Thursday, October 6, 2011

grateful for defiance

I've been thinking about this post for a while and just never have the time to get it written out.

That seems to be common for our life these days.  My work piles up on me at lightening speed.  Just when I think I've got a handle on it, I turn around and see that while I've been working, the path behind has cluttered up again!  And it's not that the children don't help, they do.  We teach them to work.  But some weeks it just seems that our time has been filled with all work and no play.  We can't have THAT!  They are awfully messy children as well--they pick up, but they throw things around first.  If anyone has great ideas at how to teach the un-cluttering mindset, please share!  I have no ideas and I'm afraid they all come by it pretty naturally as their mother is scatterbrained and inconsistent and jumps from task to task setting a terrible example.  We have a house FULL of starters and I think Jared is the only finisher among us.  Povero Jared!

Anyway, back to the subject at hand.  These days, when we give the children lists of tasks we hear a chorus of groans before they get to their chores (if you are Judah you collapse into a whiney heap, but thankfully there is only one Judah :-) )  Normal, right?  What is noteworthy about this is that for months after Canaan and Eden came home, they practiced (for the most part) absolute obedience.  Not a word of grumbling, but no smile either.  Just hopped to the task at hand.  Directly and with no discussion.  Like robots.  The other kids would be arguing a little, complaining a lot, basically expressing whatever opinions they had over the situation--not Canaan and Eden.   I noticed the tendency in other things as well.  When showering, they didn't wipe their eyes even if shampoo got in them...ever.  They just took it, without comment or expression. (so I would, of course, wipe their eyes for them) When I would comb out Eden's hair, not a peep.  When they fell, they said nothing.  When Canaan got his first shots he didn't make a sound.  Nothing.  And he had received around six shots.   At first I was tempted to pat him on the back for all his 'toughness' but then I saw his eyes.  He was almost completely disengaged.  He had shut down.  Removed himself.  And it would take him hours to come back to interacting again.  Scary.

As they have progressed, they have loosened up.  The last time Canaan got shots (one teeny little shot), he was thrashing and freaking out so much that it was hard for me to hold him.  Transformation.  Eden whines and cries every time she gets her hair combed out.  Amazing.  Most times, when I ask them to stop what they are doing to pick up or something like that, they let out a groan.  Humorous.  Occasionally Eden has even told me 'no' and has a mini two year old fit.  And I love it all.  I mean, in the moment the groaning is frustrating and opposing what your mother says needs a bit of discipline, but overall,  I love it.  It means their hearts are softer.  It means they trust us so much more.  It means they understand that they can express how their child-hearts feel without fear or loss.

If a bit of defiance means that my child is learning to trust that I will love him in spite of his bad choices, bring it on.   If she needs to whine about her hair just so she can be reminded that I will take care of her even when it hurts, so be it.

And I pray that this is just a precursor...preparing them and softening them for the day when the greatest and best Love makes their hearts complete.  Isn't that a mother's job?  What a blessing it is.


Anonymous said...

I'm not even kidding - I'm sitting here with tears running down my face. And Matt had me read the post aloud and I just couldn't even get through it. BEAUTIFUL. So thankful along with you for how much they have opened up. From what we've heard we're about 2 weeks from being on the waiting list (just waiting on the turn around of the final approved copy of the home study). Thanks for writing. I'll continue to check! :-) Karissa

Travelin Fam said...

Great Perspective. I need this. The whiney complaining has about driven me to the looney bin!

Missy said...

Loved this. Just found you through IAG, and am loving your perspective. This particular post allowed me to breath a little deeper in peace as I anticipate my babies coming home. I can't wait to watch their hearts soften!

Joanna B said...

Great post! I am there right now...even hoping for a bit more defieance, maybe a tantrum or two...just to feel more norma, you know!

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