So as I'm about to give up eating larger quantities of food, I'm thinking blogging can be my new addiction! I all but went into a panic attack when I could not get logged in from home! I was thinking "NOOO! I have to blog! What if I can't blog? That will blow Blog 365! I'll have to drive into the church and blog from there!" Yeah. Obsess much?
I feel so incredibly prepared for the 15th that I keep waiting for something to go wrong. I even bought Mother's Day cards today for my mother and the mum-in-law in England. I've contemplated addressing my thank you cards to those I know will be helping out in some way while I am in the hospital, just in the event that I am feeling stressed after surgery with discovering this new way to live and forget to send them. I must be a bit OCD or something.
I'm going to make a confession here that has nothing to do with surgery and has more to do with being a mother; an adoptive mother specifically. I find this to be the hardest job I have ever done in my life and I don't always like it. I wish I had started it ten years earlier when I was ten years younger. I wish I was more patient. I wish it came naturally to me.
The bigger confession is that I have real issues with my older son that I should not be having. A little history for those of you not in the know. Aaron was nearly eight when he and JJ came to live with us (JJ was three). Aaron had spent most of his young life shoved from pillar to post, getting caught up in the system when his grandparents would not take him in a second time (though they took JJ). When he came to us, he had lived about five different places (sorry, for some of you this is old news). He bonded with the Brit fairly quickly and I think the reason for this was that his bio-father was not around much, so the kid was starved for a father figure. But where mothers go, even though bio-mom was passed out a lot, in his young eyes she was still there for him and he resented me very much. Our start was rocky to say the least. He rejected me time and time again and what it taught this first time mother was to be defensive; to put up a wall to keep his words and actions from hurting me. JJ and I got on very well together, but of course, at three, it didn't take him long to accept me as his mama. Aaron was a whole 'nother story. I'm not even sure we every really bonded.
The problem is that it is nearly five years later, and though our relationship has grown a little bit, I would call it infinitesimal. The biggest reason for the stunted growth on this? Me and I know that. When someone hurts me, my armor goes up and it takes forever for it to be taken back down. It is wrong and I get that, but now I am trying to sort out how to fix it. I had delusions that somehow surgery would help because it would allow me to do more with him that we both may enjoy and that may be true, but I can't bank on that.
I've been trying really hard to analyze my own parent/child relationships when I was growing up and though I always knew that my parents loved me and would do anything for me, as a child, I don't remember a lot of hugs or "I love you"'s. I hadn't really thought a lot about this until a friend pointed it out to me; that though my mother is a wonderful person that I am very close to, that she isn't the warmest person in the world. I don't think she is cold, but she is an introvert and I just can't recall a lot of public displays of affection. It doesn't really make it wrong; we did lots of stuff together, including traveling the country, but I was born into that family. Because of being born into a family, there were certain things you just knew such as the fact that your parents love you.
My children do not have that knowledge. They were not born to me but were suddenly given to two people who were to be their new parents. For the Brit and I we were given two children who did not sign up for this. They never asked for their parents to be failures as parents and to have to go live elsewhere. As a child of parents who never so much as got divorced, I cannot even imagine my parents suddenly not being my parents.
So, they don't have the knowledge that they are loved because they have always been with us. And I apparently mirror my own parent's lack of displays of affection. I find it very difficult at times to hug them..awkward almost. I love them; I do. I would throw myself in front of a train for either one of them so why does a hug or saying "I love you" feel so foreign to me?
I see the same thing with my interactions with the Brit but on a smaller scale. I am just not always the most affectionate female. Sometimes I think I just assume that I show them I love them by doing things for them, but it kind of feels like a cop out.
So, I'm dealing with a few issues.
My strained relationship with Aaron
My feeble attempts at affection
I need to work on fixing these things.
I had a long talk with Paula today about these things and she confessed to encountering them as well. She told me how her oldest son would end his phone calls from college with "I love you, mom" and then not too long ago, he called her out and asked why he always had to say it first. Like me, Paula is a product of her mother. She loved her mother dearly, just as I do, but our parents aren't any more perfect than we are.
So I'm trying to start small and to allow for it all to become something that is second nature instead of feeling forced. The emotions themselves are not forced; it's the words and the actions.
Pray for me. This is hard stuff.