Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Once upon a time, I had a little girl who loved kittens, fancy dresses, Polly pockets, and me. She told me quite often, "You're gooooood, Mom; you're goooood." With her cooing, she would snuggle up to me and we would look deep into each other's eyes, understanding that we would always be together as much as possible. Thirteen years later, she is 17, and her words have changed; the gleam in her eyes have turned from love to hatred; and, on Thursday, she ran off, to live with her grandmother and/or to be at her boyfriend's house as much as possible. She is skipping school and most likely will be behind in her credits. Unless she can look beyond the immediate, she won't graduate next year. My husband and I don't understand what happened ... well, one always knows one's parenting weaknesses, but we felt that we all would get through the normal potholes along the way.

One mother I met on the sidelines of the soccer field made this normal as she told me her son ran off at 17 because he didn't want to comply with a curfew. A good kid all the way up, until limits were put on him. Another mother's son lived in the streets until he decided that home was where he belonged. A wonderful Christian friend's son lives with a dealer who wants sexual favors. These help me know that sometimes learning must happen this way.

It's all sad, though. Last night at the grocery store, I systematically dismissed from aisle to aisle what she would like stocked in our refrigerator. Today, I go her counselor's office to see what to do this time. It has happened before in the last several months. My hope and expectation is now on a low simmer deep inside. God's process often takes longer chapters instead of a quick poem, depending upon the character he's developing. I release and trust as much as I can to his loving composition.


Rebecca said...

I am so, so sorry. My eyes are welled up with tears and there is a huge lump in my throat just thinking about your daughter and the sadness you must feel. Know that I am praying for you and your daughter. God Bless your family.

Cindy said...

You written about difficulties with your daughter before, but I don't think I'd understood just how deeply serious were the things you'd been dealing with, Teri. I'm so very sorry.

An old proverb says that having children is consenting to allow your heart to walk around outside your body for the rest of your/their life. Weathering times like this must be like having your heart simultaneously out of your body and in your throat.

I know and love one young lady who nine years ago left her home and moved in with some family friends a state away just before her 17th birthday. She will be 26 next Monday, has two beautiful children and what seems to be a good and increasingly solid relationship with her father and a really wonderful relationship with her mom. But I know it tore her parents' hearts out to watch her go so young so far with such hard feelings in her heart at first.

Will be praying that the choices your girl makes won't complicate her life negatively in the future but will provide her with growing stairsteps to climb instead, even if they may be pretty steep for a bit. (And for your heart to hold out, in the body or out of it. :) )

Dawn said...

Teri, I'm so sorry for what you are going through. I will be praying for your daughter (and for you). God bless.

Jennifer said...

Just to give you some hope, my sister made a lot of really big mistakes when she was in high school, and immediately afterwards as well. I know she had major issues with my mom, and they're still not super close, but they get along now. I can tell they love one another. My sister's now at a four-year college studying medical technology. May you and your daughter be as fortunate. Your relationship will be in my prayers.

alaiyo said...

Prayers continue with you and yours, Teri. LuCindy's words are true, and one reason that young lady turned out so well waas the love she was met with by the wonderful family who took her in. So I especially pray for your daughter that she finds/seeks out people who will love her firmly -- as you do -- but whom she will be more inclined to listen to.


Fieldfleur said...

Thank you all so much for your prayers and encouragement. Means much!