On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Five Forever

We enjoyed a long  but lazy day at the beach yesterday.  Even brought the dog because I feel like she's getting too old to leave behind for a day.  She's currently sacked out on the bedroom floor, glaring at me whenever I walk by as if to say i am seriously too old for those types of adventures, just sayin'

Some braved the waters.  I preferred to just get my feet wet while my kids proceeded to soak their shorts (and then complain).  Gracie wasn't so sure of the waves but admittedly felt relieved when her paws were cooled.  AB talked and talked and talked not realizing that because of the ocean and the wind, it was nearly impossible to hear what he was saying.  Sissy ran and jumped and gathered shells, using her shirt as a basket.  I reminded her that five was all she could take home so she should keep the five best ones.  [1]

As I watched Sissy run up and down the beach, holding one side of her shorts up so they wouldn't fall down, her hair blowing all over, her shorts soaked, her shirt riding up, her awkward running gait and her giddy expression I realized I will always have a five year old.  She was so cute to watch, so happy and so unaware.  I may age but she never will.  And actually, that's not so bad now is it?  Who wouldn't love to live life for eternity at age five?

[1] It mystifies therapists and makes moms of RADlets laugh (or cringe).  Hoarding of shells, rocks or trash seems to be the norm for children with attachment issues.  I figure it has something to do with forming attachment to an inanimate object that cannot hurt them.  And it's easy to assign beauty to such objects when you're emotionally evaluating things at age five (or two).  To keep the hoard from overwhelming her, I cap Sissy off at 5 items.  That way I'm also encouraging her to assign an ascending value to her items.  It's a skill we all have to learn - prioritizing - but it's especially hard for kids with trauma and abuse histories.  And then once in a while, when I notice that she's no longer gazing longingly at her special treasures, I purge her room of said objects sending them back to the earth for her to find once more.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Glad I'm not the only one! I have to set that 5 pc. limit for my daughter as well, or we'd be overrun. I think she has a hard time with vague quantities (a few, a couple, some, etc) - she needs concrete numbers. Anything over that number, and she'll try to convince me she got it for me (or dad, or her brother), and I have to gently remind her I have my own, and while I appreciate her thinking of me, no thank you. I think I have a future hoarder on my hands!