Last week, I had a particularly difficult day with my older son. He requires extra attention, and even after six years, I’m still not used to it. I don’t want to have to supervise constantly. I want him to be able to go play on his own or with his brother without getting into trouble. I’d like him to be able to play outside and get toys from the shed, without him grabbing the rope saw, carrying it across the yard, and taking it up to the second floor of the garage. And without closing his brother up in the pickup truck box.
I very much like to do nothing. My older son doesn’t allow me to do nothing, though I fight it every step of the way. When I do nothing, he gets into trouble. When he gets into trouble, especially lots of trouble, I really, really want to go shopping. That day after the saw incident, I almost caved in several times. I just wanted to escape to the mall, to feel normal, to feel in control, or something. To relax? To not scream for a few hours?
I didn’t go to the mall, but I also didn’t find a good way to cope with my challenging son.
This also made me realize that my days feel a little… empty. I used to fill them up with researching, online window shopping, or going to the mall. Without that, I’m really truly doing nothing. It’s too hard to take both boys out without another adult, so we’ve been staying home all summer.
Part of this unraveling journey will be to find something meaningful to do, with or without the boys.