The other day I was at lunch with a dear friend, that recently moved back into town and has been out of state for 5 years.
I had decided to be honest....
I was trying to explain “things”...and she bluntly asked, (not being rude),
“So do you love your easy kids more?”
“My “easy kids” (and what kid is 'really' easy) don't hurt me, like my kids from hard places do, but no, I don't love them less, I don't do less for them, in fact I probably do more, but my easy kids honestly are easier to love. My hard kids have taught me to love fiercely, without expecting reciprocation...and THAT has taught me so VERY much, even when I HATE it.”
I most definitively HAVE to love them differently.
“BUT they are SOOOOO cute, I would bring one home if I could, I don't understand how they could be so angry and violent”
(don't hate her she just doesn't know, she really is very sweet)
“Have you ever looked at how sweet and darling a baby gorilla is? Adorable right? Want to take one home?...truth is they 'can' be loving and oh so cuddly...truth is there is a primal part of them that may or may not rip your arms off of your body and beat you with them, truth is they could be easily frightened and throw their feces at you to keep you away if they get frightened, you just never know....”
“My kids come from survival, they can switch to that primal brain and have no say in how to regulate or really know how to stop their behavior... the throwing shit has happened...but look both arms still attached, for now.”
I grinned big at my brilliant analogy and humor...until I saw her face.
Forehead slap, I have gotten WAY too used to speaking frankly.
“What I mean is this, they are capable of things,things that no parent is prepared for because of things that were broken inside of them when they were very small, so they try to control what they can...like my mom, never being ever to go to bed with a single thing out of place, even if she is on her death bed?...it's like that with everything..and that can be HARD.”
She responded, “I am sooo like that, a little OCD, I have to have things in place before I can sit down or go to bed.”
“ Exactly, now times that by one million.
When Dude was a baby, he refused to drink, anything, for no reason.would.not.drink. He was 20 months old and going dehydrated, whatever I tried, he would spit it out..we had to hydrate him with enema's. Can you imagine, he is here in AMERICA for craps sake,and he is dying of dehydration, because he WILL not DRINK...and imagine being me, a Mother who has already had a son die because of dehydration...the look of HATE in his eyes saying, I will not let you save me, help me, love me,
So I love his fierce little spirit the only way he will let me sometimes. With a whole lot of consistence, a whole lot of love, and not letting his rejection work, by trying with everything in my being to not reject him....love is that for us.
Love is giving him everything no one else did, a bed, food, safe environment..and sometimes that is all he can take from me, even then sometimes THAT is too much...so he emotionally does whatever he can to make me want to push him away.
I am not a robot, sometimes the kid succeeds, I am after all human and totally blow it.”
She just sat there.
“We live in separate worlds, don't we?”
we ate in silence for a while.
“I want to tell you about how cute Miley's birthday party was and how we decorated it,and the food I made, because you used to do the same kind of things, would that hurt your feelings?”
“NO, I would love to hear about it, it won't make me sad, a little nostalgic, but not sad.”
so she shared, and I lived in that world for a while...
When we left the restaurant she hugged me tight, and said, “I couldn't do it, and I am not being complimentary, I wouldn’t be that strong, or want to be, but I am grateful for you, and love you, I want you to know that.”
Walking to my car and watching her drive away, I knew that hug was a goodbye, forever.
She doesn’t want any part of my reality..and that hurt for three good long seconds, as I am sure she mourned what our relationship and how our lives complimented one another years ago...and I and she let it go.
Reflecting after she drove away and I sat in quietness, waiting for my cell to start lighting up with texts of
“when are you coming home?”
“So-and-so just broke/destroyed/peed ....”
I thought about where, and who I was 5 years ago...who I was, what used to get under my skin, what things I took for granted...
Yes, my heart breaks daily, yes, I am stretched and yanked and pulled on, and almost ripped to shreds...by my kids inability to love, my heart and body are covered in emotional scars, loss and losing, sacrificing and letting go are daily events,”moving on” is a mantra tattooed on the inside of my brain...
as is the simple words 'Thank you”
and I like that.
I don't always like my life.
I don't always love my children the way most people love theirs... I simply can't.
But, If I am remembering, I AM loving them more and better than anyone else EVER has, that, right there is MORE than enough. I can feel good about that.
Today I am loving the fierce strength, confidence in who I am , who may family is, and NOT needing to apologize for those things.
Loving my children has taught me so very many things...things I may have never wanted to know about the extent of damage and pain, torture, neglect and abuse one little soul can take and their hearts continue to beat...
Loving my children has taught me fierceness in love, support, in caring, loving, recognizing what is and what isn't important, what relationships, words and work I want to put into things, and what is simply fluff.
I live in a no fluff zone.
I am good with that.
I recognize the losses, I do...but I also choose to see what I have been given ten fold in those losses, and some of the time (not ALL of the time) what I have gained, been given, the insights and friends I have now far surpass who and what I had and was before...and that feels right, not easy, never ever easy...but so right for me.
….and I also so still think baby gorillas are adorable....just sayn'.
- Lindsay Mama to Nine (who blogs at Home: a soft place to fall)
Wow..... Sitting here with tears.... Cleansing and self-forgiving tears. Thank you for putting words to my feelings and for reminding me once again that there are other mamas who get it... Who live this life alongside me.