Friday, August 16, 2013

A Missing Sno Cone

What a day. Several laughs, lots of tears. It's ironic, but the member of our family who singlehandedly sheds the most tears on a daily basis is actually the one who cried the least today.

Adjustment periods are no bueno, let me tell you. It stinks. They're actually really crappy if I can be straight forward and rough around the edges for a sec. It's days like today that I get really angry at the tornado. Because it stole so much from our lives. In particular, it stole the normalcy and the progress I had made with my kids. It's so hard to get all that back; I feel like I'm grappling at thin air for the routine, the behavior I used to see out of them.

It's just not there.

And today I had to teach them an excruciating lesson...for all of us. Early this morning I told them that if they were well behaved today at school that we would get sno cones. But they had a bit of a rough time listening and controlling themselves. (Let that read: they were the only children there who got their behavior color switched from green.) Embarrassing, yes. And I'm sure their teacher gave them more than enough verbal warnings before actually changing their color to yellow, because she's just nice.

My kids are sporadic and crazy excited about ALL sorts of things anyway, but all summer it's been on a different level. My normal discipline tricks have not worked, and it hasn't helped that we've lived in mass chaos for months now, so there really is no normal. No one knows when an emotional breakdown will ensue, and things get a little rearranged for the day after one invades our family. Then there will be a thunder storm that gets someone rattled, or a special item will come to mind and we'll go through the realization process all over again that such and such is gone.

Their ability to listen to directions has also somehow been grossly affected, and this is probably the most frustrating part. They are night and day different, but I knew this particular discipline moment would work for both of them.

So, after I picked them up this afternoon I made a decision that was so hard, I actually cried in the car over it. I knew how heartbroken they would be, but I am just out of options here. I pulled the car into the parking lot where one of our favorite sno cones stands is and when they asked what I was doing, I just said, "You'll see." I got out and ordered two sno cones. (Don't hate me. It really was painful.) I ordered one for Caleb because the statement this morning was that anyone who was good that day would get a sno cone. Not completely sure if I was good or not, but I had to make my point! So I walked back to the car with two sno cones, and I watched as the sheer terror flooded their little faces.

Wow, that was indescribably difficult. I want to give good things to them. I absolutely hate this part of parenting. But I also know that if I want kids who will have Godly character and in any way exude the fruits of the spirit, it starts with a missing sno cone or two.

I think I say this a lot, but I want to be sure people do understand where my heart is and where I'm coming from. There are no words to articulate the thanks and the joy I have that two sno cones were missing today because of poor behavior rather than literally missing children. Even typing that tears my heart out. I thank God every single time I look at that picture of our bath tub or think about the kids being in the school that afternoon. I'll take disciplining my miracle children any day over visiting them in a cemetery.

I still want to be honest about our progress, though. And to ask you to keep praying for us because we still need it. So many good things are happening for us and we are delighted. It's hard to describe the delicate dance between an overwhelming excitement for the new and a dull ache for the old. The two are sometimes so close that they seem to be laced together, and that can be very confusing for our emotions! I am grateful for the prayers of our family and friends. The mental and emotional implications are still very present and usually show up when I least expect them. I was talking with a friend about grief in general today, and we agreed that it gets harder rather than easier. I hear it from others who have lost precious family members.

You know what I want? I want to stand at the end of this road we're walking and be able to say that I was faithful and didn't turn away from God, but that I kept walking with Him, pressing in to Him instead. Easy some days; nearly impossible others. Getting into school for the year will surely help with behavior simply because we're getting a routine back at last, so I'm hopeful about that.

We'll see how next time at school goes. My fingers are crossed that I'll get to buy four sno cones!

Peace of Christ to you,

1 comment:

  1. I had to read this several x to understand one of those sno cones was for you, correct? LOL!!!
    You're a wonderful mommy!