I often hear from other parents that my kids behaviour is typical, that I shouldn't be so hard them. I often just smile and nod because it is not worth the battle. Last nights actions give me a great story for the next time someone says that to me.
Yesterday I realised after a rough 24 hours around here that I needed to shake things up with my kids. I sat down at my sewing machine and made them new quilt covers ( had been meaning to for ages) and once I got them put on to the boys beds I sat down and wrote them each a letter.
I am going to share Kevin's here because the one I wrote for Randall talks about stories that are not mine to share.
You have had a rough couple of weeks. I see you behaving in ways that you used to behave in when you were scared as a little kid. There are a lot of things going on in our lives that might be scary for you. I need you to know and remember that no matter what I am here for you and I am not going anywhere. I might yell and scream and get mad but I will never, EVER, EVER leave you.
I know that sometimes it is hard to be adopted and to understand all the things that happened to you. It is hard for me as a grown up to understand it all and I am not even the one who lived it, you are.
Kevin, I need you to always remember that everyone makes mistakes, me, you, Dad, Randall, it happens. We learn from our mistakes and try to make better choices next time. I see you making awesome choices so often and I am so proud of how hard you are working to make choices that will be helpful.
You are a wonderful kid and I thank God everyday that you are my son, don’t forget that.
I put the letters on their beds and when they got home from school I sent them up to their room to see what I had done. They were both thrilled. I heard them share their letters with one another, I got huge hugs and thank you's. I knew the love and thank you's were the first (good) shoe and thought that the other (bad) shoe might drop but we got through the afternoon and then dinner and dishes without it dropping. I thought I might get off scott free, I thought maybe there had been enough healing that they could receive a gift and some positive affirmations and not have to pay me back for having the audacity to tell them I loved them.
I was wrong.
Just as they were finishing the dishes Randall got a paper towel to wipe some spilled water up off the floor, then he walked over to the stove and squeezed the water from the paper towel into the large pot of soup that was on the stove from supper.
His brother tattled on him ( thankfully!) and we spent the next hour trying to get him to talk. It was a long hour. We were calm, well not really at first but we managed to get calm. I did walk away once and we were angry but I think we were pretty justified in our anger.
See the thing is we are challenging Fudge to heal, we are challenging him to realise that many of his behaviours are hurtful to the people around him and he needs to change them. In therapy we are challenging him to deal with the pain of his past and his many losses. We are forcing to him to go to places he would rather not go but we know that if he does not work through them he is going to remain a very, very angry little boy.
I am not for a minute justifying his behaviour and he is indeed on a very short leash when he is around any food at all until further notice. But, there is a part of me that understands that because I told him I was never, ever going to give up on him he needed to see if I meant it.
Can't wait to see what he comes up with next...