How Are You Rating Your Quality Time

Families are made up of so many different things. With each family comes a set of unique illustrations that paint that family’s life from within. Trauma seems to add new details and sections to the dynamics which can ultimately alter how families are able to coexist among each other. It is at the end of the school year, and we have come to the conclusion that we are still dealing with the tremors of trauma from five years ago.

If the event would have been an earthquake, you would have expected to see small tremors that popped up some years ago. However, it seems as though the tremors are harmonic in nature and ever reaching. We were finally able to have a real heart to heart with our 13 year old. Yes, I said the 13 year old. She was 8 when her sister was attacked and my oldest was 16. In many ways we focused so much and so hard on the recovery process for one child that we nearly lost the other two.

My eldest has been living in Florida for nearly six months now. It makes me sad to write this because I don’t know how much I missed when it comes to being there for the 13 year old. For the past five years while I was trying to save one daughter, I was slowly letting the other two drift away. After having a real heart to heart, my baby finally opened up and told me how she felt.

She informed me that there were nights that she would just lay in her room crying because she felt like we didn’t see her. No parent ever wants to hear that, you do not want to hear that you were a shit parent. I think I did what my parents did in many ways. I tried to bring in things to make up for not being there. We had the season tickets to Six Flags, great hiking adventures, and even trips to craters. We were really trying to meet that quality time quota that so many of us play towards.

Now, we are looking at quality time in a much different way. It’s about those trips to markets that result in instant bright face appreciation as well as those moments of tenderness because some boy has broken her heart. It’s about telling her how much we love her each and every night and telling her no matter the outcome, she will overcome. In my mind, I still see her as

this little one. This picture was taken on some random day at the park. We decided to ditch the normal routine after school and have a play date. Don’t make the mistake that we made and think that quality time has to be something like below.

Hiking in the mountains.

Going to ballet.

Mining in dormant volcanoes.

It can be anything as simple as just watching your kids walk ahead of you at the park. If you are anything like my family, you are still trying to work out the kinks. We are moving in a better direction, but that direction now comes with open eyes. It’s not always easy after you take off the rose colored glasses, but it’s something that you can’t ignore. Don’t miss those moments.

Don’t Get Shipwrecked On Regret

We all have moments in our lives that forever change the way we see the world. The moment can be a chance meeting with a new love, missed chance to say I love you to an old love, or a bad decision that set you on a different path. The truth is, you may never get that situation back or the circumstances that made that situation ripe for the taking.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I challenge you to move away from wishing you could do it all over again. Don’t look backwards, but focus on right now. You are in a small boat sailing down a large river in the middle of nowhere. The river is wide and long with rocks lining both sides of the boat. Looking backwards you now notice that the water was smooth without a hint of danger, but you now see danger everywhere. You can’t turn the boat around due to the jagged rocks on the side, so you can only keep sailing forward.

That’s life, in life we sometimes leave the things we thought were dull or too safe and jump into uncharted waters. You can’t wish yourself out of the situation, you have to make your way to land. Perhaps the situation you find yourself in right now feels scary and jaded. However, take comfort in knowing that there’s always a break in the crazy. The trick is keeping your eyes open and not losing focus on what’s important.

Prior to the trip you might have thought you wanted excitement and danger. Yet, now you see that calm provided you with something much more valuable. It provided you with what you needed in that moment to start on the next journey, called life. Everything we go through has reason and purpose. Learn to embrace the current before you find yourself shipwrecked on some tiny beach called regret.

Some years ago when I first found out we were moving to Germany, I freaked out. I had heard so many bad things about Germany and the people that I was terrified. After I made it to Frankfurt, I recall feeling so out of place. Soon my husband showed up and I walked outside the airport. I no longer felt like I had left something so precious behind, I started to see that I had just stepped foot onto something that was equally as precious in its own little way.

The Dangers Of Keeping A Child In A Volatile Situation

Often times we divorce our spouses if the situation becomes too volatile. However, how many of us move our children away from bullying situations when they become volatile? As a mother of a child who suffered from extreme bullying, I would warn you about keeping that child in the same school. Right after my daughter’s attack we moved her away from the school, but when she started middle school the next school year the girls all filtered into that school. The counselors at the school were a complete joke. They told me that my daughter was no longer getting bothered and that they even called the children into the office to see if anyone was talking to her.

One morning I watched Ariana from the corner of my eye silently cry as we drove her to school. Something just told me to not go home so I waited. After a few minutes I drove around and then I found her hiding in between two buildings with her books pressed up against her chest. She was in a tight spot crying and scared to move. I got her attention and told her to come here. She walked to the car with tears still running down her cheek and talked about being sorry. She said she just couldn’t face anyone it was too much. I nodded and told her to get back into the car and we drove around the school and then I enrolled her out. I enrolled her in a private school a few miles down the street. She was loved at the school and did really well. She was a favorite in her French class and was well liked by many of her teachers, but there was the issue of interacting with children that still needed to be dealt with.

We still lived in Garland, so running into those children was an issue. Every time we thought we were doing better an encounter with one of them would send her crashing once more. Soon her Freshman year of high school was calling. She wanted to go to her home high school which meant she would be around those girls again. I wasn’t for it, but I finally decided if she felt ready, I would let her try once more. She was scared out of her mind her first day of school. She had started second guessing the idea of going to the high school, but she wanted to try it out.

She came home that day with this corky smile on her face. She had discovered she was a magnet for boys. She also said one of the girls that used to bully her, came up and said hi. She talked about being blown away and she didn’t know how to take it at first. In the common weeks she would talk to numerous people and even stand up to bullying against others, she was no longer the target. She was still known as the one who was attacked, but it wasn’t something that the children often talked about. She didn’t get invited anywhere so her nights were pretty much always lonely. She was still having a really hard time making friends, so we all decided that perhaps we just needed a new beginning.

We moved two maybe three hours away from that area. She was finally able to do things like go to games with people, go to eateries, and even to the movies. Ariana was able to have a life because we got her out of that broken environment. You see bullying is very mental and I think keeping the children in the environment hurts them more than we know. We still deal with social interaction issues, but she’s no longer constantly by herself. We have to make sure our children aren’t isolating. In many of the incidents with bullied children turning to violence or committing suicide they often isolate and target certain children. We have to make sure that we are doing all we can to repair the damage that has been done by the bullying. As parents, we can’t take the position that it will make them stronger to make them stay.

In Ariana’s medical record it had chest contusion, aggravated assault, leg injury, but it never had a broken spirit. We were ready for the physical stuff, but it was the mental stuff that nearly shattered my daughter into pieces. Talk about it with your children and truly ask how they are doing. Take notice of behaviors that could be problematic and above all else, tell them you love them.

Another Episode of Momville

Yesterday my daughter came in with another script from her theater class. She has loved theater for a long time and I really think it has helped her work through some of her issues. However, she still gets the occasional blues in regards to being social. She talks about not fitting in and hating the fact that nobody wants to do anything with her. In her mind she’s ugly and stupid because of her ADHD. We can tell her a million times that that isn’t the case and that she’s wonderful, but she just doesn’t see it.

Anyway, back to Tuesday. As her teacher was handing out scripts, she also assigned parts for the kids to read and Ariana’s partner decided he would publicly voice his discomfort in being paired with my daughter. So, after she came home and put her bag on the table, she walked into the computer room. I asked about her school day and that’s when she told me about the little creep who pretty much stated he wouldn’t work with her.

I don’t know if I handled the situation right, but I told her not to worry and informed her that I would help her learn both lines. I know nothing about theater. I stayed away from it, but I read lines with her last night. I played the part of the guy and she mostly corrected me, because I sucked! However, she sounded great and we are going to do it again tonight. I guess my question is, should I be making her learn both lines? I mean, I just don’t want her to get a bad grade if he doesn’t want to learn his part. What do you do in this situation? Can she even benefit from learning both lines?