To do or not to do.
To say or not to say.
To give or not to give.
No matter how we slice it- we always have a choice to make.
I am guilty of making the wrong choice- too often. I have a temper.I don’t want to have a temper. I would love to be even keel, but it wasn’t how I was programmed, so I have to consciously make a choice to be kinder than necessary in moments of frustration.
I really blow this often. You guys know from pasts post’s that Loralei and Cash call me Hulk Smash, and they have become great indicators of when my temper is rising. Cash began raising his eyebrows when I start to get frustrated. I have asked them to help me. Doing that let’s them know that a.) I don’t want to be that way, b.) I am willing to change, c.) That I value them and want their help in my struggle to beat this thing.
They have learned that when I walk out of a room, to not follow me, and I extend the same courtesy. We have a literal open door policy. When you are in your room, unless you are changing your clothing, your door is open. No doors should be slamming- ever. This has been difficult as Cash has walked through some moments of increased frustration due mostly to academic struggles, and his natural response tends to be destroy and slam. I have to accept some of that upon myself- as he has learned from me in my moments of anger to lash out; how that wounds me as a mother. This is a large reason that I try to change and include them on the journey.
Cash is much like adult me, while Loralei is like a younger me. When she is angry, she just cries, and hides. I often did the very same thing as friends and family can attest. It was how I coped. What we have gone through with Cash has been far different than anything I have seen before. While he indeed learned negative behaviors from me, he has some that are all his own. I share these, not to embarrass or humiliate Cash, but to let other moms know- You are not alone; and for the children who do these things- You are not alone either.
We have seen incredible growth in Cash’s ability to regulate himself, but there are many times that he simply is maxed out- on everything. It can feel like a normal day with laughter and joking and then in a moment there is a snap in his demeanor. A sudden and unpredictable change. Most often this occurs during homework time, and I began this journey assuming he was overly tired, or hungry, and those still may be reasons, but I am just not sure. His temper will take over and before I know it, he is in a rage. Yelling, throwing things, destroying whatever is in his path. He covers his ears even though he is the one making the noise. I hold him, as loosely and yet as tight as I can. I want to protect him, and keep him from harming himself, and then I pray. I hold him, and rock him and he pushes against me, fist clenched and he hits, and kicks and I hold to him; just as the Lord does me. His skin is so hot to touch- it’s like a fire is caught on the inside of him. Then a time will come- it seems as though it’s days later, but its mere minutes and he relaxes, and his hands have found a blanket, a shirt, or a string and he whirls it around his nose, his fingers that we try so hard to get him to stop sucking settle into his mouth and he starts to breath in and out, and then I know, I have my son back.
It is traumatic, it is hard, and it is unfair- but this is our hand, and we know with the Lord’s help we can play it well.
He apologies before I have even let him go and he ushers in promises to clean his now destroyed room, and after a few minutes of cooling down, he does- his skin temperature is coming down and we together work to fix the mess. For the remainder of that day, he will stick closer to me, and I to him, reassuring love back and forth in the midst of the days events. I come away bruised and wounded, absorbing his crushing words in anger, and injuries in action. In these moments I want nothing more than to know what causes his reaction so that I can stop it. Is it a food? Stress? A smell? A word? A tone of voice? What is it?
I doubt many of you experience this, if people did, it would be talked about so much more; or would it? Are we afraid to say our children like us, have flaws? Are we unwilling to reach out to one another for help? For encouragement, for strength?
I don’t know; but what I do know, is everyday I have to make a choice to be a faithful wife, and a good mother. After working a full day at work and caring for the needs of a corporation, it is difficult to be either of those things. It is then, in the weariness that I have to acknowledge that it is a choice, I can get into the action, as I do with Cash; or I can sit there and watch it pass me by. Tired or not, weary or not, overwhelmed or not, I have a choice, and I have determined that because of Whose I am. I can do all things, and so can Cash. He can overcome because Jesus overcame. It may be a test of our strength or his will, but because of the blood of a sinless man on the cross at Calvary, we can do this. You and I. We are able. In His strength, and not our own.