The problem with being one person, Ive found, is that a lot goes to the side. If I clean the kitchen, the laundry doesn’t get done. If I vacuum, it wont get mopped. Its just how it happens, and so it seems to be with the kids. If I help one, the other two wont get helped. If I focus on another, then the other two fall to the side, and if I try to focus on all three at the same time, then dinner wont get made. It’s a juggling act at its finest, and one that often leaves balls flying right and left.
Of course, then you have to toss in other things, just for good measure. Things like “Im a teenager” and “I thrive on routine” and suddenly simply rushing out the door isn’t happening and routine doesnt exist and now we have two kids screaming because of completely different reasons. The only reason the third kid is happy is because at the moment I have all eyes ON him and everything is going his way. Because that’s how it rolls here.
I simply run out of time. I don’t have enough seconds in a minute to accomplish everything I need to, to keep everyone happy. We are lucky, as I have said before, if we make it to the end of the day without too many scars or hard feelings against each other.
Every so often I get asked a question about the kids, that I have to stop and think about for a minute or two. And then of course, I am the worse possible person in the world because I don’t know the answer to something simple right off the top of my head. The answers are there, I just have to look deeper sometimes.
When Molly first started having seizures, a lot of well meaning people told me to try different things. Track her diet, write down when her seizures happen. Keep track of her activities. Eliminate all things sweet from her diet. Keep her out of direct sun light. The ideas were limitless, but guess what? In the end? It really didn’t matter. In the end it was a combination of very unfortunate events – and lack of sugar didn’t really matter.
Every one seems to have a different idea of what to do for Josh. Ideas that could help, and ideas that just frustrate the heck out of him and I and leave me dropping more balls in the process. Take him to therapy. Bring him to group sessions. Give him an aid in school. Treat him like he has no issues. Discipline him more. Spank him harder. He HEARS you and understands – hes a bright kid – you are the problem. You are too soft. Don’t give into his wants. Don’t listen to him screaming. The ideas, while some were well meaning, and some even helpful, were endless…
But the truth is still the same – I have three kids. All with different needs, and all at different stages in their lives. I cant put all my eggs in one basket and leave the rest to the wind. And no. I will not get rid of one kid because s/he takes more time/effort than the others.
The truth is, I am one person. With three kids. With completely different personalities, and problems. I try to devote as much time to each of them as I can, and when the day ends…yes. I know. I didn’t GIVE enough.
Simply put? This is a different life that the kids are living. And you know what? Its not ideal. Its not what I would have chosen for them. None of the things they have been through are ideal, and none are things that I would have wished for them. But we are here, and we have to deal with it, like it or not. Its how it is. As much as I want two parents for them – they are here. With me. And I am here. With them. We have all lost people, and we are all working hard at living this life. Even though it makes no sense at times.
Josh’s autism, and other confusing matters are just part of our life. They are treated like anything else in our life. We give as much time and concern to him as we can, and sometimes, like everything else, it slides. Sometimes – he is forced into a situation that ends with me holding him down while he screams. Sometimes its related directly to something in our control, and sometimes its not. Its not what I wish for him, but its here. And we deal with it as we can.
We take it one day at a time. I cant devote all my time to him, as much as I would like. I cant put him in daily therapy – because I have two other kids who still need some of my time. Instead, we tackle things as we can. We face each issue and try to find a solution. And while its not easy, for any of us, were in it together. Its how it is, and how we have to deal with it. Its not ideal, but it is what it is, and while it often falls short of being enough – everything does.
I try to do as much as I can, and sometimes, I reach a limit. Sometimes, I cant do anymore. And instead of trying to reach something that is unreachable, I have to set it aside. And continue forward. I cant look back any longer. I cant wish for what was. I cant wish for what isn’t. I cant hope for what might be. I don’t have time for that. Instead, I can and choose to try to be, happy for what is. And what we have. Problems, complications, troubles, and all.
Ill take it any day over what could have been, because I know all to well, what COULD have been. And what ISNT. And what ISNT is better sometimes. Because sometimes…what is, is what is.
Sometimes, you have to take a deep breath…and just let go.