The picture of this adorable puppy was borrowed from Amazon.
In the day that I called, you answered me. You encouraged me with strength in my soul.
Nearly a month has passed. My beautiful boy has been living in an environment that I never dreamed one of my children would be exposed to. My baby is spending his days at school with children that I would advise him against associating with if he were in his regular school. He spends his evenings with those same children. He spends his free time with those children. He spends his nights in a bed, in a room that are not his own. For a month, my baby boy has not been at home. We all miss him terribly.
It is amazing what a difference a month can make. The girls have stopped talking about when their big brother, the one who was supposed to love them and protect them, instead would hit them, kick them, and hurt them in other ways. Instead, they ask to talk to him every day. They say, out of the blue, “Mommy, I miss him.” Spike scours the shelves at the stores looking for things to buy for him. She currently wants to buy him a pocket copter. Oh, and she also wants to buy every Lego set, every Magic TreeHouse book, every Ty Puppy, and anything else that remotely looks like a toy or item he would like. Pouty wants to know when he is coming home. She often pouts and cries about missing him.
There’s no other love like the love for a brother. There’s no other love like the love from a brother. ~Astrid Alauda
Not only have they changed in the way they talk about him, he has changed in the way that he talks to them. He used to tell the girls “Tell me you don’t love me. If you tell me you love me, I’m going to hit you!” They were terrified and would not dare say they loved him. Now, when they talk to him, they say, “I love you! I miss you!” and he immediately replies with, “I love you too!” I wonder how many parents get choked up and feel their hearts skip a beat when that happens? I mean, the girls say they love each other all the time. It’s sweet, I love to hear it (oh, how I love to hear it), but this is different. This is finally true, love. Love between a brother and his sisters that has not been freely verbalized, that has not been accepted by the brother and now, it is. It’s beautiful, I love it.
Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly. ~ Proverb
We have visited one weekend. During that visit, he fell right back into his controlling, condescending tone of voice when talking to Pouty, he did not want her to play with us when we played the game, and he wanted her to do exactly what he said. When we insisted she play and participate since it was family time, he became a bit obstinate. He was exhibiting self-control that prevented him from losing his visitation time, but at the same time, he tried to control the game by playing inappropriately.
When all was said and done, the visit turned out to be good. It was so good to see my handsome son. It was good to see that he was being taken care of; he was clean, well groomed, and happier than I had expected. Overall, he seemed to be doing well.
The visit, consolidated to one sentence: A visit that served as a therapeutic reminder why we made the choice we made, but also allowing us to visit and spend much needed quality time.
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever… 1 Chron 16:34
Nothing has changed; he is still my amazing son. He is still the intelligent, funny, creative son I had last month. However, he is now learning the techniques to replace the inappropriate behavior. I think this will be a long road for all of us, but I think it will be beneficial and rewarding as well.