Life can't be on the right field all the time. The week that past had a number of disappointments. It's like there's a full moon and half our children decided to take their own directions into left field. It's disappointing enough when one child does something but when five to six act out, it can be draining on our emotions. We haven't been the most popular family in our neighborhood. I get that. Years ago I received a call from another mother stating that she didn't want her children around ours. She didn't want her children to be influenced by ours. I didn't feel insulted by the phone call instead I thanked her, I told her I understood. From that moment no children in our neighborhood has been over. It's very difficult knowing the truth - truth is that some of our children can influence another child into left field. I see it first hand because most of their friends are their siblings. I get the isolation. What's sad is our children don't understand. We had a situation this weekend involving two of our children and within thirty minutes the damage was done. They were allowed to go on their routine bike ride. Our one child decided it would be fun to sneak into our neighbors yard releasing all their live stock. Over forty chickens, bunnies, and goats. Five chickens perished after neighborhood dogs chased them down, including our dog. We knew it was our son when we started investigating the situation. He has FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) and really doesn't grasp the concept of cause and effect. Nor will he ever admit ownership. While collecting my thoughts......knowing darn well that our neighbors weren't going to like my news, I walked myself over. My steps seemed slow, my thoughts wished for compassion and understanding. I wanted to cry however my composure remained calm. Inside I shook. I explained what we knew and apologized. Our son is now learning about the "cause" and "effect" of his actions and including he will pay for the lost chickens. Unfortunately his actions hasn't just lost the lives of these chickens, it's put another stamp on us within our neighborhood. It saddens me to know the struggles some of our children will continue to face, and most of our society does not understand the effects of FAS. So after this we're back to 100% complete supervision. No bike rides with his siblings. I home school, so his next reading report will be, "The boy who cried wolf" because that's part of the effect that's happening. We can't believe even when he's telling the truth. During this we had our second oldest son visit from up north. He was in and out. We were busy. I tried to make the effort. Sadly I've realized that I'm not that important in our adult children's lives. (At least that's how I feel right now) They have or are moving on with their own lives. So what I expected didn't happen. My husband and I discussed about us. We have invested already twenty four years in raising children. We have dedicated ourselves 99% of the time. I reminded myself this week that we need to try and take 25% for ourselves. I need to turn my expectations around, and make sure that I'm taking my time, and time with my husband because it's becoming clear that at the end of the day, it's my husband and I until the end. Between some challenging behaviors (not excluding teenagers) and many disappointments it's been hard to write about the positives. I just feel we are batting into left field this week and hopefully now we're catching the ball.
Changing the subject slightly.....we are still shell collecting. So I had this bright idea to drive to the oyster farm. When we pulled up I was so excited because there was millions of oyster shells. I asked the farm if we could collect the shells and they kinda looked at me funny and said, "By all means - go ahead" I parked right next to the heaping hill of shells. We jumped out with our bags in hand and I wanted to vomit! The smell was like a rotting dead animal. The flies were everywhere. Ten minutes of sifting through rotten shells we had to leave. The bag of shells I did collect filled the van of that rotting odor. Several times I thought I needed to pull over to vomit. It was a bright idea gone bad. Another left field moment this week......anyhow I always look forward to a new day, maybe that will be tomorrow.