“Never be terrorized away from the truth. Now, more than ever, please take up your pens and your laptops and WRITE.”
This phrase gave me the strength to write this post:
I can’t keep being bounced around like a ping pong ball.
Yesterday was a stressful day with Payton. I had her correct errors on her homework.
You’d think I’d told her to cut off her thumb instead. The ebb and flow of crying, yelling, door slamming, stomping…
That night she couldn’t get to sleep until I got home. When I tucked her in, she said she didn’t want me to go out of town for four days. I reassured her that we would video chat. She said she still didn’t want me to go.
And then this morning.
I told her to bring her backpack to me so I could make sure she packed everything. She hadn’t.
I told her to find her homework folder, put her homework in it, and put it in her backpack. A moment later “I have to find a stapler and staple these sheets together,” with the unspoken accusation that I took them apart.
I told her to put her name on the homework pages because they were all blank. She tried to control the situation by acting helpless. She got agitated when I ignored her control attempts.
I told her to go calm down in her room. A full-throttle tantrum ensued.
“It’s your fault I act like this! It always happens because you make me do this stuff!”
She ran into her room and slammed the door. And over and over I heard stomping and yelling and angry tears. I closed the French doors to cut off the sound.
My son no longer asks why Payton is crying. Instead, he silently walks over and gives me a big hug.
Paige has begun noticing her sister’s storms are a regular occurrence. Now she either tells me Payton is crying or asks why she is crying. All I can say is “it doesn’t concern you.”
But it does. It concerns us all. Because it affects us all.
A good 15 minutes of this and Payton has calmed down.
It’s time to leave.
Payton walks over and gives me a sideways hug, takes my hand, smiles up at me and walks me down the hallway. Then she walks out the front door without a hug or “I love you.” When she hears my son say it, she hollers it as an afterthought.
This has been a daily occurrence since school resumed after Winter Break.*
It makes me wonder if I should publish my story. Because as much as I believe we need to change lives of children in foster care, there are days I question my decision to help with that change.
When I read “Never be terrorized away from the truth. Now, more than ever, please take up your pens and your laptops and WRITE,” I knew I needed to do this, regardless of how terrified I am.
* If your inclination is to say all kids do this, please read my prior blog “NEVER say these things to the parent of a kid w/ RAD.”