I have to laugh through the trauma behaviors. Have to. Yet, I have moments when it really eats at my gut. I had one of those moments yesterday.
I was mowing. Today, one of my healing kids is celebrating their birthday. So, I was thinking about them and reflecting on their life (the parts I know intimately, and the parts I'll never know). Of course, I then started to think about their future. I would say I was "dreaming" about their future ... but here is where I become a Debbie Downer.
My child is attaching to me. They are experiencing healing. I have seen amazing things with them, because they have chosen to do the work.
Yet, we think and plan realistically for their future. These thoughts are ... well, I told you ... would get me kicked out of a party! Yet, they are the kinds of things we have to think and we have to face. Just saying it out loud. Helping some of you to not feel alone, and giving the rest of you a deep look into the dark corners of our hearts ... those of us parenting kids from the hard places.
What will puberty do to my child? Will they be strong enough to sustain all of the "normal" changes which can send a healing child into a nose-dive? When we romanticize being grandparents, we often wonder if we'll be parenting grandchildren. We know their desire for control (based on fear) could easily carry into relationships and sex. What about problems with authority (and people who will not understand, much less meet them where they are)? Will they ever keep a job for an extended period? How much will we help, and what will it feel like if we truly have to just let go and allow them to fall on her own, by her own choice.
Will we have guilt for not doing more for our kids?
I could go on (and on and on and on). It doesn't take away from the positive or the hope and it certainly can never change the good - the amazing good which manifests in our amazing, strong kids. I'm just writing it because I think it. We all do. It is a part of being realistic and preparing for multiple scenarios.
I also wanted to share it for those of you who love and care about a parent like me. I want you to realize how, even on the best of days, these thoughts never leave the back of our minds - ever. They keep us up some nights. They are a very bizarre part of our thought process. This is why sometimes we joke and sometimes we have verbal diarrhea about our child's issues. This is why we sometimes get extremely defensive. This is why we sometimes disassociate, because we just need a break from the thoughts and unanswered questions.
I do not worry about the future of my children. I don't. Worry does not change today, and my responsibility to provide a place of healing for them.
Yet, I think about it. I think about it all the time. I plan in areas where I can. I brainstorm in areas where I'm left scratching my head. I cry sometimes. I can't change the future. I can't be the conscience for them. I can't make their good choices. With all I CAN do for them, there are still so very many things I cannot do, and over which I have no control.
So, I think some more and get it out of my system for the day (or hour). I find myself being extremely thankful my children are all with me - I am their mom. I am blessed. The unknown is what it is.
Now, go surprise one of these parents in your life with their favorite latte. Who knows what sort of thoughts tucked them in last night.