It seems to me that we have quite a dance going on in our house. The almost-9-year-old boy dance. Some days he wants nothing to do with us (ran away for 10 minutes a few months ago) and some nights he can’t sleep and brought his pillow and blanket and slept on our bedroom floor.
Operation Autonomy has begun and I feel really clueless.
He will not high five our hands in the warm up in basketball games - but slap all other parents’ hands. But then he came home after school one day and said “Let’s Waltz Mom- I’ll lead” and danced with me in the kitchen (sweeeeeet).
You never know what you're gunna get.
Here’s what I have gathered:
- We are not alone. This happens to every kid in many ways at some point. Co-journers give me hope, listening ears and wisdom they have learned a bit farther down the road.
- Comprehension levels change at age 6, 9, 12, 15. A friend said: “He may have just reached a developmental point to understand his sadness of our move (6 months ago) or really any new feeling.
- There’s always something beneath the surface going on. Our recent Foster Care Training has taught us that :)
- Embrace interruptions for communication. He has wanted to talk about things when I have not, and vice versa. I am embracing whenever he wants to talk. Putting whatever I am doing down. Listening. Available.
- He needs choices and control; his own spaces and places. He is saving up for his own Kindle. Even though we gave him full access to the iPad. But it’s not “mine.”
- He is little and big at the same time. He has silly little boy moments and big, grown up, amazing moments. Don’t we all? Let him have them both.
- Grace is the name of the game. “Grace Based Parenting” by Tim Kimmel is one of my favorite parenting books. I need to let him be him, dress how he wants, make as many choices as we can let him, look at him with a smile every time he comes into room.
- We are on Team Robby. A great friend said she always tells her boys: we are for you, and this is a safe place, and we are on your team.
These pieces of the puzzle keep me going...since zero manual was handed to me in the NICU with Robby when he was born (early).
And I am remembering - I've been here before. That whole first year of our first baby. Maybe it's just that first one...on everything. We've never been here before and we are trail-blazing. A need a gracious hatchet to make a path.
Good thing we have a good King - one who ministered to us, modeled for us and moves in us to parent. I need to stay connected to Him - to connect with my son.
May we be connected parents. Connecting to God as we connect to our little people....who aren't that little anymore.