What is the point of blogging honestly and truthfully? For me, I want to be an honest person even though that means I might look ugly to many people. I sin. I rarely get it right. And if I share, I know I open myself up to tons of criticism. Why not just keep everything to ourselves? It keeps people wondering at the very least. This is definitely a road I have contemplated going down-- just shutting down the blog or keeping it private-- or even worse-- painting this rosy perfect picture of our family-- it would certainly be easier.
But God didn't promise easy. In fact, He has proven to me more times than not that my screwed up life enables Him to turn it around for His glory. Just like other people have touched me in a powerful way when they have shared their hard times, I believe that God continues to use me in this way too.
So I blog.
Last night Jonny came to our room in the middle of the night around 2 am. "Can I sleep in your room? I had a bad dream." "Sure, go lay down on the other bed," I said half asleep. Ten minutes later, "Can I come sleep with you? I can't go to sleep by myself," Jonny whispered as he climbed into bed between John and I. "Sure Jonny." Ten minutes later, "Will you pray with me? I had a bad dream, and I can't go to sleep." Why hadn't I thought of this earlier? Well actually I had, but I was too tired and figured that it would be okay to skip the praying. But now Jonny was asking so I prayed with him. He kept stirring so ten minutes later I prayed with him again. And then again. He just couldn't sleep. By this time at least an hour had passed. "Jonny what was your dream about? Did you watch something scary?" Jonny told me that Rumpelstiltskin in Shrek 4 had scared him. This sounded fishy but I didn't think it was the time to investigate. Finally after another hour or two he drifted off to sleep around 5am.
6:30 a.m. was here before we knew it, and I woke him up. Over breakfast we talked about Jonny's bad dream and I found out it was from watching "The Mummy" a few nights ago when John and I went to serve Thanksgiving dinner. Andrew found it in an old stack of movies. Rachel thought it was okay for them to watch. I'm mad at myself for even having the movie in the house. As I lectured the kids about knowing better than to watch a scary movie, Andrew shifted blame to Dad who I then shifted my anger towards.
It was quickly resolved, with new lessons learned. I am sorry that Jonny had bad dreams as a result. I am sorry that my kids were exposed to something they shouldn't have. I'm sorry I was quick to deflect blame.
This is a time that I wish there was a do over button.
Onto other things.
It is expected that things will come up with kids as they grow and change. That's called life. We all have ups and downs and no matter what, we will get through them, work through them, and learn from them. I trust that each and every situation will be used for God's glory... if we let it. I believe that no mater how unpleasant they may be or how great the challenge, something can be learned. We can become more patient, practice self-control, learn to be content in the midst of a storm, or when you are stuck in a desert.
With that said, I share something quite personal. The other day an adoptive parent and friend called me after I messaged her on Facebook. She shared with me how she found her underwear in her son's room-- more than once. She asked for advice which I had little, simply because I had not really experienced this in our home.... yet. I encouraged, touched on puberty, assured her that masturbation was quite normal, and told her what I did know. If kids have attachment issues they will hone in on what bothers you and do it more. What I meant by bother is that-- I encouraged her not to make this issue a deal breaker.
Then it happened.
Earlier in the week I found one of the boys wearing girls underwear over their diaper at nap time. A few pairs of girls undies were stashed in his pillow case. I didn't think much of it honestly. I told him to stop goofing around and go to sleep. I took the underwear. A day later, I found some girls underwear stashed in a drawer. I assumed that they were for Dennis' doll who he dresses up with diapers or underwear before putting on clothes. I didn't make a big deal of it other than telling him that he better stop taking things that don't belong to him without permission. Then at nap time a daughter caught him caressing girls underwear that were laid out on his pillow. I found more underwear hidden in his pillowcase. Within the course of a week, I figured it out. For years nothing like this had happened, and then all of a sudden it does.
That's life. It happens. Yes, this made me uncomfortable. Yes, I wish it was somebody else. But it's us. And we are working through it because it is not a deal breaker. Kids are curious. Kids like to explore. Things that make them feel good, they will naturally gravitate towards. Until they are taught, they don't really know right from wrong. It is not like I sat down day one with my kids and explained how having possession of someone else's underwear is wrong My being uncomfortable about this is more my problem than it is his. He was hurting no one. But we addressed it nonetheless because it is not okay to take someone else's underwear and we do not want things to escalate to a more serious offense.
It has been three days now and it seems as if he has moved on. I am more attentive. That is my job. I hope this is the end of this. Realistically I know that it may not be. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it even if it is tomorrow.
This week is a crazy one. As we prepare to go on vacation next week I go back and forth with feelings of excitement and guilt. On one hand I think this is a wonderful opportunity to bless our kids and bond with our newest additions that have never been to Disneyland. They are so ecstatic to be going- just hearing the details brings smiles from ear to ear. The homeschoolers are working incredibly hard this week and through the weekend to cram two weeks worth of work into one. John is taking off of work and this will be the first vacation as a family of 17-- which is really nice. On the other hand, it is so much money. Money that can be better spent I think. I struggle with this. I don't know the right answer. So I try to find balance. I got excellent group rates on tickets, and we will not be buying alot of food in the park or souvenirs. This trip is also serving as an early Christmas present. We will celebrate William's birthday too. Besides, we probably won't go for another five years. As the time comes closer to us leaving, I am growing more excited. It is hard not to when I see the excitement in the kids' eyes. I have come to accept that even though I try to justify us going, I don't have to.
I guess I have shared enough for now. Now it's your turn.. :)