Tuesday, September 17, 2013

On Her Own Wings {Walking a Slack Rope}

I'm missing her already. Brianna has been my companion all summer long. We've tied tomatoes together, cleaned house and cooked, read each other's writing, poured over her photography and computer issues, and talked. We talked a lot. She navigated some new waters this summer and she made a lot of discoveries and I do think she is lot more grown up and a wee bit less naive than she was a few short months ago. Now she's flying off to a new adventure and I feel like I'm being left behind.

Brianna has always been a very sweet accepting personality. People are very attracted to her gentle and cheerful disposition. She handles disappointments and changes as if they were coming straight from the hand of God for good reason with something positive hidden there for her in a silver lining. She constantly thinks in object lessons as she works and recreates. And if you are interested she keeps a blog, but she writes more than you will ever see. She only posts one out of every 5 entries....  Here's her latest post: A Theater or An Actor.

She left the house just after 4 am this morning for Oklahoma. She will be gone 2 months. I'm looking forward to seeing what she will learn there, but it's kind of hard to let her go on  her own wings even though I know she's ready.

Vanessa is in Idaho visiting her friend Glesni. Christina just arrived home with Steve from Canada yesterday. College classes begin next week. It's good to hear her laughter. No one can throw their head back and laugh quite like she does. It was fun to hear her laugh as she told how her dad had trouble distinguishing between the men's and the womens' washroom at Walmart  and of his great escape....

The twins have been mostly doing well.... We had an episode of complete meltdown and rage and destruction of a bedroom which included dumping every last lego, car, train, clothes, books, papers, wall hangings, etc. in the middle of the room and then using markers on the furniture. It also included locking everyone out of the house. I was not home. I felt really anxious that I could not turn around and go home, but in the end it served to give me time to think about how I would handle it when I got back. And I simply took a look and said not a word and let the child sit in his mess and contemplate it for a few hours. After that I invited him to come eat at his convenience.... AFTER the room was completely cleaned and the marker washed off. It took a few hours. I told him I was really sorry that he had made so much work for himself. After that he was fine. I've come a long ways from really getting stressed out over this stuff. I neither reacted nor helped to fix the problem he created. The reason for his explosion was so utterly random I can't really put a finger on it. He was doing what he does every day when he lost it.

This morning both children had a dark cloud about them. They were both balking my interactions with them and after trying a few things....  I put my running shoes on and bade them a good day and went for a walk. Christina says nothing happened at all. At 5 minutes until the bus arrived she told them they had time to get out the door still. They quickly both got dressed and made it to the bus. They did not eat, they did not comb their hair, brush their teeth, or wash their faces, they did nothing but get on the bus dressed.

I didn't help them at all by walking away. Staying and trying to motivate them would have done nothing but frustrate us all. I already know that. If they would not be helped the least I can do is remove myself from the stress and get some exercise. If their mood is different when they get home then I will try to seek a solution to our problem with them. They are going to have to give me some words..... however long it takes.  I'm trying a new approach if I can help it.

I do see some some responsibility being carried by the twins in certain areas. Music practice is theirs. I am not hovering. Brianna is not here to teach a violin less every day and Vanessa has no time to teach piano. They practiced every day on their own marking on their card each time they played their songs. James did better at it than Missy did. In the end, yesterday she just wrote a bunch of check marks so she could be finished.. I recognized that when she showed me and we threw the week's record away when she admitted it did not represent truth.

Balance, balance, balance.... always trying to find the balance...... Don't push too hard. Don't enable. Don't frustrate them. Don't allow them to lean-in. Don't allow myself to get to the place of exasperation. Don't abandon them to their folly. I think I'm what you call a slack rope walker.


Emily said...

And you're doing a great job. There aren't many who could.

Mama Ds Dozen said...

I think you are what's called . . . an amazing, patient, ever loving, hard working, mama of many.

Keep up the good work.

We drove through your neck of the woods a week ago. I scanned all of the hillsides wondering if I might spot your place.

Laurel :)

Anonymous said...

Your daughter's writing reminds me of the works of Louisa May Alcott. And I mean that as a compliment.
I am also impressed with the maturity and strength of her words.
I enjoy reading both of your blogs.

Anonymous said...

I found you through your Mom's blog. I just want to say that this post really spoke to me. I grew up in a home where religion was a means to an end as in as long as one attended church every Sunday so the neighbors saw, we could consider ourselves good people no matter what happened during the week. I never really agreed with that method and it always made me uncomfortable. As an adult, I found that I attended church because I truly wanted to learn more and know more and I read my Bible for much of the same reason. For me it has never been about what others thought but what God thought. I am still learning. Your writing touches me. thank you.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, that last comment was meant for your daughter. I copied it and will put it on her blog where it belongs.
I have read much of your blog as I have been somewhat bedridden while undergoing cancer treament, I'm ok or I will be, just have lots of time to sit around and read blogs.
Anyway, I really like your blog and I admire you and your family. You are certainly walking the walk and I have learned a great deal from you. So thanks for all you have written here.

acceptance with joy said...

Thank you for the kind words. I realized that one comment was for Brianna so I did not post it here. She is glad to know that her writing is a blessing.

I pray your health improves quickly!!

Thank you again. Angela