Monday, March 12, 2012

Victories Come in All Shapes and Sizes

It is 3 AM.  I am a mommy sandwich.  I would say I was "nestled" between my two youngest daughters, but that would imply that I am comfortable, which I am not.  That is why I am up, typing a blog post at 3:30 in the morning, rather than sleeping.  It no longer is about finding my inner brilliance or wanting to see how my mind works at certain hours and has everything to do with the fact that I am awake, a state that I don't wish for at this hour.

It is quiet, now that all the crying has stopped, and I have found myself recounting the past few days.  There has been trouble at the ranch y'all.  (Although, I believe it unnecessary, I put that apostrophe after that y in y'all, to halfway attempt to please all you spelling and grammar purists, of which I am not at 3 AM, even though, yall is a real word, apostrophe or no, in the state of Tennessee.)<-----That was a lot of commas; who wants to dissect that sentence?

Anyway, as I mentioned in my 1 AM post not too long ago (if it turns up hyperlinked, it will be because Anna was smart enough and had the wherewithal to do it -ha!)we have had some trouble. So much so, if you recall, my dh sent in an offering to the church, with our credit card.  We have had some surgery, sickness and such over the past couple weeks, beginning with the, ahh, "noodling" of my dog. Then my seven year old daughter had the tonsillectomy, my three year old daughter had the respiratory turned ear infection that resulted in a slight rupture of her eardrum, my six year old son got a couple of teeth capped and now one is infected and he is on the schedule for a root canal next week.   Now my handicapped brother that I take care of is sick, too.  Like I said, there is trouble. My dh may want to considered burning a tenth of our food storage on an alter somewhere.  *ahem*

It is hard to find victory during these times. You have to be looking for it. I am fixing to get waaay personal.

My 12 year old just got past her second period, ever.  It was the period from hell.  It finally gave way to the attitude from the same location.  My oldest child has not been without her difficulties.  She has severe ADHD and sometimes I am sure she lays awake at night wondering which one of my buttons is she going to toy with tomorrow.  Medication helps.  In fact, I am going to take this moment to thank Leandro Painizzon, the chemist who discovered and named Ritalin. Thank you sir, I am forever grateful, and I hope your wife enjoys having a drug named after her.  My daughter came out of a desperate situation when she was given to me at the age of five.  She missed the normalcy of life as a 5 year old, never knowing when dinner was, whether or not the electricity was going to be on or if she was going to be warm at night.  She experienced times that she was not safe in her own home, even though the man she called daddy was right there.  That really has hurt her in a lot of different ways and the impact is long lasting and presents a multitude of challenges for her and us.

Last night, a friend brought us dinner and entertained me for a bit, and asked what else could she do to help.  I told her that I did not know, that I was just really overwhelmed.  She lovingly pointed to my 12 year old and asserted, "Make that one help you." My husband sat across from me, vigorously nodding his assent.  They don't understand that making her help me would overwhelm me to the point that I would just be run over.  Making her do anything can be an arduous process, not because she doesn't want to help, but because her version of help and mine, would be really different. Her version of help includes cooking whatever concoction she comes up with and leaving the mess. Trying to get her to clean up the mess would take over an hour *IF* I consistently followed up.  Her version of help would be to go clean my room, helping herself to my jewelry and makeup along the way, until she forgot why she was even in my room to begin with.

Having her help is hard and takes a lot of work on my part.  Sometimes, she is the most helpful when she is quietly watching a movie or reading a book.

I know none of that sounds like victory.  A 12 year old girl that is not a lot of help to her family?!  It sounds like someone (me) really dropped that child training ball, sounds like no one cared enough to teach her things, or cared enough to be consistent with her.  None of that is true by the way, but I do know how it sounds, and have felt the judgement and disappointment of others who have not walked in my Asics GT 2160's.

But, when you stop and get to know us and her, and you know where she has been and where we have been, you can recognize the victory.  The victory starts with her being here, a very much loved part of our family.  The victory is that she can read now. The victory is that she is learning to ask for help and trusts that she can and will get it. The victory is that she is safe and can sleep at night.  The victory is that she can turn on the TV, the light switch, and the faucet and there will be electricity and water.  The victory is that she now will do what she is told more often than she doesn't. The victory is that she has found that truthfulness is better than the lie.

As God allows time, maturity, and hard work continue, I know that my child will find more victories, she will continue to make progress and grow into a young woman of grace.  I may not be the one who teaches her how to menu plan, julienne, mend a garment, to be proactive when it concerns helping around the house,or maybe I will,  but hopefully, with God's grace, I will teach her what she needs to know in order to be taught those things.

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Rachel E. said...

I completely understand you. While I haven't had children have surgery, my 13 year old is wrapping up her second period ever. She has had a horrible one as well. The poor thing hates it and has had to clean up bedding twice. Once in the middle of the night - in tears. She slept for a few hours in the middle of the day the other day until I practically told her to get up and get moving. After a few words, she realized she wouldn't get much sympathy from me. Though, contrary to her belief, I do care.

My son is on Vivanse, and I am thankful to the inventor of that as much as you are for the invention of Ritalin. It is the difference between night and day with my son. He has ODD and ADHD as well as OCD. IT has been interesting and I often think I have another child or two with the same thing.

Hang in there. He is your strength. Your ever present help in trouble.

Jessica said...

Rachel - Thanks for your comment! My daughter hates it as well and I did not practically tell her to get up, I absolutely did. I said, "Get up. This is something you will have to learn to live with." Glad I was not the only one with this approach. My husband thought I was being mean to her LOL... I told him that I was not, of course, I was actually helping her. ;)

My daughter also has been diagnosed with ODD, but I can not say I have a good understanding of what it is. I just am really really thankful for Ritalin!!

Rachel E. said...

I think my exact words to my daughter were, "I've been there, done that. I still had to go to school." She thought about it, got up, and sat at the table for her school.