Thursday, May 12, 2011
An Extended Mother's Day Suprise
Jack's teacher's daughter face painted JoJo at Field Day, he'd had a blast, while conversely I'd put on non-gardening clothes to go to a climate controlled court.
Courtrooms make me abnormally ill at ease and tense, I feel so totally out of my element, in an uncomfortable situation, indoors for Pete's sake, and antsy.
Yesterday, especially with two older teenage sons who do not live with us due to violence and victimization issues, I deeply dreaded this, Sarah prayed a heartfelt prayer as I drove there with doom feelings cascading around in my belly.
I had so much bogus, stinging apprehension, that more than anything, yet, we had a very silly good time. Both boys were very glad to see me, silly as ever, no other word, but silly. So silly that at one point a lawyer from another courtroom stepped out to ask us to hold it down.
One of the two boys was one I'd not had a decent conversation with in almost two years. I'd been struggling unsuccessfully with forgiveness, with comprehension, with every emotion available. He told me he cried himself to sleep for a very long time, angry with himself, profoundly sad on every level. I'd cried buckets as well, fought against my own severe anger at his crime, and with my failings as a parent to teach him right from wrong.
"No mom," he protested, "You didn't fail, I didn't listen."
Little consolation to me as I'd originally had such, possibly unrealistic, high hopes.
Two long painful years in which I've been emotionally unable to discuss what happened, still recovering, still aiding others in their recovery.
I do forgive, yet must still maintain appropriate boundaries. Listening to my podcasts, David Cooper had hammered his points home about forgiveness, yet even as a Christian, in abusive situations, including emotional abuse, boundaries are acceptable and certainly necessary, "Just be cordial," he stressed. "You don't have to invite them over nor hang out with them."
I was emotionally prepared to be nice.
More than anything though was the insight I gained into the adoptee's mind. Without giving excuses, instead there were explanations about the inner anger that made no sense to anyone, not even to them, yet it literally crippled them emotionally. Both boys, now nearly men, apologized to me, which shocked me senseless, both expressed not only their love, but their admiration that I was even still there, that I'd forgiven them, even though they'd nearly done us all in.
Pepe spoke up in court, "That's what we were just talking about," to the judge who was expressing her feelings that the boys were now on a path that had once had included many years at home, even though not so much anymore.
It was emotionally difficult, regrets, remorse, and ruefulness, but I went away with a much deeper understanding of it all.
One of them, speaking to his younger brother who was there for a simple battery charge, "You don't have a clue about life outside Mom's house. Not a clue. She's a proper white lady who speaks Mexican (his words), she takes care of you, and you're not gonna find that anywhere else. Nowhere else. You're gonna get the hell beat out of you if you get sent off to YDC."
I was immediately hung up on the word proper. Me? He backtracked, "Well you kinda really are because you made us go to church, you made us go to school, you made us sit down to eat supper, you made us wear collared shirts," he went on and on with tears in his eyes, recalling all of my stupid rules that he'd rebelled against. "Now I understand why you were so mean," he blubbered. "I miss our church."
Truly I was stunned and buffaloed. This doesn't happen much.
We had a two hour delay, other cases finishing up, I was scratching at the poison ivy between two fingers, trying to digest everything, Jonathan was wide-eyed at his two older idols, shocked at their deep emotions, absorbing their lecture.
Fortuitously I met a lady there, in our small county, with her Haitian daughter, telling me that she reads my blog, had heard about it from a lady in Wisconsin. I was, as usual, curious to learn her story, but I was absorbed in my sons angst mixed with their goofiness at the moment. She gave me her number though. Her daughter looked very young for juvenile court, yet I've had ten year olds there before.
"I wish I could go back in time and have another chance to make better decisions," one told me. Me too, honey, me too.
This baby brother, now about 160 pounds and taller than I, was put on intensive probation. His third time on probation, he just turned 13 this month, he was told, "Three sanctions and you get 7 days YDC," which shocked me. I do want to try and maintain him at home as long as I can keep everyone safe. I have IFI in place plus a psychiatrist. This is Paloma's sibling group, all of these guys plus a nearly angelic one still at home, totally one million percent different than the other four who often express their admiration of him.
"I swear that boy's adopted," they'll bellow, as if I'd birthed them wrong, yet flown to Mexico to adopt Chuy. "He doesn't even look like any of us, he sure doesn't act like us," which usually goads me into an, "Amen!" One claimed Chuy'd jumped into my parked van when I went to adopt them, that they didn't even know who that cute dark-skinned Mexican was to them. "Some random illegal," they explain.
I'd taken a picture of the three of them, showing it later to Chuy who didn't even recognize Pepe in a suit with a ponytail hanging down his back. I'm not gonna use the photo today though, usually I tend to use pictures that have little to do with my blog post. Instead I'm using one I'd told Cristy I'd send to her. CW, Jack and Tony had redone the stair path up to the pool on Mother's Day.
Today, in court, with their words, the boys gave me a surprising Mother's Day extension, not what I'd expected at all.
91 degrees as I cooked supper, turning on the attic fan, the whole house fan, later to draw in the cool night air laden with Asiatic jasmine, tea olives and honeysuckle aromas, the window fan over my bed draws in the antique rose blossoms and wisteria outside that particular window, literally washing over me, sucking out my deep stress, as I'm still hunkered down under that delicious blanket Becky A had given me several years ago. Love it.
The plants in my room surrounding Tony who was intent upon a photo key chain he'd gotten for a buck at a yard sale, add to my oxygen renewal strategy.
Whose peaceful house is this? I'm still very afraid to trust in its continuation, still kinda stressed and sweating. I spend so much time nurturing the plants, as I wander around thinking, thinking, thinking, praying and fretting over which big foot to put before the other. Dear Lord, please help me raise these young'uns the best that I can do.
I'd thanked the court, DJJ and CPS for their help, without which I dunno where we'd be. My new friend, Marti, from yesterday would have to agree, right?
Another phone call from the oldest girl in another challenging sibling group, nearly all of them grown now, but no less immersed in their original issues as life goes on.
Today a psychiatrist appointment with three kids this morning, a Dr. Mandy appointment with two other kids this afternoon. Medicaid won't pay for the kids to see both doctors on the same day.
I need two dozen cookies for Chuy's Spring Football Scrimmage Dinner, several bottles of chemicals (sodas) for the sixth graders to take for their field Day, and grocery items for my three 8th grader's cookout.
Gonna set up soaker hoses for the strawberry beds and call that my uber limited gardening time for today.