Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hard Saturday

Collin fell asleep in our bed yesterday afternoon. Doesn't this just melt your heart?

Caleb and Collin showing off their newly acquired carnival trinkets. The boys and I attended Connor's school carnival.

The boys worked together to rearrange the remaining snow.

Caleb hauling a wagon full of snow.

The boys and I attended Connor's basketball game yesterday morning. It's been a challenge to take all four boys by myself (with Chris frequently working on a Saturday). To maintain my sanity, I've allowed Caleb to use a handheld electronic device during the game.

Yesterday, we followed suit. Caleb sat on the sidelines transfixed on his electronics. Knowing he has trouble with transitions, I do what I always do: give him plenty of notice of when the electronics need to be turned off. I gave him the four minute warning, then two minutes, then one minute. Finally, the game buzzer rang. I demanded Caleb turn off his game and hand me his device. Caleb continued playing. Again, I voiced my request. No response. I tried to reason. No response. By this time, Caleb was inches away from the court. Finally, I grabbed the device and turned the power off.

Caleb came unglued. He looked at me when steam rising from his ears, and daggers shooting from his eyes. In a burst of anger, he pushed me. As I tumbled, I thought what fell the hardest was my expectations of how he behaves. Caleb's always had his challenges, but violence (especially towards his mother) has not been one. Immediately, my emotions bubbled to the surface, a mixture of embarrassment, anger, and sadness. I clutched his hand and marched him out of the courts. He sat outside, until I could compose myself and retrieve his siblings. (Fortunately, my parents came to the game, so they helped with the others!)

Caleb was incorrigible. He was a bear to remove from the building. He fumed in the car. I sat in silence, completely devastated by the whole incident. After about an hour, he pranced out of his room as if the morning's activities were just an illusion. It's amazing how short his memory can be for things like this, and how long mine remains.

This week at Bible Study we discussed what sort of parental legacies we hope to leave our children. I've been thinking a lot about that this week. One I came up with is endurance. I want the boys to know things are not always easy, but we keep going and work through them (especially when you have a member of the family with a special need). I thought how this relates to yesterday morning. Some days are extremely difficult, but we keep going. We keep praying. We keep working. We keep loving. We keep hoping. We don't give up.

Yesterday, four little boys were watching me handle the situation. I hope they saw a mom that was down, but got back up, and plans to return next week (with Caleb sans electronic device, per his punishment).

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