Sunday, June 10, 2012

OK, Really

We've been under a lot of stress for a variety of reasons lately, and had thought we might get away for our first camping weekend.  It seems hard sometimes to fit in a camping excursion here and there over the summer, and this weekend we had free so we decided to get out and enjoy it.  Of course, the LaJoy travel curse struck in a minor way this time as Big Bertha had a hugely bulging tire that was noticed only once we had arrived at our campsite, thanks to Mr. Steve who had come up to visit.  We made it home safely, thankfully, but Big Bertha really does have issues :-)  Sorta like her family...

Speaking of issues,  Kenny's have reared their ugly head this weekend, big time.  Along with the cracking voice signalling the onset of puberty, is coming a return of the "I Am In Charge" Monster which we have battled since day one with him.  We also had an episode of lying this weekend, not more than 20 minutes after I had complimented him on how I thought he finally had a handle on that one! Haha!  Should have kept my mouth shut.  It seems he is lording it over Josh when we are not always aware of it, and not all the time but enough that even he admitted he sometimes orders Josh around because he is bigger and can.  He said he'd never do that with the other kids, as he hung his head, because he knew they were bigger.

In addition, the whole memory/attention thing is getting worse and we are returning firmly to a routine tomorrow morning.  Twice in the past 5 days he has left the stove on, tonight with an empty pan over the flame, so he is no longer allowed to cook unless he has an adult present and has asked permission.  We have discovered that his spelling has dropped dramatically in the past few weeks, back to the stage where he puts the weirdest letters together to try and spell things, and when I looked at him this afternoon during a conversation and asked him what he was thinking, he literally responded "Blank"...nothing...he is waaaaayyyyy off right now.  I can't begin to tell you how frustrating, how aggravating, and how frightening it is to contemplate his future during times like these.  Thankfully, they don't last forever, but I am wondering if the onset of puberty is going to exacerbate things and make it much harder for awhile.  This poor kid has so much working against him, so much potential, and yet so very much maturing to do that on nights like this I wonder if it will ever occur other than physically.

It has been tough to remain upbeat lately, not just because of Kenny and my own  sometimes fleeting sense of hopelessness with him, but sometimes life just feels like an uphill batter no matter how hard you try.  I know we all feel that way from time to time, but I haven't felt this down in years, I think, and am hoping I can reconnect with God and begin to feel...well...whole again. There are things unresolved all around me, nothing feels solid, and success in any arena is just not firmly in reach.   A couple of good night's sleep sure wouldn't hurt either.

However, our first night camping we all sat around, Eagles music playing quietly in the background while two different board games were going on in various "sectors" of Big Bertha (which means we were 2 feet apart from each other...hahaha!), and Matthew looked up at me and said "This is so nice...", and it was.  We had this intimate, yet casual conversation that only comes when all are relaxed and there is nothing that you have to do.  We all talked about song lyrics and their meanings, about teenage pregnancy, about love and what that is.  We shared and teased, we giggled and sneezed (Yes, allergy season is in full force for me, and Dominick too this year!).  We spoke of jobs in the future, hard times in the past, what was our best day ever as a family and our worst day ever.  Our worst day?  We realized we hadn't really had one. Our best day ever?

This one.

Each day really is a gift. Each day asks something of us, something we can either accept or reject.  I have found that on those days when I reject what God asks of me that day, I am less content, and on the days when I accept what God asks of me, I am more content.  Hmmmm...maybe I need to think that one over more deeply.

We also talked about how, as a family, we are ok.  We may be different than most folks we know, we may have challenges that make us work very, very hard at remaining tight and not getting frustrated with each other or life, we may be "weird", but we are ok. I guess I needed to be reminded of that by my own kids, wet heads and bronzed faces staring back at me filled with such trust, such hope in the future, such kindness in their eyes.  Dominick and I sat and watched that first night as they all rode their bikes around the campsite.  We haven't made it yet, not by a long shot, and we still have a very long haul before us.  But for now, we are ok.  For today, all is well.

Maybe that is all we can ever hope for.

Here are just a couple of pictures:

 We saw our buddy in town, and he remembered our Christmas kindness two years ago.  Whenever he sees the kids, he always has hugs for them and calls them his new friends.

 At Main in Motion, our town's Thursday night street fair during the summer, the boys had their sandwich boards on for our candidate.

 No, this isn't a new LaJoy...but I wish the horseshoe turtles were!  A local artisan makes these, along with dragonflies, cats, owls, and other critters. I am totally in love with these, and would love to have a bunch of his horseshoe flowers to line our driveway with rather than the dead or dying shrubs we currently have.  A high water table and alkali in our soil is making it hard to grow things in certain areas of our yard.  While I totally dig these, I draw the line at yard gnomes.

We are ok, we really are.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Most gracious God,
You have brought together this family. Each one has their own talents and challenges. Both individually and together they are a force of blessing in the world. Their light shines forth to guide the way for so many others. Steady the hands that hold this light, strengthen and use each member of this family as they serve you. Be the ground beneath their feet and the wings that make them fly. We honor and thank you.