Note: due to technical difficulties (a finicky internet connection) this is technically yesterday's post!
I've been struggling as of late with a few issues. Who hasn't been? I know. We all do. Sometimes I forget the tools I have available to me and within me. When I remember, that little bell in my head goes *ding*! Of course, then I think, "Why didn't I think of that before?" Ever had that experience?
As a parent, we want what is best for our children. When they get to be teenagers, what they think is best for them does not usually gel with what we think is best for them. They, of course, think they've got it all figured out and we, clearly, don't get it. Throw in hormones, attitude and adjustment issues, pre-existing and unresolved 'issues' and holy cow.
What it boils down to is a wonderful opportunity for growth and learning for both of you. Knowing your child, what makes them 'tick', how to reach them vs. drive them away and how to effectively communicate with them is so important to maintaining an open relationship with them. Easier said than done, as most things worth doing are.
My teen is struggling a bit. I'm sure we all did at this age, although thanks to me ever progressing dementia, I can't seem to remember very clearly if I was like this. I'm sure I was and I'm my parents do remember! Seeing him struggle is painful for me. Knowing a host of issues that are unresolved or complicating his ability to 'get it together' and not being able to effectively facilitate his ability to process and integrate all that into the person he wants to be and is capable of being makes me batty. Having my efforts at helping him ignored, forgotten or simply being ineffective makes me sad. Finding the balance for me, helping him find is, is far more challenging than I'd imagined. No, that's not entirely true. I guess I imagined this day would come, I was just hopeful we'd somehow get through this phase easily. It's not easy. It has never been easy. For either of us.
It's become apparent for reasons beyond the simplistic that he, I, we need some help navigating this sea of change. After struggling internally for a long time, and after some focused thought, meditation and falling back on good old intuition, it finally dawned on me there are at least two close, trusted, knowledgeable people in my life who are tremendous resources. Duh! I told you, dementia. Not kidding. Well, that and the fact it's hard to see the forest through the trees when you are in so deep and so emotionally invested in nurturing a particular tree in it's growth.
So I reached out to them via email. Both, although tremendously busy in their own lives and with their own issues to deal with, responded virtually immediately and with more support and information than I could have hoped for. They echoed each other. They echoed what I knew I should do in my heart and head. They helped me to re-realize what I already knew, organize the information, put it together with my intuition, pull back out of my immersion in the situation and look at it more objectively.
The whole experience reminded me how important it is to step back and listen. Listen to your gut. Follow your intuition. Seek assistance in clarifying the swirl in your head. To look around you and reach out. It's OK to ask for help. It's OK to accept help. How often do I say this to other people? Hello Kim, take your own advice!
So I called his pediatrician. I love her. She is so right for us. She knows us all well. She knows because she cares. She's been their pediatrician nearly their entire lives save for about a year and a half when we switched for a short period of time. She listens to a mother's intuition. She listens to her patients. She has an amazing gift of being able to engage the kids. We've taught each other things and grown together as parents. Watching her grow as a doctor of children has been nice for me, too. She was a new pedi when my oldest was born. She cared for the twins. She came to Meg's wake. She *gets* it. She called me back quickly, in the middle of the day, even though I told her it was not urgent. We talked for about 20 minutes. She asked what my gut was telling me. She offered her professional opinion, asked questions, brought up points that hadn't occurred to me that were so important because she knows my children so well. We came up with a plan.
That plan was basically the same one I knew in my heart I needed to implement. It was the same plan echoed by my resourceful peeps. We all had the same general idea of why he is struggling, how to help him, and help me, get back on track and in a way that is hopefully empowering for him. My pedi was able to take all that, refine it, throw the medical piece into it, roll it all around and lay out not only a plan but the best way to implement it based on known personality and physiological traits unique to my son.
So of course, I wonder, why didn't I think of this sooner? The answer is probably as it always is. It's because it wasn't the *right* time. That, and because I didn't ask. The Universe really is kind like that. Ask, and you shall receive. It may not be immediate. It may not be exactly what you thought you wanted to receive, but you will receive.
I am grateful.
As luck would have it, last night the Universe threw more information at me via an impromptu conversation with a friend. THAT, shall be for another day.
Now. To implement the plan.