Saturday, June 18, 2011

Pride and Parenting Pendulums

When I look at D2, sometimes I see the scar and sometimes I don't.   Sometimes I notice that she still pulls her hair and sometimes I don't.  I think sometimes she likes to be invisible and sometimes she doesn't.  Sometimes I forget to say how proud I am of her.  She has come so far from the three year old who had to learn to walk and talk and...well, everything... all over again. 

Memory and organization are not her strong point, so it's wonderful that she is able to make all A's and B's.  She has never finished a year with less than a B in a class.  Slowly, we have removed the safety net of tutorial classes, so now, her classes are monitored, and she is doing well enough to attempt an advanced class.  I'm proud of her.

She still runs with an awkward gate, but there are few people who look at her playing softball and remember the accident that fractured her spine, her hip, her leg, and her skull.   They don't see the journey she's had when she smacks that ball into the outfield and at least gets to first base for every at bat.  I'm proud of her.

When she was teased in the fifth and sixth grades, mostly based on sometimes irrational, immature, uninhibited behavior, her response to the stress was to pull her own hair out.  By the time we got medicine and counseling and got it to stop (at least on her head), she had severely bald patches and her hair was considerably thinned.  Trichotillomania is a daily struggle.  She has done so much better this year, but she still has a way to go in controlling the bad habit.  Still, I am proud of how far she has come and how well she has dealt with the stress this year.

I can see her growing up, maturing, becoming her own person, but she still has issues that we as her parents must continue to address.  No means no.  Stop means stop.  She has difficulty with the concept that what she wants is not what others want and she takes it ofttimes as a personal affront.  We must repeat the phrase.  "No means no," and we have to mean it and stand firm even if she is REALLY good at playing the guilt game. "But you let D1 do..." is a phrase I'm so tired of hearing.  She is manipulative with the phrase "I love you" as well, and sometimes it's difficult to catch her when she's doing it because it's something we want to hear.  Perhaps it is not the TBI; perhaps it is just the fact that she is spoiled rotten or that she will be thirteen in four days.  Okay, so as much as it pains me to say it, I am proud of her that this, a dirty room,  and a little obstinacy are all we have to deal with.

In four days, I will be the mother of two teenagers.  ARGHHH!  Part of me feels like Lucy just snatched the ball from me, I've landed on my back, and I'm lying there thinking, "What the heck just happened?"

I have hopes for this child who is , by nature, a caregiver and a defender of the downtrodden.  She gives the best hugs and her teachers call her sweet although they say she picks friends who are the least, the last, and the lost.  Since birds of a feather flock together, I wonder...Is that how she sees herself?  I am proud of her that she can make friends, that she can provide a positive influence on other, and I pray that the reverse does not occur as they get older.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Why They Aren't Dating

One of D1's two best friends is a boy, and about once a week I hear the comment, "Oh, they are so cute together.  They'll probably get married one day."  Even his dad was caught this afternoon saying, "Well, why don't you just marry the girl?"

If this were the middle ages, that might have been true.  His parents and I went to college together.  The kids have grown up together and have very similar qualities, likes, dislikes.  He wants to be a pastor, and to be honest, she'd make a very good vicar's wife, and they would live very comfortably together because they are best friends.

Still, there is no way they will ever get married. #1: They were in diapers together.  #2: They are both exactly the same: two very smart, very opinionated, very serious, very nonconfrontational people. #3: They have different goals.  He wants to stay here to help care for his very large family, and she wants to travel to care for the world at large.

It always amazes me when people say this.  I looked at the boy's father today and laughed.  "You've got to be kidding me!"  I love the boy as if he were my own son, but what mother wants her son to marry her daughter?