Tuesday, April 7, 2009

How Do We Keep Them Safe?

It seems like some days I am on it. With the kids, house, It seems like everything just goes right. And then there are those days from hell. I can't seem to keep on top of it. Yesterday was SO one of those days! Want to know how it began? When Hannah left for school I dead bolted the front door. And then went back into my room where the little ones were. Bailey woke up and was crying about her head hurting and her neck hurting. I didn't even think twice when Ethan got out of bed and went into the other room. I was trying to comfort Bailey. But then I heard Hannah screaming my name a few minutes later. Apparently Ethan now knows how to unlock the dead bolt. And he escaped. And walked. All the way to the park! The kids at the bus stop pointed out the little boy who was climbing on the slide and Hannah freaked! She ran him home and gave me the surprise! What the crap? And so the day began.... Followed with him spraying tilex all over himself and the floor. Which of course them smell makes me puke and puke and puke. And can you say scary all over again? Nice, first escaping to the park, next getting into the chemicals. And I SWEAR I do watch him. I'm thinking I need a dog leash attached to him that I hold all day. Cause he got into the toilet too. And then after I gave him his second bath of the day I got him dressed again and then went into my room to put the movie Bolt on for the girls. And when I came out of the room guess what??? He was gone again. No where to be found. Not in the back yard. Not in the toilet. Not upstairs. So I am RUNNING to the park. (ouch) and he ends up not being there! I go home crying hysterically and am ready to call 911 when he comes strolling out of the garage with no diaper on (he likes to take it off and wipe poop on me or the walls as soon as he craps his diaper!) Not sure where he was. Tony thinks maybe he was hiding behind the trash cans. He also likes to open the freezer and sit in it. Or climb up and get the salt out to dump on the counters or climb up on top of the bunk beds and jump like superman. Or turn on the water in the back yard so he can make mud. He loves playing in the mud.He is crazy. Wild crazy unlike any kid I have ever had. Some days I am running and running just trying to keep him out of trouble and safe! Kids and especially this one can be exhausting! They run me ragged. And I worry about them. Can I keep them safe? Physically? Spiritually?It's a balancing act and some days it feels like I am failing miserably. I wonder why I can't be more on top of it. Do a better job. Protect them more.
And it's not just my lil ones. It's the bigger ones too. They don't always make the best choices. And it makes me feel like I am failing miserably.I can't seem to protect them.
I have been crazy worried about Zach. He has a girlfriend that I am not wild about. She texts him pictures of herself in skimpy bikinis, and her language is bad and she is ALL over him. I am sure she is a nice girl, she just doesn't have the same standards as we do. And he is really into her. They have been going out for several months and my worries have only increased. He has seemed to pull away from family and church and I feel like I am losing him somehow. Like Ethan I am terrified I am not able to keep him safe.
So I have come to the conclusion at this point the only thing I can do is to simply get down on my knees and beg for help. And hope for some tender mercy. And just when I am at the end of my rope like I was yesterday, I sometimes find that mercy and a little relief.
Like when I picked up my teens after school yesterday. They asked how my day was and how I was feeling. I told them about Ethan's adventures and they laughed and laughed. Then Zach asked me if it would be OK if he went to the Easter pageant at the temple with his friend Jordan and this girl Lauren. (NOT the girlfriend!)Now Lauren is a girl from church that he has had a crush on forever. And they have been good friends. She went on the trek with him last year and he told me how neat it was to talk to her about the feelings he felt on the trek and how it was such a spiritual experience. I think she is the first person who has been able to touch his heart on that level.She is proud of her religion and not afraid to voice it.The past few weeks he and Lauren have been hanging out and he is happier. And more kind to his family. And I have felt a softening in him.And yesterday as he was telling me about the pageant he said it might be fun if dad and I come with them. And then I wondered who this kid was and where did he put my kid?
And I felt my eyes well up with tears. And I felt like I am not in this alone. I felt like some of my prayers were being answered and that maybe it is not always up to me alone to protect my kids.
And somehow I didn't feel like such a crap mom anymore. And I knew I could face tomorrow better with a little more prayer and maybe some duct tape too.


RhondaLue said...

duct tape, a rubber room that is inescapable, and a few great Disney movies. If I had money I'd hook you up! ;)

You're not a crap mom. Just the fact that you worry and pray and probably are overwhelmed often shows how concerned you are for them. I think every mom feels like a crap mom some of the time. Every mom with real probs and teenagers and all anyway.

I really wish teenagers came with a "NO BAD CHOICES" mode. But alas mine didn't either. It's scary as she turns 18 in a couple months and here I am wondering IS SHE EQUIPPED? did I teach her good enough? and OY VAY...all the mistakes I made are all up in my face...and with a vengeance. ack.

Ok anyway, when I'm in my right mind (and it happens occasionally) I do realize that free agency is just that. I do all I can, I pray, I teach, I support and love. The rest just ain't up to me. OH HOW I WISH IT WERE!!!

p.s. just a couple months ago we had a helicopter and amber alert out for my daughter who strolled out of a neighbors house once the hullabaloo started. Yah, talk about embarrasing. I DO watch my kids, I SWEAR I DO!

p.s. as if this wasn't long enough..I just want to say that I SO get you.

Kricket said...

I had one like that! And, I know exactly how you feel. Sometimes I'm super mom, sometimes mommy dearest.

I am so thankful the Lord answers our prayers. Isn't it amazing just when you feel you can't take anymore, the Lord steps in and takes over.

Ginger said...

What a great post, funny and touching. You are doing a great job and they will be OK in the end. Keep the prayer going, you really do need the help. Just so you know, we are also praying for them, twice a day, without fail. I have turned them over to the Lord, he won't let us down.

Crazymamaof6 said...

Ok maybe there was something in the air yesterday. it was the day from hell for me too. with pierce. Killing me.

teenagers scare me.
i dread my future sometimes. 5 teenagers at once.

hang in there. yay for the easter pageant. it's so fun.

hang in there.

Cheffie-Mom said...

Wow, what a post. Just reading it made me tired, so I know how exhausted you must be. Get some rest. I'm sending hugs your way. And Happy Easter to you and your family.

Shelli said...

How do kids make it through childhood alive? And how do we make it through the teenage years alive? I just don't know yet.

I'm glad to hear mom and dad are praying for your kids. I hope that means they are praying for mine, too -- cuz dang, they need it!

Juli said...

Lauri, I have been reading a book about feeling like our prayers are unanswered. We have a 4th watch God. He watches from afar to see how we are doing and then at the breaking point He comes and saves us. We would LOVE for Him to be a 1st watch God, but then would we really learn the lesson? Would we be physically and spiritually stronger? I don't think so.He loves us. He is always watching over us. I have had many crazy days like that. Ethan must be 2 or 3. Remember Conrad "painting" the house in syrup?! I thought I would kill him. Now it is one of our favorite stories to tell. Someday this will all be very funny.
I love you!!!! Our prayers are with you!!

sherry said...

Laurie, this may be my favorite post EVER! It made me laugh(at your expense;)It made me cry. It is so true on so many levels. It is so hard to have a crazy little spitfire toddler AND teenagers dealing with really difficult things. I am glad Zachary has this girl to hang out with. She may really help him keep his life in perspective. Thank goodness!

Lynda said...

Oh my gosh. I do love your posts. Whenever I need a good laugh, or a good cry, or both, I look up your blog. It's so wonderful. I hope someone is printing these out and is going to make a book!
I love your stories about all your kids. You're so real. And obviously your kids are learning how to have fun (perhaps at mom's expense!) as well as how to be kids.
I know it's really, really hard when you're puking all the time. Boy do I remember your mom doing the same thing... but all in all, you've given them good morals and good standards, a good religious background, and an awful lot of love. You hope, you pray, you worry, and probably they'll all turn out fine.
It's gotta be tough having teenagers with raging hormones when you're sick pregnant with another one. But trust yourself, trust God, trust Tony, and most of all trust them to have enough good background to know what to do. And yes, bad choices are just a normal part of being a teenager. Just hope it's only wierd hair and too many percings...
We all love you and are pulling for you to win... the teenage years!

Bonnie said...

Hi, I'm Bonnie. I'm Debbie's friend and I also help with her show. Debbie is out of town visiting a blog friend this week. While she is gone, she asked me to guest blog for her. I've had so much fun this morning, visiting all of Debbie's blog friends.

I have two boys. My two year old is in to everything. So, I totally feel your pain. It's so hard to keep up with him. Just since I started typing this comment, he has colored on himself with a green marker and dumped the laundry out of the basket! He just left the room, so I better run! LOL!

Thanks for letting me visit your blog. You can chat with me through Debbie's blog.


It is nice to have the good with some of the bad. It is so hard raising kids. You are doing a great job. Lauren sounds like an angel. It is little things like that that keep us afloat. I don't envy you having to deal with teenagers. A 10-year-old is almost killing me!