Well, this momma is having herself some real growing pains today. My baby girl, the beautiful Pamela, is probably right at this moment in Cheerleader try-outs. She has been attending a cheer clinic all month and is now trying out to make the 8th Grade Cheer Team. My first thought: I hope she makes it because she wants it so badly. Second thought: it’s going to cost me over $1,400 for her uniforms, cheer camp, hair bows, etc. Third thought: it will give her the desire to work harder on her grades because she has to stay eligible to cheer at school events. Fourth thought: She has been so lax on her grades this semester, so unconcerned, that she really doesn’t deserve a reward. She deserves to have to pay the piper after a semester of being lazy. FINAL THOUGHT: I hope she makes it because she wants it so badly! Truth be known, seeing that child smile is priceless to me. I love her so much and every day during her teen years I have to remind myself of that love, that unconditional, never wavering, always hopeful love. I have to remind myself where she came from, the abuses she has endured in her few years prior to coming into our home, and do everything within my power to help her find her way. A way, which is sometimes dark and needs me to bring my flashlight to help her find her way back to herself.
Genevieve is not much different than Pam in spite of her always saying how different she is than her younger sister. Genevieve, my step-daughter, wasn’t raised by her father and I and has a different view of morals, common courtesies, and the importance of obeying the rules of life. If there is a rule, Genevieve seems to believe the rule only applies to the remainder of the population and not so much herself. She will go around a rule, bend a rule to suit her needs at the moment and just generally disobey the rule while claiming she’s “trying” to obey it. However, as a child of abuse also, Genevieve is living in a foggy world where she’s not even sure of who Genevieve is or can become. She is at the end of her senior year and has no clue what she wants to be when she grows up. And growing up, Lord help us. This child is nowhere near grown up all though she is a legal adult. Tomorrow, is Genevieve Day where David and I devote our entire day to helping Genevieve with a life plan. A life plan is something she should have been guided through years ago when she first entered high school. I realize a lot of young people come out of high school without a clue of what they want to become professionally. Those kids however usually have a parent guiding them into a college to begin their “basics” while they discover or research career paths. However, there are other kids like Genevieve and even my Gordo, who have no desire whatsoever to go back into a classroom. These kids had academic challenges each and every day and getting that diploma was hard for them. For Gordo, the Army was his choice of career and it has been a great thing for him. For Genevieve however, the military would spit her back! She just simply could not take the confinement or rules necessary to be a good solider. Therefore, we must take this bull by the horns and help her discover a life beyond high school. Like Gordo, I am almost afraid Genevieve will be living at home with Dad and I until she’s forty. However, using Gordo as an example, my brain tells me differently. It’s not that I don’t love Genevieve, because I love her enormously! But, I want her to have life so abundantly filled with happiness and new adventure. Safe, happy, healthy adventures!
Both Genevieve and Pam are children who have experienced some really severe abuse in their lifetime and as such experience pain. They can be happy and laughing and then something will spark their memory of those dark times. You can almost cut the depression with a knife when it happens. It’s a dark, ugly place for them when the memories pop up. I worry a lot about them and what they have experienced in life much like I worry about Dalten and Gordo having experienced war. The memories can’t be washed away and will never go away. They must learn how to live with the ugly memories without the memory destroying them.
As a parent we must rise to the challenge of children and young people who have baggage at such a young age. That baggage sometimes gets too heavy for them to carry alone. At other times the baggage is something they insist on carrying all by themselves for fear that others will judge them or think they did something to deserve the abuses they have endured.
Every day I have to remind myself that God sent me these two young ladies for a reason. He knew that I was up to the challenge or he wouldn’t have placed them in my home and life. If you have challenging children just keep remembering that you were chosen to help the child. Hmmmm that puts a different spin on all the aggravation now doesn’t it?
I love my kids, every stinking one of them, in spite of the things they sometimes do that makes me want to thump their pointed heads; Austen, Anthony, Jorden, Dalten, Gordon, Genevieve, Irwin, Nicholas, and Pam, they all have challenges and issues in their lives but God, and patient, honest, forthright parents can help them get through the turbulent times that we all must face in life. And above all, God has the answers!