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Head ’em off at the pass.

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Sometimes with our traumatized kids, we can see an explosion coming.

Simeon has a steam whistle of maniacal behaviors that often indicate he’s about to explode.

Lately, he’s been really good. You know, ‘cuase when he’s good, he’s very good and when he’s bad he’s the worst. Lately, as I said, he’s been very good. But occasionally, we see his anger, his sadness, his confusion flare. This evening started as most other evenings. We had a messy family dinner, we gave Simeon a bath, we gave him time to play…

I should have sensed something brewing. Like the calm before a storm, he was especially obedient, affectionate and communicative today. Tonight, though, instead of playing quietly, he began running and jumping and screaming and smashing things and laughing uncontrollably.

We gave him the obligatory three chances, then started the bedtime routine.

Crazy continued to rear it’s ugly head.

As Leo was praying for Simeon, he began to thrash and giggle. I sensed we were in for a long night, so I decided to push him to breaking quick. I picked him up and began rocking him. He screamed, he cried, he thrashed and hit. He threw his head back in a strange and angry laughter. He wailed long, deep wails.

I knew what it was. It was all the hurt and anger and confusion he’s been storing up these past few days.

I continued to rock him and ask him to use words and tell me what to do. I asked him if he was sad or angry. He grunted and screech and wailed. Speech eluded him. He cannot communicate his feelings at his worst and we had reached his worst rapidly.

Finally, he was able to ask me to move my arm from around his back.  I moved immediately. He sat up and his breathing slowed. He asked me to move my other arm from across his lap. Again, instantaneous release. My boy came back to his eyes.

He wrapped his little cling monkey arms around my neck and breathed deeply against my chest. Within moments he was on his pillow crying quietly.

When I asked him what the matter was, he said he missed his friends. No, that wasn’t it. He said it was because I held him. That wasn’t it either.

He doesn’t have words for those big yucky feelings inside. He can’t control them and he can’t understand them and he can’t express them. Sometimes they take over and if we head ’em off at the pass, we can rid him of them quickly. Tonight it worked.

I walked into his room a little while ago and he expressed that he’d like to keep crying some more. I’m so proud he was able to say that and that he was able to cry in peace. I kissed him goodnight and allowed him to cry himself to sleep.

Sometimes a good cry does wonders for those deep hurts. I hope it works for Simeon.


About Monica

Christ following, husband loving, children hugging foster and adoptive mama.

5 responses »

  1. Father, I pray that you will give Simeon the words to express to You his feelings. I pray that in those moments when he wants to cry alone, he will sense that he is not alone, but rather you are there catching each tear. God bless that little broken, but healing heart.

  2. There is no doubt that you are doing God’s work. Well handled, well loved, he is on the path to healing. Thanks for sharing this story.

  3. And now, I am crying. .. and praying for our boy.

  4. I hope I can be as good of a foster mom as you!

  5. I do this sometimes too! My oldest (11) is amazing at getting to what’s bothering her. She can even get there before letting her emotions get too big. Sometimes. My middle child (8) not so much. Just wanted to say that I understand.


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