A Parenting Moment

My father-in-law is very ill, so my husband has been at the hospital with his family most days.  And last night was a really long one.

That went okay.

At dinner my girls were all giggles and fun.  They even had their arms around each other saying, “best friends”


And after Patrice sneaking out of the house and getting halfway to the furthest stop sign on her tricycle, twice, I loaded them up to go to the park.  They wanted to walk; I voted for driving so we could maximize some play time.  The first one had no parking, so we went to the second one (we are very blessed to have several parks very nearby).

Once we got there, I realized two of the girls were in skirts, which yes, allowed one boo boo, the other two managed to come down the slide sideways and knock their noggins.  Sigh.

Caitlyn told me she was going to talk herself to sleep by “counting her bruises.”  I asked her to “Please not say that at school!”  I can just imagine that conversation with social services.  Oh boy.

All was going well.

Even bedtime was going swimmingly.

Then out comes Caitlyn.

“Sue says I am not part of this family because I don’t think thank you is the greatest word.”

“What do you think is the greatest word?,” I ask.



“Because it means great, better than great.  Cool!”

“Well, Caitlyn, I like how you have thought that out.  That is some great thinking.  You totally belong in this family.  You are perfect in this family.  God put you in this family and I love you very much.”  And she climbs in my arms.

Just as we are finishing up, Sue comes in.

“Everybody else belongs in this family except me.”  Sobbed as only a high strung 5 year old can sob it.  And she tries to run.  I, by the way am trapped under the sleeping baby, so have to get Sue to come back without chasing her down.  She comes back fighting like a little wild cat.  “Caitlyn and her friend only do what her friend wants (neighbor girl who is 10 and a great girl).  They never do what I want.  I don’t belong here.”

“Sue, look at me.  Look at mama’s face.  Look right at my face.  You look JUST LIKE MAMA.  We look just alike.  And you belong in this family.  You are perfect in this family.  Each of us belongs in this family.  God put mama and daddy together and he put you guys in our family.  And we love you.”

And she was finally calmed down enough to go to bed.

My wonderful hubby got home about an hour later.  I told him our latest drama and he said “Well honey, I think you handled that perfectly and had just the right words!”

My heart hurts for my Sue, but sings for me.  I don’t always know what to do as a mama.  My tongue is often sharp when it should be soft.  But last night, last night I shall cherish.


PS–I know families are built in many different ways, fostering, adoption and birth.  And I think each is beautiful,  but due to the odd nature of these conversations with Sue, which we’ve had more than once, I would like to clarify, each of my children carry mine and my husband’s DNA.  I am not sure why she is struggling so much with fitting here or not fitting here, but it is what it is, and we have some variation of this conversation almost daily.

Survive til you Thrive!

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