Thursday, April 16, 2009

The pastor's wife has a mouth like a sailor!

Let me start with a little story ...

Several years ago we were working with a really great agency in Texas. They were a large organization that covered many facets of social issues. One particular building housed the domestic adoption and the foster care programs.

As you entered the bottom floor, there were pictures of teddy bears. The sofas were cushy. There was probably soft music playing, but I was too distracted by the many copies of parenting magazines with gorgeous, glossy photos. There were smiles and soft voices. It was lovely. This was domestic adoption.

But ...

Just one floor up were the offices for the foster care program. This was the land of restraint classes, learning how handle sexual acting out, properly documenting medications, and lots and lots and lots of chain smoking. No sugar coating here. No cushy sofas. No fancy snacks. It was its own dimension. It was rough and raw ... and vital.

For the past year, we are officially officing on the second floor around here. My kids have issues. They have been exposed to some crazy stuff. No rainbows and bunnies these days. Things are rough and raw ... and vital.

So, today - Gotcha' Day! - of course, kids were going to be on high alert. It was a funny thing to watch. My attaching kid has love for us, even though it is confusing for them. They needed to at least TRY to take it all up a notch today. I was so very, very careful to keep things settled, but they slipped right past me. I gave them an opening and she TOOK it! Stink-a-monkey!

Ended with a sit-down in their room. The new thing is cursing. Up until now they have just thrown out one or two words, but it is obvious they're working their way up to the "really bad" stuff. I knew I need to take the pressure off by taking away the thrill.

Sooooooo, when my husband came in from a Little League game, and said, "So, what's going on in here?" I smiled, and with the best combination of Mister Rogers and Andrew Dice Clay, I responded, "Well, I'm a piece of shit. How was the game?"

Kid then took a shot at their dad, and he and I just took off on the most loving round of expletives this Southern Baptist parsonage has ever endured. Now, my kid is a smart one. They tried again, so we just kept on. Kept lovingly agreeing with them, that in fact, we are a bunch of *$!@#! who are always showing so much *$!@#! love for our *$!@#! children. Hell, I spent the whole *$!@#! afternoon baking cakes. Poor kid - having such a crappy mom.

Aaaaaaaaaand, then they were done.

Oh! Almost forgot. We've also had lots of spitting lately. Our super duper therapist gave me a little interesting approach to this one. Tonight, I asked them if they would lick or spit on my hand for me, or at least stick out their tongue so I could get some of their spit ... because our therapist was talking about how connected mothers are to their children, and they can know and taste their child whether birthed or adopted. Since I didn't think to do that the other day when they spit, I wanted them to do it tonight so I could taste it ... and know that, in fact, they are utterly and totally mine. I was already squirming in my head. I KNEW this would be hard for me, but I also know it would help me join my child instead of battle them.

THEY ABSOLUTELY REFUSED. Kept those lips quite pursed for the following hour, afraid I'd sneak in a finger or something.

Reverse psychology of any kind rarely works with this child. They are far beyond the average level of intelligence in many areas. They pick up on, and use my therapeutic parenting techniques all. the. time. Yet, the spit thing ... they knew that it would actually show a connection between us. And refused.

And yes, I was prepared to taste their spit. I really was. Blerg.

Yet, again, soooooo determined to NOT give me the opportunity, they gave me a completely bone dry smooch on the cheek at bedtime. In one year, this has never occurred. This kid always leaves me sloppy wet.

Yup. We're on the second floor, friends. There is black coffee and a snack machine - it only accepts correct change. Grab a smoke and pull up a chair (pardon the duct tape over the big rip in the vinyl). Things around here are rough and raw ... yet oh, so very vital.


(photo by Ewa Jarosiewicz)

20 comments:

Mary Beth said...

I haven't commented in a long time although I've been reading regularly. I just want to say that you're awesome.

That is all.

J. said...

yeah for sailors! thanks for the great analogy, I am all about the 2nd floor as well! Happy Gothca Day

Dinah said...

I love your no-nonsense and simple approach to all this real & totally complicated stuff!

truevyne said...

We've had some experimenting with that happnin' here lately. Sigh. I know how to cuss too...one of my husband's favorite quotes is,"Man, he can cuss like a pregnant woman hanging wallpaper." Wonder where my man got that one? Still it hard to for me to just let it fly. Can you can up some of that cussing courage and send it my way?

angie said...

Christine- I love this post! You guys are so awesome and while I read, I can almost see the look on Mar's face as your husband explodes at the mouth! You are doing great and are such a good mommy. There might not be rainbows, but life at your place is safe and fun.

Cheryl said...

Hey! It's James's sister (I knew by the profile pic of course)! Thanks for the tip; shea butter is on my "need it" list for soapmaking too. Wow, I'm hooked on your blog here. James had mentioned that you have foster/adopted children. What a woman!

Brenda said...

Happy Gotcha Day! Hope you can make it through without too much more drama...I know you guys are up for it though. Love your sense of humor and practicality. She is probably with the finalization and all coming up with some major loss issues. It is the realization that she is really not ever going back "Home" or to her birth mom. Tough stuff.

TracyC said...

Happy Gotcha Day. T-Rex has been calling me a "peacock". It's the meanest thing she can think of. So hard not to laugh.

Chantelle said...

You are bleepin' awesome. God bless.

Amy said...

Your willingness to taste her spit makes me cry, in a good way. Because you KNOW God would totally taste our spit if that's what it took.

curlyjo said...

yey. I love that you cuss well. Me, I'm a terrible cusser, and I blame it on my sheltered upbringing. My husband, who grew up on Led Zepplin and Paps Blue Ribbon, is mortified at my lack of ability in this area. See God HAS prepared you to parent this kid. I'd be out of my league.

Nikki said...

I love your blog and I love how God created you and the way He's using you and your husband to do His work. So incredibly awesome.

Kristen said...

Potty-mouthed pastor's wives are the very best kind.

R-Liz said...

I was chuckling over the current position of this blog entry by one of your quotes. If you will, let me "update" this quote with this entry in mind:

"Preach the gospel always.

And when necessary, use *$!@#! words."

Christine said...

R-Liz, I like you very, very much.

Homer and Queen said...

Christine, Lisa sent me your blog address and I did read it! You are awesome and so much more in control than I!!! I am not worthy!!!LOL Thanks for all the support, I don't feel so alone anymore! Cari

BullSnikle said...

I stumbled across your blog about a month ago and even though I don't really know you, I can honestly say that I adore you! You're amazing (and your family is, too!) and I wish you were my neighbor. God has truly blessed you.

Natalie said...

Hi, I just discovered your blog and I am super excited about it!
I, too, am a pastor's wife. We don't have any kids yet, and my husband is very new to the ministry, but it is SO great to see other Christians on the internet. Sometimes I feel like there are none!
We're interested in adopting too, someday. And I love what you have to say about breastfeeding. I agree 100%.
I just wanted to drop a line and let you know that I'll be reading regularly!

cgivans said...

Hey! Your picture looks like my front yard! How encouraging! Keep praying for me and my stop smoking desire. It's funny I talk about how I hate it...but stupid stuff has me by the throat....

Sara said...

You are too cool for words. ;) Lovin me some Christine!