As of August 6th, we’ve officially been here 1 year. Seems long and short all at once. I gave myself a year to get used to things here and adjust, but I think I should have given myself 2 or maybe 3 years. Ha! I have adjusted some, but I still feel so new to these parts. Like I’ve just started learning the ropes…
As I look back and see so much good, I also see a lot of hard. One of the hardest things has been to watch our oldest kiddo struggle so much through this transition. And that’s what I want to share a little bit about. This precious kid left the only home he remembers…a home and neighborhood and campus he loved, and also a best buddy who lived right next door. He didn’t know how to handle the emotions and feelings when one day last July all those things he knew so well were just…
Cason is observant, he internalizes things, is sensitive, and his mind has a hard time shutting off. We’re a lot alike when it comes to these things. We like predictable. We like familiar. We do not like different. We do not like big change. Change feels unsafe and unknown and out of control. The thing is I’m 35. I don’t like change, but I’ve had some practice….but how is a 7 (now 8) year old supposed to handle it all?
We’ve had a lot of meltdowns and anger. The tears and frustration and anger surface for awhile eventually followed by tears of sadness and grief. So in these times of grief he just shuts down and other times he verbalizes things….
“I miss my neighborhood!”
“I miss my friends!”
“I just want to go home!”
And it breaks my heart all over again each time. Mostly I cry right along with him. And pray. And I hold him if he’ll let me. Because I don’t know what else to do. And I’m really just scratching the surface of all that we’re dealing with with our sweet boy.
Being a mom is amazing and I don’t for a moment take it for granted or wish it away. But it is hands down the hardest and most challenging and tear-filled journey I’ve ever been on. I am weary, and I want so badly for my boy to be happy, truly happy.
I could write and write about so many good things, but if you ask me today how our first year has been, I’ll tell you it’s been hard. Really hard. Of course, it’s been good in so many ways. In all of it, God is faithful. We trust him. We trust him in all of it….though, I tell ya…trusting him in this parenting thing feels harder and harder. I even ask myself…am I the wrong mom? Is it my fault he’s dealing with so much? Am I handling things all wrong? Could someone else do a better job? I know the answer to each of these is no, but knowing it and believing it are two different things. I am weary. God placed these precious kids in my hands knowing that 8 years down the road, I’d be crying tears of hardship and praying hard over each one of them at night after they’re asleep. He knew I’d feel at a loss. He knew I’d be doubting myself, not seeing myself through his eyes, but through a skewed lens of my own.
Parenting can be so very hard, friends, am I right?!
I’ve been so desperate for the Lord and his guidance and wisdom, so I’ve been digging into Scripture. Gobbling it up like I haven’t in years. It’s been so good…a precious morning time (if I get myself out of bed, that is). But I wake hungry for more of his word. There are so many ‘outward’ things we can do to hopefully help our struggling kiddo…change his diet, work on calming techniques, see a counselor, and so on. And we’re doing all these things…but I know without a doubt that we…both Cason and I…we need Jesus to help us work through it all. And I want to model it for him. And love him well.
This is kid so great. He has one of the softest hearts I know. He’s loving and sweet and smart and thoughtful and awesome. He’s super social and kind and loves people so well. So if you get the privilege of being around him, give him a high five and tell him how great he is. Ask him some questions and then lend him a listening ear. He’s honest and curious and talkative, and I believe has something great to offer.
And for the record, he and I butt heads like crazy. Like for real crazy. But gosh, I love him so much. I ask my kids often, “Do you know how much I love you?” And they know it by heart and answer right back,
always and forever…
no matter what.”
I’ve had them repeat it so much they can say it in their sleep. And they roll their eyes at me when I ask, but they usually say it anyway. And if they’re too mad or upset to talk, I remind them myself.
“I love you so much, always and forever, no matter what.”
My love will never run out, and I want them to never doubt it. No matter what they say or do, it’ll always be there.