Our apologies to the neighbors.
Alex, who will be the death of me yet, taught Barrett how to climb on the air conditioner to climb on the rain barrels to climb on neighbor’s fence to climb onto our roof.
When Nathan suggested this was not the safest activity to be teaching his little brother, Alex responding by running away from Nathan to the middle of the back yard, where he stands screaming about how his family hates him and never feeds him.
This is a new theme lately, as he has apparently and allegedly just realized that the “other parents” we visit occasionally, who bring him candy and play with him on the playground, are the same ones who starved him, who locked him in a van, who started a meth fire, and who didn’t do anything to get him back.
And he’s angry.
For the first time, finally, four years later, he’s angry.
Except taking it out on us, and it’s exhausting.
It’s like that when we first got him, when he cried for three hours and Nathan just rocked him and rocked him, knowing there was nothing we could do to erase that heartache.
The safety issues have to be addressed, obviously, but the screaming and giving up and thinking he is already lost and rejected… it it heartbreaking. We can hold him, and rock him as if he were tiny, and we can process as nauseum. But we cannot undo what was already done to him, and we cannot make realizing it easy.
But I promise he got breakfast, and a snack, and lunch, before any of the screaming started.
And we do love him, and we do want him – we just don’t want him on the roof.
It’s so hard, this life these little ones live, and I hate that we can’t rescue them from it.
But we do love them. Really, we do.
Even when all the love in the world isn’t enough to undo what’s already happened to them.
We will support him best we can, and continue to process with him privately, but in the meantime we also have to keep the children safe – and off the roof.
It’s hard, this parenting thing.