, if you know this. I need a clean slate. Only with people who do not know what you know. You must not think/feel/say/do anything that indicates you actually KNOW that truth.
The forgiveness of it all was SUCH a better deal… but not received and recognized and taken. What God had behind one door was a GREAT and truly amazing deal. But the choice was for something so much less. Behind someone else’s door.
It’s all so very sad. It didn’t have to be that way.
But that being said, it is always worthwhile to forgive, God-style, in a huge way that can only be done with His grace at work going right through you. Even if it isn’t genuinely wanted or accepted… it’s required.
I could go back and hyperlink scriptures throughout that but Caden-8yr is yelling his head off in the backyard and I can hear it from here and it’s making me SMILE. I think he needs me to go back him up. And calm down the wide-eyed brothers who don’t know what to do about this new dynamic. And I should tell them that what Caden-8yr knows and speaks is worthwhile. What he’s saying and thinking and feeling is all needing to be heard and he has no patience for being ignored any longer and it’s making him so frustrated he has to SCREAM since he can’t rip his hair out.
Maybe while I’m out there, I’ll sunscreen his cute little bald head.