Five Minute Friday’s topic for today is – you guessed it! – HOPE. If you would like to link up,use the Five Minute Friday badge in my sidebar, or visit Kate’s blog at http://katemotaung.com.
Free writing for five minutes without editing.
READY – SET – GO!
When my husband and I received the diagnosis of Reactive Attachment Disorder for Payten, our oldest daughter, I felt completely hopeless. This was the one diagnosis that we, especially I, didn’t feel equipped to handle, not so much because of the diagnosis itself but because of me and all that would be required of me to parent a child with RAD.
Payten’s improvement has been slow. It has often moved foreword and then a few days later moved back further. Her therapist warned us, “Attachment kids will keep you on your toes!” I guess little things can trip them up for, what appears to us, no apparent reason, and likely doesn’t have a conscious reason for them either, but their subconscious tells them to act a certain way to stay safe.
Anyway, most of the time Payten’s affection is rote. It comes after witnessing another’s affection or it comes as part of a routine. It has gotten more spontaneous in the last year or so.
But what really made me smile, what really was hope fulfilled for me, was when two days ago she spontaneously said, “I love you, Mom.” It wasn’t part of a routine and no one had said it first. I had kissed the top of her head when she was eating breakfast and then she said it.
Later, while we were coloring together, she handed me a picture she drew and said, “It’s for you, Mom, because I love you.”
Then, while doing the laundry, I asked her to bring me a laundry basket. When she opened the garage door and handed it to me, she said, “I want you to know, I love you, Mom.”
Not a big deal to most parents to hear their child say that. (Don’t get me wrong, it means something but I think it’s something we take for granted; I certainly did!) But after five years of working hard to undo the instinct to control everything and everyone, take her guard down and trust, and realize she is part of this family permanently regardless of how any of us act, her saying “I love you,” gives me hope for not only our future as a family but, more importantly, her future and her future relationships.
(OK, I admit it, I went over by one minute. But I think this event was worth it!)