It's almost 11:00 p.m. and I'm in bed, propped up by pillows, television on in the background and a post in the works. Friday night and all is well.
It's been a busy week with meetings and walking and talking and not-cleaning. Cold, static-filled air, bright blue skies and wispy white clouds kept me bundled up and moving quickly.
Paul got a call last night asking him to play bass at an 11:00 p.m. show. He declined until a second phone call, 15 minutes later. No other options were working out, would he reconsider. No problem. So, he's out tonight, helping out a friend at The Gypsy Lounge. He's good that way.
I watched the kids for our small group while the adults met at another house. Ten kids, ages 3 to 11, for a couple hours remind me of that joke about the guy who kept banging his head on a wall. When asked why he kept doing it, he answered, "Because it feels so good when I stop." The kids actually are pretty well behaved but there is a dull roar that is constant with a group that size and the silence that follows their departure is a blessed, blessed thing.
The main hang up was my own kid. Because Colin and Marley are 8 years apart, they don't have to share many things. When other kids come over, my possession loving, never-can-have-enough-stuffed-animals girl has a hard time sharing. She inevitably ends up spending a portion of the evening in her room alone. Within a couple of years, she'll be past this stage, but it is harder on her than anyone else. I wish I knew the magic button which would make sharing pain free. But alas, I have never been able to find that pesky control panel with all the buttons that would make that happen.
Two boys begin life after... after being kidnapped by Michael Devlin--one after four days, another after four years. They will attempt to live through the ravenous appetite to know anything and everything about their ordeal which is currently at its peak. The normal protections which provide anonymity for the victims of sexual assault don't work for abducted children. Although nothing has been confirmed, there is little doubt that the older boy at least was subjected to some form of sexual abuse. Of course, this is all being played out in the national news. I wonder how much more difficult it will be for the two boys to travel down the road of healing and recovery with all the attention being paid to them. I pray they will both be given the time, space and resources to make that journey.
I'm reading a parenting book which talks about "response flexibility." Essentially, response flexibility is the opposite of a knee-jerk reaction. According to the authors of the book, it is a necessary anchor point for successful parenting, along with being mindful, lifelong learning, mindsight and joyful living.
Under certain conditions response flexibility may be impaired. When tired, hungry, frustrated, disappointed, or angered, we can lose the ability to be reflective and become limited in our capacity to choose our behaviors. We may be swept up in our own emotions and lose perspective. At these times, we can no longer think clearly and are at hight risk of overreacting and causing distress to our children. (Parenting from the Inside Out, Siegel & Hartzell)Well, clearly someone has 24-hour access to my parenting and decided to write a book about it. At least now I know how to be a better parent: never get tired, hungry, frustrated, disappointed or angered. No problem, right?