I am headed out to Orlando in a few hours for the fourth weekend this year. Dang, I sound like a world traveler! I’ve never been gone this much and it has been a lot of fun and full of memories! The getting ready and transitioning back home after….not so fun. I have found this year that my children have done better than I have! More stress getting ready (packing for me and schoolwork for them) and coming home (unpacking, getting back into a routine, checking school, readjustments). M and S have actually handled it well for the most part. Bumps along the way but it helps when they’re home with daddy and in their own beds and routine.
M was sick yesterday. Threw up once and had cold symptoms the rest of the day. He asked me last night if he could come get me out of bed if he needed me in the middle of the night. That’s huge for him. He has NEVER asked that before. Distracted mama that I’ve been this week I told him if he didn’t need my help during the day he probably wouldn’t at night, but that he was free to wake me if necessary. I’m sure I should have reassured him way better but I’ve been completely distracted this week.
Today he is fine except for a stuffy nose. But I could see the fear in his eyes that I wouldn’t be here this weekend in case he got sick again and needed me. We had to work through the “what if” thoughts and get to the “daddy can take care of me but I’ll really miss you” reality. Some denial but nothing compared to what it was in the past. This kid is working. Thank you God.
On the other hand….(why is there always the “other side?”) S has slid back into old habits and beliefs. If I had to pin it down it would be sometime around our 25th anniversary celebration and surprise weekend away for Tim and I. She stayed with her married sister and sibs but she was snippy and ugly to Rachel. Jealous stuff that she has displayed off and on for a while. Sometimes the cause is unidentifiable. It’s just a spirit of meanness and dissatisfaction. We had therapy a couple of weeks ago and our therapist tried to get S to see that her attitude wasn’t something that her family was responsible for. She didn’t feel like we slighted S and preferred her sibs or treated her poorly in any way. We have encouraged S and tried to build her up through our words and actions. S (and M at times as well) views us through her birth family’s eyes, whereas we look at her straight on as our child. S believes her older sister looks at her as the “adopted sis” and Rachel just looks at her as her sister. Period. But S doesn’t believe that. Her low self esteem is causing her to lash out at others (especially her sister and I), attempting to make herself feel better by criticizing us and bringing us down to her level. It is not a pretty quality. It’s not a rage or tantrum or yelling or stomping (although she has done some of the latter). It is merely an ugliness that manifests itself in her words, her tone and her attitude.
Frankly, this is not fun. The seesaw never seems to stop completely. The kids have had times when they are fun together and don’t feed off each other. But a lot of the time they do. I don’t have a solution for it. I don’t have an answer as to why they both can’t do well at the same time. I will keep hoping and praying and doing the work.