Healing Doesn't Always Look Like I Thought it Would
So, a couple weeks ago, my husband rolled over in bed at 5am and was settling back into sleep when he heard noises from downstairs. He got up and went down to investigate. He found our 7 year old and 5 year old, wide awake, laughing and watching TV. He shook his head and sent them back to bed. We have no idea what time they went down to watch TV, but safe to say it was well before 5am.
Later in the day, my husband left for work and I was preparing to start my work from home day. Our beloved babysitter arrived and greeted the kids. My son, with a big, wicked smile hands her a cup and between giggles says, "Here is some apple juice for you", *snicker* *snicker* from both of them. The sitter, very intuitive, senses foul play and sniffs the cup. She confirms that one of them has peed into the cup. I was horrified and apologetic to the sitter upon hearing this later in the day. I then later sat with the kids and explained that they need to wait until they can see sunlight out the window before they go downstairs and wake up for the day. I also said that I know they were trying to be funny, but we don't pee in cups and pass it off as a beverage. It won't be funny to the recipient, for sure. Then I left them, calm, reasonably apologetic but happy and went out of the room, shaking my head as soon as I was out of eyesight.
I kept remembering the incidents from that morning in the following week and each time I shook my head and wondered what they were thinking. I reached out to some sober mom friends to tell them the stories - hopefully give them a laugh - (hey, in a pandemic and homeschool environment - share laughs as often as you can, right?) And in telling the story to one of them, I realized that my kids never did things like that before. And as much as they behaved in a way that warranted correction, it wasn't really "acting out" misbehaving. It was mischievous, 'what can we get away with?' misbehaving. And I realized, they felt safe. They could do that because they felt safe to try something of which we may not be approve. A year ago, they would be walking on eggshells not knowing what would set me or us off.
This realization made me so darn happy. My kids feel safe with us and in our home now. While no one will give me a mom award for having the kids that pee in cups or wake in the middle of the night to watch tv, I am giving myself a big one. Our home is healthier. The ACOA cycle stops with me.