This Christmas was the first Christmas I’ve had my son with me, and my heart was so full it was about to burst!
He moved in with us back in June. His adoptive parents had kicked him out, not because they were mean or heartless but because he decided not to hold in how he felt about them and the way they were trying to have a relationship with him – and sometimes, actually most likely, he didn’t hold anything back, which came across to them as hurtful and abusive.
If he’s learned anything over the past few months, my hope is that one of the bigger things to stand out is that most people don’t get a perfect family, or even a perfect family for themselves. After he’d been here about a month, my brother lost his ever-living mind, drove to my house and beat me up pretty badly – in front of our 91-year-old mother. The black eye he gave me stayed for 5 months, and the shoulder I landed on when he knocked me out and I hit the floor still bothers me a little. It’s a long, hard-to-tell story, and I don’t want to waste any more words on my brother or the incident – except to say this: After some time had passed after placing my son in his adoptive parents’ arms, my brother asked me in anguish why I didn’t let him have my baby to raise until I could get it together. I just looked at him in horror thinking, Are you freaking kidding me? Thank goodness my son didn’t actually see my brother pounding on me with his fists. He had his earbuds in and was back in his room. It was bad enough seeing me all bruised up and crippled in wake of the mess.
After a few months had passed, I told my son, ‘I feel badly that you have had to see me and get to know me at one of the lowest points of my life.’ I completely shut down after that happened. Before that, we were talking, like really talking and getting to know one another.
I regret that the majority of his time with us has been spent with me checked out then in recovery. Recovery, in my experience, no matter what one is recovering from, is pretty much always painful and all-consuming. But he’s still here, and as long as he’s still here there is still time to get to know one another and figure out what kind of family we choose to be to each other.
I asked him if he’d ever carved a turkey. He had not. I asked if he’d like to do the honors. He did. He did great! I love so much that I got to share that rite of passage with him.
BEST. CHRISTMAS. EVER!!