Parenting Woes and Art

Feeling a touch woeful tonight. Sometimes I feel like I haven't a clue how to be a parent to this boy I birthed. He's almost eleven. We've been together almost eleven years and still I look at him and wonder how we will ever survive. It's lonely being the mommy of a little person who looks perfectly normal from the outside but clearly isn't progressing developmentally as he should. There's guilt and fear and want and unmet expectations all balled up inside me. My faults seem magnified because --well because he needs more of me than I can give sometimes. He needs me to understand him and the plain and simple truth is, most of the time, I just don't. I want to. I long to. I try and try and try...but I don't always undersand. And I know that must hurt him.

Today was so hard. By mid-afternoon I was ready to turn in my "I'm the Mommy" card and be something else for a change. The day started wrong and never improved (and it pains me to say that). For no apparent reason, at breakfast he decided to fling a full bowl of cereal and milk across the table at his brother. Then he was surprised when his father told him to leave the table and get dressed for church. He (I suppose) expected another bowl of cereal and time to eat it--time we didn't have, since both he and G now had to be washed down from the cereal explosion. He ended up angry and back in bed, missing church and causing me to miss it as well. When he got up the second time he was royally mad that he'd been left at home and wouldn't be going to church. (Go figure.)

If I could just know what he understands and what goes over his head. If I could understand the total obsession with certain things and how things get so stuck in his brain that he can't let go of a thought. If the path from his brain to his mouth could just be a little more clear. If only I knew that tomorrow some tiny step of progress would be acheived. If only the list of labels and conditions was getting shorter instead of longer. If only I could spend more time seeing past the labels and conditions and less time trying to overcome them. If only my heart didn't hurt so much for him.

There is a bright spot tho. Painting. No matter how bad things are, he loves to paint. He must have a big brush and of course, it gets e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e, but he is definately touching heaven when he's slathering paint on something. Anything. Everything. I am grateful for this one thing. He painted today and it brought the usual peace to his soul. And mine.

Maybe because when he's painting, there are no rules. No specifics. No try-agains. He just paints his own freedom. It's totally random and completely his. I can see how that would feel like an incredible release to him. Nobody bothers him. Nobody (meaning me) tells him to do it this way or "sound it out". He can just {be} in his art. Now there's something I *can* understand.

Be well, this Sunday evening.


Anonymous said...

Sarah - I'm so sorry you had such a bad day. Is there any type of support group for Mom's of children with the same issues? Sounds like you could use someone who could relate. I wish I could say something to help you. I'm glad he has art to help soothe him. Love the layout!


Anita said...

My heart and prayers are going out for you. There is nothing I can physically do to help you but I sure can keep you and J close to my heart during this time and shoot up all the arrow prayers I possibly can!

I love you both!

Debby said...

Oh, my dear sweet friend... my heart hurts with you and I want you to know that I'm praying for all of you. As Anita said, there isn't anything we can physically do, but I hope that knowing we are here to listen and pray will help ease your load, even if only just a little.

Love you all!

Leigh Ann said...

My heart goes out to you and your sweet boy. I'll be praying for better days for both of you.