I’ve heard it said that teenagers rebel against everything their parents believe and stand for so that they can grow up into miniature versions of us. I’ve lived through teenage rebellion from both sides now … and it hurt from either side. But last night, I truly got a taste of what my boys have grown into. I have to say, it was worth all the heartache, all the pain, all the arguments. I feel like I’ve seen the light at the end of the tunnel!
With everything going on with Topher, I’m struggling with what my sister calls a conflict of principles. I know that he needs to be with us and not with his mom. I know that the longer he stays, the more he will heal. So, I am doing my best to hold on for as long as I can, permanently if possible.
The problem is, I’ve had my kids taken away. When my son Douglas was born, My wife’s ex husband made some heinous accusations against me, and they put my boys in the care of my mother for 2 weeks while they investigated. They eventually concluded that it was nothing but a custody stunt, and closed the case, but I’m still left with the scars on my heart from not seeing their first moments with their brother because I couldn't be there with them. I’m still left with the memory of what it’s like to have strangers come in and take your kids. And I can’t imagine what it’s like to think of it being permanent. It hurts to even think that I’m considering doing that to another parent.
So, last night at Walmart, I talked to Adam and Julian about my dilemma. I confessed that I’m scared of what I’m doing. I’m nervous that I’m doing wrong for all the right reasons. I’m scared that my good intentions are for naught, and I’m trodding on someone else to implement them. I confessed that I’d do anything … I’d sell myself on a street corner (like anybody would buy) … to keep from losing my kids ... and asked who I was to make this kind of life-changing decision for someone else’s kid.
And my boys surprised me. They put their arms around me and told me I was doing the right thing. They explained to me that I had introduced this young man into the family, and, therefore, family he was. They told me they couldn’t stand to watch their brother go through any more of the kind of experiences he’s been through. They told me to not look back, to do whatever it took to keep their family safe.
They didn’t hesitate. They didn’t consider him less than family. They didn’t even think about how it would inconvenience them. Last night they were the ones pointing me in the right direction when I was feeling lost. It was totally backwards. It was totally wonderful. If this is the end result of all the teenage rebellion … worth. every. second.
I don’t know what I did to deserve these kids, but I do know they are, all of them, key to my survival!