Thank you from helping my children heal from trauma…
The rain was pouring on that cold December night in 2005. I was walking through the Streets at South Point Mall in Durham, NC while my husband and son were Christmas shopping for me. When we met back up, they were cold, wet, and smiling from ear to ear.
My precious son was gleaming, and begging, “Can we tell Mommy what we got her now? Can we, Daddy? Can we?” My husband, shushed him over and over on what seemed like that mile long walk back to the car. Just as we reached the car, unable to contain himself one more second, that precious four-year-old said, “Daddy, can Mommy make us a cake with her Christmas present when we get home?”
I knew it! They had been to my dream store, William-Sonoma, where I would never spend money! They spent entirely too much money for that gift I had wanted for so many years, a KitchenAid Stand Mixer! The first thing that came out of my mouth was, “You spent too much money, you know we cannot afford that, take it back right now!”
And so, my husband, God bless him, the man who had wrangled an out of control little boy on complete sensory overload, through a busy shopping mall, at Christmas time, and then carried a heavy KitchenAid mixer through said mall, hiked what seemed like a mile through the pouring rain to the car, continuing to wrangle that little boy…. Picked up that perfect gift that I had forever wanted, and took it back. All because I said it was too expensive.
When he got back to the car, I thanked him, told him how much I loved him, and told him that the kitchen store at our local outlet mall had a refurbished one for a significantly less amount (I believe the difference was more than $200.) A couple of days later we made that purchase, and I made my precious little boy his cake.
As the years have gone by, that little boy who had sensory overload has had more special needs become apparent with significantly challenging behaviors. Those behaviors present with rages that often include hundreds of dollars in property damage, emotional trauma to his younger siblings, physical scars to my husband and me, and heartache that a mama cannot begin to express.
We recently made one of the most gut-wrenching decisions we could make. After accessing the best mental health care available in our area, the best community based care available that we have access to, and making no progress, we have had to make the decision to place our precious 14 year old son in a long term residential treatment center that focuses on his primary diagnosis. He will stay 6-12 months and will receive intensive therapeutic care. Please feel free to read about my experience as we toured the facility on my blog – http://luvmycrzylife.com/2016/05/three-hour-tour/
The purpose in my writing is to sing the praises of my refurbished KitchenAid Stand Mixer from a second rate kitchen store at a dilapidated outlet center.
With all of the damage we have had over the years, the one thing my son has never been able to break is the KitchenAid Mixer. He has tried! He has pulled it from its position on top of the microwave and thrown it to the floor with herculean force dozens of times. He has thrown it 20 feet across the kitchen into the dining room many more times.
I am excited that it is still working at its age, but especially at its age with the abuse it has endured. The only sign of wear it has is that the small back access panel has come loose and some of the wiring is a little loose. It still runs like new!
The property damage is just damage, all of those things can be replaced. That’s not what is important. Let me tell you what is …
That same KitchenAid Stand Mixer has continued running at optimal capacity. In its weeks of light use, it is used only 2-3 times, sometimes my daughters (8 and 9 years old) will use it 5-6 times a week. Those moments are the ones that help to bring healing. They allow my daughters an hour to make a mess with flour, they allow them to taste the bitterness of cocoa powder before sugar is added, and the awesomeness of homemade buttercream icing. Those are the times that laughter and giggles drown out the heartache and fear that happened hours before or the anxiety about what may happen later in the day. The times they stand around that rickety kitchen island with flour from head to toe making sticky footprints back and forth to that nearly 11-year-old KitchenAid Stand Mixer….
Those are the moments that are truly important, those are the moments of true healing. I pray that my girls and my 6-year-old son are able to have a lot more of these with their KitchenAid Mixer while my precious, beautiful son … the one who I still look at and see that bright eyed 4-year-old … is healing at his therapeutic program.
Thank you, KitchenAid, for quality. Thank you more, for healing memories.