I woke up today and glared at the alarm clock. Then I went face first again. This time, I prayed.
Today is better than yesterday. Of course I still doubt my parenting. I still wonder if I can love him enough.
But I remember that parenting is hard. Parenting an emotionally challenged child is harder. And single parenting an emotionally challenged child is impossible (10 days until Leo is home for good for a while!).
Or at least it feels that way.
Today, Simeon and I went to VBS. He did some weird introversion for the first half, then he was manic and finally regressed to clingy koala by the end. All in all, he did great!
At the end, I stood in back of the room and looked out at the sea of children before me. There was my beautiful, curly-headed boy. On the surface, he looks exactly like every other kid in the room. Some were shy, some precocious, some loud, some crying.
But underneath it all, he’s different. And not just because he’s a foster child.
While most of the other children in the room were being held in their mother’s arms, learning their mother’s face, being rocked to sleep, My boy was left alone in a dark room while his mother “entertained” strangers.
While most of the other children were learning to play with brightly colored toys and began to develop a response and an understanding of the world around them, my boy’s mother was fleeing the state with him in hopes that no one would find out about the crimes she committed.
I could do more of those comparisons, but the point is that my boy looks pretty normal. He acts pretty normal most of the time, but the truth is that he’s not.
He didn’t develop the way most other children do. I know he’s not the only traumatized child, but it certainly feels that way sometimes.
So today isn’t so bad. I feel better. Simeon’s better. The sky is a beautiful, brilliant blue.
There will be more days like yesterday to come, and that’s OK. I’m willing to work through them. To feel the tough feelings and to help my dear boy in hopes that one day he won’t just look the same on the outside, but he’ll feel happiness and wholeness within, as well.