I love pinball machines, really old ones with actual buttons and paddles and million lights. I could waste a pocket full of change playing them, happily pushing those buttons and flinging those balls from paddle to paddle. The various themes amuse me, the lights and sounds are familiar and comforting, they remind me of the 80's and of a smaller calmer world.
Lately Pinball has been a pretty good analogy to explain things. I feel as though I am pinball machine ball between paddles and in a giant pinball ball game full of children's crises. One of my kids is always in crisis it seems and although there are calm patches they are small and filled with the repercussions of the last crisis.
This week Randall ran away, again. This is not a new behaviour, it is one both Randall and Kevin have used extensively to try to cope with things that they find overwhelming. This time he was missing for close to 24 hours and he was found quite by accident because someone who knew he was missing saw him. He had mad no attempt to contact us, no attempt to get help, he just wandered the streets all night scared and alone because he could not make a plan to fix the situation he had gotten himself into. It was horrible, it is always horrible when one of them is not where they are supposed to be. Once we had him home we had to pick up the pieces and the running away stemmed from school issues that were underlying things that have continued to blow up all week long. Randall just does not understand why other teens will not be as forgiving of his behaviour as he would be of theirs.
Kate creates drama daily, 11 and puberty is killing me. It's all stuff I can handle but it is so exhausting have to keep your eyes on a kid at all times. She is stealing, sneaking and lying to the best of her ability and I think she gets away with a lot at school that no one even notices. I have been to her rodeo but I was hoping this 3rd trip might be a little less exhausting.
And then there is Kevin who messaged me last night to ask for stuff that we have here in the house that he has decided he has to have. It is stuff I am not going to let a transient 17 year old have, stuff I have saved from when he was a kid and stuff that is not just his but also has been shared with his siblings. When I said he could not have it and explained why he told me yet again that " he is not my child and I can control him". This is his new mantra, I am not his parent and yet he messages me to demand the things that I have saved for him from all the years that he lived here and the memories we built together. He doesn't seem to understand that he if he hateful and mean to me I am not likely to do the things he asks and there doesn't seem to be a way to get him to understand that. He is not living in our home, I have million mixed feelings about what has happened with him and am trying hard to work on process it but when he says things like that I just go straight to mad.
Its all chaos all the time and I know that the kids thrive on the chaos, I know their brains think that the chaos is normal but the banging around like a pinball could stop for a bit and that would be ok. I think we would all be able to remember how it feels.