24 hours have passed. It’s time to do a family check in. Where is everyone at? How is every feeling? Do we need another 24 hours of rest, or are we ready to talk?
I go last… I know I am not ready to talk and I know some others are. I am about to call out more uncomfortable time. I have to let it be ok that I am not ready when everyone else is. I know the boys will be angry with me, and I have to let it be ok. I know my husband would rather us move on, he is uncomfortable with it too, and I have to let that be ok. I am nervous about the dinner time we are about to have…
And then something amazing happens. I take my turn. “I am not ready boys. I am still tired.” I look at boy 1 and I tell him I am still angry with him over last week. He does not pull his eyes away from me, instead he listens intensely, and he knots his head. “Boy 2, I still so hurt by your actions towards me, or lack there of. My tank did not fill up enough yet. I am afraid I am still able to fire up easily, and I need to work too hard to self-regulate.” When boy 2 rolls his eyes at me I continue… “And I have to be honest with you guys. When I see boy 2 rolling eyes at me, when I see that he’s not gotten passed the fact he can’t be on his device, it’s really hard for me to get rest. Because the rejection continues, the anger at me continues… you are all resting but I still get this treatment. I still get to be tense. And boy 2… you do not share anything about where you are at. You are just angry. So I just have to breath through this, but also give myself more time.”
Boy 1 steps in: “Can I please respond to this?… Today has been good for me. I have been writing and thinking. I have had good talks with my brother and he’s helped me today in processing things. But of all things, I have wrestled with the question: “How is it that mom loves me the way she does when she is so angry with me? How does she do it? I don’t understand.” He went on to explain about Monday, when we came home from therapy… “I was still set on being angry with you guys, I was still set on making you hurt because… well… I hurt. I decided I was not done being defiant and stubborn. I was not going to listen to anything you had to say. I was not ready to let go, and the therapy session showed it, I stuck my ground and kept calling everything unfair, without listening to what the adults had to say. But then we drove home, and we all realized we had nothing to come home to and mom happily offered a trip to the library. Why would she want to take me to the library and serve ME? And when it was time for dinner, I saw mom make our favorite family meal. I also know I don’t like the broccoli that comes with that favorite meal and usually mom makes a separate dish for me, with my own vegetable. I told little brother that dinner was going to suck, how mom usually makes it different for me but there’s no way she would tonight. I was going to hate dinner. Then we sat down… and mom actually made me my separate dish just like she always does. It got me quiet, and it made me think. I don’t understand where it is coming from. How does she do it when she is angry? I have not found an answer but mom, I want to applaud you. In my time alone today I have come to realize dad is right when he tells me what a strong woman you are. You tell me you are angry, you have every right to be, but you just tell me you are, and then you go about life. You don’t yell at me, you don’t stop loving me, you don’t reject me, you don’t ignore me. I want you to know I see. You are a remarkable woman.”
As our boy speaks I let the tears roll down my cheeks. I grab my husband’s hand. He knows how hard this week has been and boy 1’s words are healing for my heart. In that instant I realize it’s all worth it. In that instant I see what God is doing… He is healing our boys. He has given me an amazing gift: Hurt, hurt for these boys and show them how you heal. Love, love these boys and teach them what it truly is.
And with that we did extend our family rest with another 24 hours…
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