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Halloween came and went and a good time was had by all. We went to a church things and had chili and cornbread and then there were games for the kids, and afterward went to a few houses and called it a night. Sam went trick-or-treating with a friend after we all ate. Yes, they are fifteen and went trick or treating! And I might add, there were a LOT of teenagers out and about, all in costume and having a good old time. I know it makes a lot of people mad when teens go, but it makes me smile. They are only kids a little longer, and it’s better than going to a “party” or any number of other things they could do.

While this wasn’t Josie’s first Halloween, it was the first one in her memory and was therefore a little overwhelming for her. It took her a little while to figure out what to do, but then once she realized people were giving her candy! she went a little crazy. It was almost manic. I am not used to this in a child. I mean, Sam and Owen both have always been pretty mellow about the whole thing. When he was younger, Sam would go to a few houses and then declare he was done, and Owen is simply pretty chill about everything. Not so with Josie! The great thing? Once we got home she seemed to have basically forgotten that there was CANDY.

Not much going on here today other than Steve will be home this afternoon! Which is plenty of excitement for all of us. We have piano lessons for the boys and dance for Josie this afternoon, so he is going to show up at dance when he gets in. It will be really fun to see Josie’s reaction. She loves her daddy!

As for school, well, we are doing what we do. We have a project today, making a Thanksgiving Tree and then every day we will all write something we are thankful for on a paper leaf and hang it on the tree. I want them to learn that there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for, no matter what. Both Owen and Sam have just started their second math books (Life of Fred, which we all LOVE), Sam is working on a HUGE history research paper, and it’s also Science day. Yay! I love watching them both grow as they learn that learning can be fun, and that there is SO MUCH to learn about! In just a few short months, I can see the spark in both their eyes again, and that makes me happy.

Hope everyone is having a great week thus far!

Sigh….

Right now I have one adult child who isn’t speaking to me at all because I have ruined her life and the other adult child who messaged me on Facebook begging me to make him a pan of my lasagna to take to a work party. It’s no wonder being a parent makes us crazy.

I make light of it but the situation with my oldest daughter is so, so sad. She has been through so much-admittedly, a hard life. Partly due to our poverty when she was younger and partly due to her sexual abuse and partly due to just life being hard and partly due to her own poor choices. However, everything she is doing right now is typical of an abuse survivor, and that breaks my heart. It’s all just so sad, and I don’t know what to do for her anymore.

But here is the thing I have to remember: she doesn’t want help right now. I tried, Steve tried, our chosen family has tried, and she seems hell-bent on this path of what is surely self-destruction. We took her and Aubry in a few months ago when her poor choices led her to being evicted from her apartment, and then there were all these lies. Not little white lies, either, but the big kind that really have an impact not just on her life but on everyone’s. Then, when confronted with a few of them, she lied even more. She had a choice, to be honest with us and get some help, but instead she chose to leave. And beyond a very few words I haven’t talked to her since.

I think the thing that bothers me the most is that sweet baby. Hannah loves her with every fiber of her being-Aubry doesn’t lack for love. What she lacks is stability, and the knowledge that she comes first in her mama’s life, and any sense of a “normal” childhood. There have been all sorts of uncertain situations and that sweet girl doesn’t even know what to think half the time.

But while I am worried about Aubry, and equally worried about Hannah, I have done enough Al-Anon work and recovery work to know that there isn’t really anything else I can do. I have my boundaries, and she violated them repeatedly, and I can’t make her do anything. I can’t make her acknowledge the broken parts of her, nor can I make her see that there is hope and light. All I can do is love her and pray for her, and remain distant.

And it’s never ever about giving up on a child, because that isn’t possible. Not in my heart, not for me. But it IS about trying to keep sane and stop using tremendous amounts of energy on a child who can’t hear anything you say.

So. The thing is to keep moving forward. I have high hopes for her, not OF her.I pray for her to learn hard enough lessons that she will learn from them, but not so hard that she has to lose everything. I pray that God will speak to her through people and circumstances and show her that she CAN heal. Mostly, I just pray that she will someday be happy. That’s all a parent really wants, isn’t it?