Back to parenting. Little t is really struggling. The is A LOT to adjust to, though we see improvement each day. The hardest part for him is that there are 300 kids here half of whom live 50 paces away in the children's home. These kids are sweet and joyful and well behaved, but they're still kids with no concept of personal space or privacy or alone time because they are all always around 100 of their peers. My hat is off to Christopher, the manager/pastor/father here, who manages to keep this wild herd more or less under control twenty four hours a day. I'm failing to manage my two.
The outworking of t's struggles are that his behavior has been atrocious. I won't go into details. And he is having nightmares, night terrors, and is experiencing a lot of fear that he is neither able to express nor really able to process. Of course he just comes to us for security. But he doesn't ask or use words. Don't think: cuddling up and saying “Mommy hold me." Think: irrational inconsolable four year old screaming in our bed for an hour at 3AM. Almost daily. And there are lots of other unpleasant symptoms.
It's stressful. And we're not getting good sleep. Frankly, it's hard not to be angry with him—especially when I've been up most of the night. I confess that at time I have felt and even expressed anger. I'm frustrated that I can't control his feelings or behavior. This has led to some pretty desperate moments. But I'm learning something from it.
I am experiencing the inevitable brokenness of human relationships, and I am so disappointed. I have tried so hard (not just this month, but for the last four years, always striving to make parenting a priority). And I realize that in some sense I have failed. Our relationship cannot be perfect, no matter how I try.
His behavior is so bad at times that often I don't even want to be around him. And that just breaks my heart.
But I don't know why I expected otherwise. Of course we are both sinners (imperfect people), doing not what we know we ought to, and doing what we know we ought not. Of course brokenness enters in and disrupts our relationship.
There is hope, however, that our relationship will be redeemed. Because it has been fractured and will be made new again on the altar of Christ, it will be better than new, better than it would be if it had never been disrupted. We can choose to love one another nonetheless.
Have we not behaved the very same way toward Our Heavenly Father?
To be continued...