On a Learning Curve

Life may not be easy, but it's always an adventure.


Leave a comment

Overwhelmed

Overwhelmed. That seems to be the word that best describes me lately.

Ryan is extra busy with work, which is a good thing. The girls are busy with soccer, swimming, and schoolwork, which is what it is. And I’m busy chauffeuring, sorting laundry, cleaning miscellaneous stains out of G’s carpet, folding laundry, emailing G’s teachers, coaching soccer, teaching S and H, buying a ridiculous amount of fruit, and wondering why there is still so much dirty laundry in the house. For fun I’ve been driving my leaking car back and forth to the mechanic, and for sanity I manage to squeeze out four or five runs a week. I need those endorphins to steel myself against the tedium of too much laundry and too few adults in the household.

There are more reasons why I feel like my feet are being sucked into quicksand. Against my better judgment I did not advocate enough for G last August when her teachers assured me that the small size of the school didn’t necessitate a written learning plan. Now my girl is sinking into her own quagmire. A few of her younger teachers—well-versed in their subject areas but still inexperienced in the parenting department—have forgotten that ADHD is always ready to rear its ugly, impulsive, distractable head. You see, dying your hair with ballpoint ink isn’t necessarily an act of civil disobedience, especially when the hair is attached to the head of somebody with ADHD.

So I spent last week on the verge of tears. It was one of those weeks where I wondered just how much more I could take. I may have told the girls that their antics were “too much,” and I may have said it more than once.

I received many kind words from dear friends after my last blog post. Thankfully, not a single person decided to misquote Scripture or fling an errant Bible verse at me. It’s an awful thing to have someone tell you that God will not give you more than you can handle and insist that it says so in the Bible. No, last week was definitely more than I could handle, and I’ve learned from experience that God does give some of us more than we can handle. I don’t know why, except that I suspect it’s to drive home the concept that we are not in control of the universe and that we need to depend on Him.

On Sunday several members of our church went out of their way to minister to me. They offered hugs and prayers, and they crafted a detailed plan to shuttle the girls and me around while we were car-less. One of them even reminded me that the apostle Paul wrestled with some sort of thorn in his flesh and pleaded with God to remove it.  Instead God insisted to Paul that, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). It’s hard to argue with Paul if you think of all he accomplished for the kingdom of God while carrying around that proverbial thorn.

On Monday morning I was working my way through a slew of phone calls. Phone call #2 was supposed to be to the pediatrician, but I misdialed and connected with my dear friend Debby (she says it was “de-vine” intervention). I needed to catch up with her anyway, and we exchanged updates. As we closed the call, she told me that she loves me. Debby is gifted in the ability to shower others with love, and I was happy to have dialed the wrong number.

Later in the day I was still thinking about that phone call and the kind people who’ve recently opened their hearts and lives to my family. They are exactly what I need right now. They can’t take away my pain or change my circumstances, but they can be examples of God’s grace as they overwhelm me with love.  And that’s the best way to be overwhelmed.

 

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Adventures in (Single) Parenting

Thursday was another one of those days. Nothing good ever comes when one of my children gets up a full hour ahead of me, and G did not disappoint me. She confessed to eat two pieces of pound cake for breakfast, but I can roll with that one–especially when the pound cake is full of pumpkin and stevia.

It was hours later that I discovered she’d gotten up at 6 AM to spend a little time on the roof and eat pound cake. It started over (my) coffee when she asked me if I’d ever been on a roof when I was a girl. I thought little of her question at the time, but it made more sense when I noticed a pile of blankets and towels, a half-eaten piece of cake, and a pile of pollen on her bedroom floor. Oh, and the window was open, and the screen was missing.

Sigh. Some of you readers are probably judging me for still being in bed at 6 AM; some of you might even be thinking, That mom needs to set some boundaries. And then there are those of you who know and love someone with ADHD. I bet you can top my story with one of your own.

Trying to stay two steps ahead of a child with high impulsivity and low self-control is a daunting challenge when Ryan is away from home–and also when he is here. Did I mention that he started five weeks of flight training on Wednesday? And that he is a 10-hour drive away?

Thursday was also co-op day. I taught two lessons on Wolf Kahn and pastels; took S and H to the park for a picnic lunch with another homeschooling family; squeezed in the rest of our lessons at home; dropped H at her practice; drove 4 girls to S’s practice; and coached S’s soccer team. On the way home, I removed S and G from the car so that I could drive the last quarter mile in peace. Yes, Thursday was just one of those days. We grilled our dinner, two children cried over having to take showers that included shampoo, and I finally sent them all to bed. Except that S and H decided they’d rather sleep in my bed. I didn’t fight their choice since it meant I wouldn’t have to walk down the hall multiple times during the night to check blood sugar.

And that is why I don’t have the energy to beat G out of bed. Instead I wrote her a note. I taped it to the window since I assumed she might want some fresh air again.

Dear firstborn daughter,

I hope you enjoyed your time on the roof this morning. It must have been cold. And it probably wasn’t as exciting as you thought it would be. In the future, do not go on the roof if I am asleep or unaware. If something should happen to you, you’re going to need me to call 911 or drive you to the emergency room. Do not think that I won’t find out either. I always find out.

Love,
Mom