Thursday, October 6, 2016

Cherish Today

    A long time ago when my children were babies (I know it wasn't that long ago but it seems that way sometimes) I used to yearn for a full nights rest. When Kiana and Joseph were babies Dean and I used to each take a baby for the night. It was funny, I never heard Deans baby cry and he never heard mine but we each heard the one we were responsible for. I usually took the one who awakened most often because Dean had to go to work the next day, which meant Miss Kiana was mine. There were days when I thought this phase of life would never end. When I was up at night giving one child a bottle, another a drink and comforting yet another, an uninterrupted night sounded like one of the best things in the world.




   Now I seldom get awakened at night and if I do, a drink or hug along with words of comfort are usually all that is needed. And you know what? I miss those times. Of course I don't miss the fog brain and bleary eyes I endured the next day, but those nights of holding my little one's and being able to meet all their needs are now something I yearn for. Back then their troubles were small. A bottle, snuggles with mom or dad and warm clothing was all they asked for.

   I guess I am feeling nostalgic because last night was pretty rough around here. Seldom does the whole family feel burdened at the same time but we sure did last night. My dear husband did two major counseling sessions with two children over two different issues while I dealt with the other two little people. I was feeling rather overwhelmed when Dean reminded me that this time of year is always challenging mainly because of one thing, school. Lest you think it is the school or teachers, I want to clarify that it isn't, it is trauma.

   Tristan was feeling like, "What is the use of trying when things don't go right even though you do your best?" And I will admit I was feeling the same way. We try everything we know to do with Kiana and Joseph and it doesn't seem to make a bit of difference. My discouraged self was thinking, why do we even try so hard.

  Before we went to bed Dean and I discussed the evening. We have to be on the same page, or the children will manipulate and triangulate causing more damage. 

  "I told Tristan about something I recently failed at," Dean said, "I told him I would have felt much worse if I would have done a sloppy job. I knew I gave it my best shot and while I wish things would have turned out differently, I know I did my best."

  I needed to hear that. Parenting children with complex trauma and brain injuries can feel useless. You go over and over the same issues. You cry and pray, pleading with God for wisdom and patience only to find your child has slid back to square one for the umpteenth time. It is enough to make you want to throw up your hands in defeat. 

  "Do your best and if you fail, you know you gave it your best shot." I needed that because ultimately we won't be judged on whether we "succeeded" or "failed" at this whole parenting thing. We will be judged on whether we gave it our best. 

   As I was longing for the days when my children were babies and we were able to meet their needs, when we were all they wanted and needed, I had to think, "In ten years will I be looking back to these years and wishing we could go back?" 

  So for today I will cherish these years when things seem overwhelming and give it my best!

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