Tomorrow is Mr. I's thirteenth birthday.
If this was a psalm, there'd be a little word, selah, after the last sentence. A translation of selah is to pause and think about it. And when I pause and think about Mr. I's birthday tomorrow, I get a bit anxious. Why?
~Because birthdays, holidays, and changes from the routine are upsetting to children from hard places. Mr. I's dysregulation has been building the past few days and weeks. We try to keep things low key and simple, but there's a limit to how toned down we can make a special day.
~Because I will have two teenagers from hard places in our home. The teen years are hard enough, yet my kids are emotionally, and in Ms. D's case developmentally behind, yet still have all those wonderful hormones zinging through their bodies. That's enough to scare the most practiced parent!
~Because the birthday emphasizes that I only have a few more years to raise both of the kids. They've been in our home almost ten years and yet there is a lot more work to be done. I'm not assured I can add more time to raise them after they're eighteen. Though at least the kids seem to know that they are stuck with us until then.
I must admit that today a few of us were dysregulated, and not just Mr. I or Ms. D. I started out a bit blue this morning. Well, I was pretty out of it most of the day, though I was able to keep it together when the kids were awake. My lingering pink eye gave me an excuse for how I looked, so I don't think they caught on. I haven't been able to claim victory yet over the disappointments I wrote about yesterday, though I've been trying all sorts of things to bring up my mood. Fortunately feelings come in waves, so the worst moments were fleeting. I still was able to teach, walk dogs, cook, and do a little housework. Oh, and I worked with Mr. I on a friendship bracelet.
This was an interesting experience since Mr. I isn't a very patient person to begin with. And the birthday tomorrow made it even harder for him to work very long without some help. Blackbelt Daughter started the bracelet and taught us how to do it, and Mr. I and I worked on it together. It was the first time either of us made one of these. It's a project that two people can work on at the same time, which helped a little with attachment. Mr. I did fuss about how long it took to finish. But at the end, he liked it and was more connected to me. I'm glad we had time to spend together after all the RAD behaviors of the past few days.
So tomorrow is Mr. I's birthday. My little guy is growing up, whether I want him to or not!