My Uncle gently chastised me today by pointing out that Boe was being more consistent with his parenting than I was. Whaaaaa?!
Skippy had jumped out of the car while we were waiting in the parking lot, and while I told him not to, he did it anyway. I was was tired and frustrated with his badgering throughout the day, and I knew he was going to his aunt standing right there, and so I didn’t follow through and get him back in the car. However, Boe did. He didn’t yell, roll his eyes, curse, or berate Skippy. He just firmly repeated that Skippy was expected to stay in the car and gently guided him back in. It was beautifully done, and while Skippy was obviously disappointed, he complied without fits.
My uncle shook his head and stated in amazement, “so good, so good.” He then encouraged me to remain consistent with the children using his own son, daughter-in-law and grand kids as examples. We have very…ahem…independent tendencies in our genetics. Meaning kids in our family have a strong minds of their own, that sometimes require channelling or tempering. That is a nice way of saying stubbornness runs in the family. So, even though my sisters and cousins don’t necessarily have the same unique issues in parenting their children that Boe and I do, we all have to deal with that stubborn streak.
Six months ago, this gentle chastisement and comparison or use of an example, could have easily driven me to tears of self-loathing and despair. (Which, in retrospect, is probably why my uncle never did it before.) But today, I smiled, realized my mistake, and agreed that consistency is very important. And oh! How sweet was my reward! My uncle continued to shake his head, in approval and amazement (this may sound backwards but it’s how that side of the family does it), and told me what an amazing difference he saw in Skippy’s behavior from around this time last year. AN IMPROVEMENT!!! I told you I CAN be taught! Skippy will never be “normal” but he can be ok! And maybe, just maybe, God willing, we will ALL be ok!
I am so proud of Boe! I am so proud of the kids, they are conquering fears and demons than grown men shrink from. And I’m not shamed to say it, I AM SO PROUD OF ME!!!
Thank you all so much, for the prayers, for believing in us, for reading my depressing blog, for the letters and cards and emails and phone calls. For the countless hours of therapy, medical advice, and professional expertise. Thank you for helping me clean my house, paint my walls and feed my children. Thank you for taking me in, adopting me as your own, and dragging me out. Thank you for insisting I continue to paint. Thank you for just not giving up, even though I told you to go away. Thank you for giving me space. And today, particularly, Thank you, my wonderful loving uncle–you gave me more hope today than the entire hosts of Heaven.
And thank you God, and all The Good Folks Upstairs, for giving me all these. Just look how far I’ve come from around this time last year!