We are fast creeping up on being home with Boohoo for three years. It's very, "Of course we are" and very "no possible way" all at the same time. I certainly will not claim to have Arrived as parent, therapeutic, or otherwise, but I look at that me from almost three years ago and she looks very very young and naive (and soon to be in need of a stiff drink). And, just to be a little braggy...the me of today could totally kick her butt. I am way tougher now. Of course, she's skinnier so I can't get too braggy.
And my daughter of three years ago was no more real to me than a (treasured) handful of sentences on a page and a scattering of pictures that I would share with anyone I could force to look at them.
And then we brought Boohoo "home" and found out just how real she (and her trauma) really was. Very real. The last almost three years have been very real, very hard, very confusing, very dark, very lost feeling, very hanging on by our nails, very relentless, very depth of your soul revealing, very vulnerable, very end of my rope, very unending Jesus.
We're not done, we're not there. We have not "fixed" Boohoo (which while well-intentioned was the wrong goal entirely) and we are not always or even mostly always sure that what we are doing at this moment is the right thing to do.
This road in front of us now is very different than the one behind us.
I had a friend tell me once that it took her three years before she enjoyed parenting her daughter. And that by six years it was great. I thought she was C.R.AZ.Y. CRAZY. Seriously, crazy. I knew that I would never be able to make it that long. But here I am, looking at three years and finally feeling for the first time that we're on an upwards trajectory. By six years, maybe we will be golden too.
We are making progress.
*Acceptance. It sounds overly simple, but it's been super complicated to arrive here. Boohoo is on a trajectory that is all her own. The only standard to hold her to and compare her against is the one that she's on. Also, accepting some of the parts of her as her and not as something to change. Lots of reframing happening here. I use the word "exuberant" a lot. lol
* Travel: I've talked about this before, but Boohoo was terrified to travel at first and eventually that displayed itself as superhuman amounts of anxiety in the car. She was a disaster in the car. We used every coping tool and calming-down aid that was out there and eventually we got to the point where she was a tolerable ball of nerves who was constantly on high-alert and ready to freak out. Even with doctor approved intervention and what should have knocked out a grown man she was just so nervous it barely took the edge off for her. On our last trip, there was one mini-meltdown, but without any anything SHE SLEPT IN THE CAR. It was astonishing.
* Crying: We (lovingly) call the child Boohoo for a reason. Initially she cried, screamed, tantrummed her way through the day every day. You would not know that such a small body could produce that much tears and noise and snot. It was alarming. It lasted a really really really really long time. It's not over and our little chica can still (and does) cry at the blink of an eye, but she can also go through a day without a crying jag or go through several days with only minor amounts of crying. Remember how God dried up the Red Sea for the Israelites? Well, it's like that except with crying. (And I will tell my children and my children's children about how the Lord dried up the waters so I could pass through my house unscathed.)
So, if you find yourself wondering why the blog is quiet. It's for a good reason. Attachment and trauma is not the focal point of my day, it's not the peg our life is hung on. And while yes, it will probably always be a spice to flavor our life we're turning out to be not a one-note dish.