So many of you are asking what keeps me sane in the midst of our crazy. Just so we are on the same page, by crazy we mean coaching our foster children through intense tantrums and defiant behaviors that make simple tasks of Get To School and Go To Bed daunting, Everest-looking feats.
How is it possible to remain grounded when life situations make you feel untethered?
1. Take emotion out of the equation. I am a heavily “feely” person so in the midst of cradling a child through a tantrum I can’t have emotion. My own emotion will quickly turn into anger and betray me. Calm, even voice. Slow movements. Out of body observation within the boundaries of my own personal frame. Those are my hands being calm. That is my voice remaining steady. Our bio children giving me sideways looks wondering who came and body-snatched their mother.
2. Know your THING that transcends you. Mine is music, that insta-touch portal to another mental realm. Yours might be the sky or a book or feet slapping pavement. For me, music. Specifically, our youtube is one click shy of explosion from overuse of Jeremy Jordan videos and Breaking Down the Riffs with Natalie Weiss segments. Not that I will ever sing these to you in full belting voice, it’s just fun to hear riffs puzzled apart and taught in a way that feels like you and I can actually tackle them. I tried to play it cool about my obsession with Jeremy Jordan’s voice but by now we all know I’m a total fangirl. Marriage counseling to commence soon, if not for what is turning out to be a very difficult foster/adopt scenario, for my fangirldom. Still love you most, Nate!
3. Being cared for. We are spending SO much mental, physical, and emotional energy caring for our family right now. There is nothing left. But you keep coming. You keep showing up on our doorstep with bags of Mickey nuggets and baskets of laundry detergent and packages of books and gift cards and essential oils and post-it notes. I tell you it’s been (another) hard morning/bad day/tantrumpalooza bedtime and you send me text messages that make me cackle and burst with love and friendship instead of tears. You rally around us so we rally around ours.
The unspoken and underscore of this is Holy Spirit all through and around and in. The other truth is that sometimes the concept of God with us still feels out there and far away and let’s face it, not very in the moment practical. The tangibles of hearing a song, reading a sarcastic text, and enjoying the bitter aftertaste of a first-sweet blackberry, those are what feel real. Those are what meet us immediately in the very visceral moment of what is untethering us and offer us a grounding rope back to earth, back to sanity. And yet, those simple tangibles are God with us.
Thank you everyone for encouraging us through. Special thanks to Jeremy and his voice.
Still, still love you most, Nate. But I’ll call our therapist for us…