I find myself asking my son the statement question “okay,” ALOT! Like when I am telling him to do something he has a choice about the matter. “Isaac we are going to bed in 2 minutes okay?” “Isaac we are cleaning up in 2 minutes okay?” Isaac it’s time to shut the tv off okay?” It’s pretty constant for me. My mom and I were talking about it yesterday and she was telling me that sometimes this can be a sign that maybe you are still mad at your parent for something, so you are not able to be a “mean” parent. Therefore you are constantly asking your child if things are okay.
And its kind of sad for the child because it sends them mixed signals. You as the parent are telling them something and then asking them something as if they are an equal all at the same time. It confusing.
I was pondering this yesterday: Am I still mad at one of my parents so that I have to be the nice parent? Or is something else. And to be honest I am still not sure why. I didn’t quite figure it out but what I did realize is I feel guilty about Katie Grace for Isaac. I think I have failed him as a parent because I couldn’t and can’t protect him from what we deal with with her. He suffers a loss with her also and there is nothing that I can do about it. I feel guilty.
I have had these moments when I have watched him watch siblings play together. There is this longing in his eyes. I can see this piece of his heart come up out of him and he just wants to be a part of a friendship, a bond, a sibling pair. He wants to run, he wants to play, he wants to talk. He wants that connection with a peer. And he would be amazing at it. He already is an amazing older brother, I couldn’t imagine what he would be like if she were “normal.” I am pretty sure he would be that brother that takes his little sister and plays in the mud with her, and chases her, and talks to her. Together they would build castles and tell stories and talk about life. And she would do everything he does. She would want to sit where he sits, plays where he plays, be where he is. They would fight over toys and get bugged by each other…I would have to negotiate arguments and disgruntled moments. I would have to teach him how to be gentle with his sister and how to protect her heart. He would have to learn to share and be the bigger person. She would have to learn how to share and be the bigger the person. I would be writing a completely different post about what having two kids is like, and the relationship that they have.
But I am not and they are not. Instead he is practically an only child. Asked who his best friend is and it’s me. Asked the difference between his peers and adults, he doesn’t really know. To him adults are his peers. Pre-school has helped alot. It has given him a grid to see thing differently with but at home he is still an only child. And I feel guilty.
I wish I could just fix it for him. I wish I could just have an instant sibling for him. Someone to connect with and play with. Someone for him. It’s not that I don’t love being his best friend, I love being his best friend. He is amazing. He is tender and kind and funny…sometimes a little snooty but overall an amazing guy. It is just hard to see his heart-break. It is hard to watch him long for something that I can’t give him. I can’t fix Katie Grace , I can’t make her be the sister we had all hoped she would be. I can’t make her his best friend or make her talk to him or play with him. I can’t fix those things. I can’t change the fact that we lived at the Ronald McDonald house for a month and were completely displaced. I can’t change the really sad days when momma just cried. I can’t change that one day I am going to have to talk to my boy about death, I am going to have to help him grasp an understanding of death and life in death that some adults have yet to grasp. I can’t change all those things. I can’t protect him from that sadness or that loss. It makes me sad, and I feel guilty.
I don’t have an answer either. I don’t know what I am going to do or what to do. So I just keep on walking, I keep on getting up everyday and making it the best day that I can. I remind myself that although he isn’t having a normal sibling relationship, he is getting to be a part of something very special with his sister. I remind myself that although my heart breaks for him not having someone to play with, I have witnessed him talk to her and create some kind of relationship with her. And I have to believe that that relationship is more special and life changing that anything else I could have hoped or planned for. I have to believe that just as Katie Grace has come into my life and changed me for the better, it is the same for him. I have to lean into the Lord and place Isaac’s heart in his hand and trust that He will hold him through the sad parts. I have to believe that the Lord will give him a supernatural understanding of all that has passed, maybe even an understanding that will help form him into who the Lord has him to be. I have to believe in something greater than what we are walking through. I have to believe because otherwise I am just left with the guilt. Guilt grows no one, guilt doesn’t do any good, and it surely doesn’t draw us closer into relationship with each other or the Lord.
My hope is that one day, the guilt just goes away. That as I wake up each day and find the hope, it takes up all the room in my heart and the guilt quietly packs its bags and moves out. And when I am having the conversation with Isaac as he is older, I can tell him the story of hope and guilt and how in the end….hope always wins. Love always wins.