Friday, May 4, 2012

Love is not enough

It's been one month since C-son joined our family.

Bringing a new child into the home:  all those classes and meetings we were required to attend beforehand warned us over and over, love is not enough.  Naive parents think that if they just love this kid, he'll turn out fine.  So we learn about post-traumatic stress syndrome.  And about recovering (or not) from abuse.  About ADHD, and drug addiction, and discipline.  About attachment disorder.  About kids who seem to be doing fine, and who suddenly -- 6 months after they've moved in -- pack their bags and sit on the edge of their bed, ready as always for the move to the next home.

They don't warn us about the overwhelming amount of paperwork.  That, we find out about as we go. (Getting C-son's medical and psychological records sent to the new doctors, making sure we can get his meds, and getting his health insurance card in our own hands -- that is still an on-going process).

C-son has moved around a lot in his life.  He's lived in 15 different homes, with 15 different sets of adults, and he's only 15.  It's hard to imagine.  It's also hard to believe that he's such a gentle soul, because he looks so big and tough.  But when he gets upset, he doesn't seem to get angry.  He goes hides in his bed, pulls his cover over his head, and stops talking.

Love is not enough, but it's something.  When he goes into hibernation, I've taken to reminding him that it's my job now to love him forever and ever.  That when he's happy and being good and the world is going his way, I'm going to love him and take care of him.  But when he's feeling terrible and misbehaving and things are awful . . . then, then I'm going to love him and take care of him.  No matter what, that's my job.

The other day, he got into a spat with his brothers and went upstairs.  For a little while, no one could find him.  But I knew where he was; I've had my sitting-on-the-floor-of-the-closet days, too.  I sat outside the closet, reached in, and held his hand.  I reminded him that I love him.  That I'm so tough, he can be mean to me and I'll still love him.  That it's okay for him to feel bad, because I'll take care of him.  After a while, I pointed out that there was not enough room for both of us in the closet -- did he want to come out and sit on my lap?  Get a hug?

He did.  We cuddled together, and then we went downstairs for my husband's birthday cake.  Celebrating together as a family.

Love is not enough.  But it's something.

1 comment:

  1. You are an awesome mother! Keep up the good work.