Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Anyone still there... In which I talk about everything... and nothing...

It’s been a long time. Is anyone still out there???



The past few months have been busy and blogging was quickly discarded. In the back of my mind I often have flickers of ideas to post or thoughts like “I should really write about this experience.” And then, before I know it, that urge is gone and I’m back to wasting time on Facebook.
J



It’s interesting – I started a new job back in October. A job that requires far less hours from me that the position I was at the three years before that. Yet “life” seems busier than ever. Whenever I say that, people always mention the whole 5 kid thing. But I’m not sure that’s it. Especially since adding Selam, in many ways, has barely been a blip in terms of disruption of our family life. I say in many ways, but there are exceptions… those days. We do have some of those days now and again… But, generally speaking, the days just fly by. The kids go to bed (still, by 8-8:30!) and I’m exhausted. So many things on my to-do list, yet I often can do no more than read a chapter of a book – and often, much less. Although I did finish our taxes last night…



Wow, barely blogging a few moments and already rambling! Ahhh, back to normal!!!



With just a few moments to write, I’m not even sure where to start…

Last week we had our 6 month post-placement visit with our social worker. In so many ways it is hard to believe Selam has already been home six months! Yet, in many MORE ways, I can’t believe it has been ONLY six months!! She’s really fit right in and we are clearly a family. She said something the other day that summed it up nicely. She had started sweeping the kitchen floor (voluntarily!) and I thanked her for doing that. She responded, “no problem, it’s my house too.” Then, more quietly, she added, “forever.” Love it.



Not to paint an overly-rosy picture. We’ve had our days. The days when she tells us she is ONLY happy at school and doesn’t want to be happy any other time. The days where I think her eyes will fall right out of her head if she rolls them once more. The days where she is so angry that we have said “no” to x, y, or z. The days when she wants to fight with the other kids as if she’s 4 years old. Those are not easy days – for us or for her.



Next month she will be 13 years old. In so many ways she is already growing into a beautiful, responsible young woman. Yet, in other ways, she is emotionally stunted and no where near as mature as her counterparts. We struggle with how to handle the babysitting situation with snow days and and the like. Sometimes she is the picture of responsibility and handles the leadership role remarkably well. Yet other times she is more akin to a loose cannon. And I worry. Probably overly-much.



I never used to be a worrier. But I worry now. Maybe that’s just a mom-thing.



We probably aren’t really fair either.



In many ways, we long for her to BE 13. To act 13. To have the complete confidence that she could manage (most) of the kids for an extended period of time or to handle certain other things (e.g. homework?) without checking up on her (and holding her hand through it…). That’s when we complain about her lack of maturity. And sometimes… it is very frustrating. Even though we know that she just can't "be" that just yet - how could she? There are many 13 year olds that have spent their entire life in one family (and one country!) and still have the maturity of a 5 year old! She's fighting against a lot. We all get frustrated with that at times. It's not fair (stamps foot).



And yet, I’m having a hard time figuring out appropriate privileges. After all, Grace is only 8! That’s all I’ve known… what DO other 13 year olds …do? Bedtimes? Privileges? Help around the house? She does that. She’s actually a big help in many ways. Yet, I can’t seem to give up the laundry. Or cooking. Which is funny – because I hate both tasks! And she probably would enjoy it. And how late do these kids stay up? Because I have to drag her out of bed as it is… Movies… good grief! She’s been bugging us for horror movies. Yech. Not really my thing…



And a birthday coming up – her first in
America. Her first with GIFTS. What does she want? A cell phone and an ITouch. Umm… no.



Yep. We’re a work in progress.



And thanks if you are still here. ;o)

6 comments:

HMK said...

I can only imagine!!!! I bet you are doing a great job though. Those are really hard things to figure out. I can so see how her emotional age and attachment age would be quite a bit younger than 13. Hmm... Even though she is 13 and that is almost twice the age of your next oldest, it is still pretty young. Still young enough that mom and dad get to make the decisions as they see fit. I've been wondering how you've been doing; so nice to read an update from you!

Marissa said...

I loved reading this. I've been dying to hear about your experiences. Thank you for your honesty. Your experience is extremey valuable.

She sounds a lot like the kids I'm involved with at youth group. Very mature and respectful one moment, a lunatic 5-year-old the next. :) I've come to the conclusion that 13-year-olds are simply unpredictable, but oh so exciting at the same time.

I'm totally bummed to hear about the desire for iPods and cell phones so quickly. I was hoping we could avoid that for a few years.

Thank you for the update!

NatalieEbigScott said...

I'm still here. Thanks for updating. :)

Mack said...

can i take her to horror movies? pretty please..."Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead" is probably almost educational...she would have the upper hand on obscure shakespearian trivia...

jo1682 said...

I'm here. And 13 YOs are hard to figure out even if they've been with you forever :)

Charo said...

I'm still here, but I know nothing about raising 13 year olds. Nonetheless, I love hearing your stories :) Charissa