(I am having a blast using these writing prompts at Write. Blog. Connect. to jump-start my writing. I’d been neglecting that screaming inner voice that pleads with me to write for far too long. You should check the prompts out and let them inspire you to spew words!)
Progress… This one stumped me – not because we have made none in our life, but because the progress we’ve made overwhelms me at times. And the areas where we don’t make as much progress as I’d like is something I struggle with accepting as it is instead of pushing harder. See, we’re blended. Some days, that just means more family to love and be loved by. Some days, though, that means resistance I don’t know how to overcome, discomfort I don’t know how to soothe, and other really big feelings from my (getting bigger every day) small people – especially from my two boys and his two boys from before we were us. (Did you follow that?)
Right this minute, things feel right – we feel like a well blended blend of families that have walked through some serious brokenness. But tomorrow might not feel this way – and I struggle with the ups and downs. I feel like our blend has been in the works for long enough that we should all comfortably jive, but I’ve learned that kids count time differently. I’ve also learned that kids blame people for things that they had nothing to do with if they are persuaded. And it is incredibly difficult to overcome that persuasion when it comes from a person the kids hold in exceptionally high regard. (And even harder when you won’t stoop to a low-level of involving children in adult problems, too. No one ever told me the high road was this hard. And no, I’m not perfect, but I do try to hold my tongue especially where my kids’ bio-father is concerned.)
See, my husband and I met 3 years after my ex left and we divorced. We weren’t friends at the time of the divorce and his presence had nothing to do with the divorce or my ex leaving. (I could go off like a mad woman about the fact that it was a series of other women that spurred along the demise of that relationship, but I’ll leave that to this parenthetical line only.) But one of my boys still feels like it’s mine and Mr. Wonderful’s fault that his dad and I aren’t together. I’ve tried to explain it (in kid friendly ways). I’ve tried to have our counselor explain it. Our counselor feels like he doesn’t want to accept that it’s not Mr. Wonderful’s fault, because then he can’t be permanently mad at him. If he’s not permanently mad at him, then he has to accept some of the kindness shown to him and try to connect with a man that he wants to make sure the world knows is not his dad. (And we’ve never tried to force him to accept Mr. Wonderful as his dad, for the record.)
I desperately want to see progress in this area of our life. I want the chains to break, the anger to fade, forgiveness to happen, connection to happen, and a relationship to bud. I want these things so bad that I push Mr. Wonderful harder and my son harder and I think I may make it worse by doing that. But when I do nothing, I feel like nothing can ever change, either. It is something that is hard for me every single day. I want the same father-child relationship for my bigger boys that my younger kids have. Don’t get me wrong, in the realm of step dads, I know my kids and I are blessed beyond measure to have Mr. Wonderful. He is doing his best to raise them as his own, but there are still differences. The connection isn’t the same between him as the bigs as between him and the littles.
Due to circumstances outside of our control, the boy’s father is not allowed to see them any more. It breaks my heart to walk through such a devastating loss with my kids. No matter how I ever felt about him or his actions, he is important to these boys…and he should be there for them, raising them and helping them grow into the young men God made them to be.
So, I guess, all of this to say that sometimes progress comes easily. It can be measured, it can be seen, and felt. It happens steadily, and at a pace that is comfortable. Sometimes progress is a whirlwind and it comes so fast you can barely prepare for it. But sometimes progress is slow. It is painfully slow. Prayers feel unanswered, things feel unchanged, and it’s really hard to see that we are different now than we were 4 years ago. But that’s okay, some progress has to be allowed the space and time to do its own thing, in its own way.
Here’s to the progress you are hoping and praying for, and the progress I am hoping and praying for. May we see the fulfillment of God’s will in our lives – whether it looks the way we envisioned or not.