I know we need to go.
I don't want to.
My son is a little older now.
And he is starting to wonder why he screams and other kids don't.
And why sleeping is so difficult.
And why the way things feel can make him throw a tantrum larger and louder than any child in the midst of the terrible-twos.
My child is many years beyond two-years-old.
I know my son is going to ask me again, "Why am I going to another doctor?"
And I need to explain. But I still choke at the thought.
The thought of explaining history to him makes me kind of noodle-legged.
But I had to...
So, I sat him down, and we had the talk.
The talk around here has nothing to do with the birds and the bees.
And everything to do with what has happened to him...
I have only given him bits and pieces of his tale.
And I usually say that I haven't told him all of it because he can't handle it.
But that is just an excuse.
Probably the more truthful statement is...
The TALK for this boy is a painful story. The one where I explain how he came to be a ward of the state. It is a story that involves a teenage mother. It involves brutal beatings. A baby being shaken. Bite marks. Hospitalization. Drugs. Alcohol. Black eyes. Screaming...and something even worse...silence.
He cried. And so did I.
We sat there for awhile.
As long as we have known him, our son has battled his demons. He knows he does life a little differently, but he is not quite sure how. He knows he shouldn't be screaming, but he really just can't seem to stop.
Some days it feels like we are raising a tortured soul. He feels everything deeply. He is wounded.
Sometimes he will go searching online for children that need a family. He calls them "kids like me."
And comes screeching out of the room where the computer is to insist I come look at some kids he just KNOWS can come stay with us. He is SURE...
And he reminds me "these kids are just like me." and then he cries.
A day or so after our discussion my son was trying to build, what he calls, a tee pee fire. Like most 11-year-old boys, he thinks fire is A-MA-ZING. He patiently stacked and re-stacked the wood to get it just right. He looked up at me while I supervised the tee pee fire making and said: "I can teach another kid to make a fire...another kid like me. Pastor Randy said we need to have a fire...I can share mine. Right?"
I am fairly sure Randy was not speaking about literal wood-and-flame-fire. But the idea is sound.
Where is our fire? Where is our passion? Where is our willingness to go before the Lord and ask what it is we are supposed to be DOING? In case you missed the previous blog, I GUARANTEE the answer is not NOTHING. Where is our willingness to DO? When do we stop saying I can't, I won't , I don't want to and start saying I am willing.
At some point we have to stop saying one day, and start saying NOW.
Now because the crisis is NOW. Because for some there may not be a one day.
My sweet boy survived our talk...it was awful, revealing, painful, necessary...But his passion
and fire for children that need a family is blazing. It is embarrassing how many times my children have schooled me in the art of compassion. Their willingness to give is unparalleled. And it has been rather humbling to see them morph into advocates and activists. Right now, they are all willing participants in life. I hope I don't mess that up.
Our excuses should be dying before us at this point. Excuses are just invented ways to get out of doing something uncomfortable. No matter what age, we all have excuses. I used them to avoid telling my son the history of his life.
My hope is that excuses begin to disappear from our lives. Only then will we live the life we are meant to live. Because there is no purpose in any person's life that would be classified as easy. God never called us to a life of puppies and rainbows. God never said do something easy.
He said part the Red Sea, kill Goliath. He said lead slaves out of Egypt, marry a prostitute. He said love all people. He said follow me. (SO very difficult.) I am not sure what following looks like sometimes. Or where it will take me in the future. Or if I will even want to go...
But I am learning to stop excusing myself from hard situations.
And go anyway...
To DO anyway...
I don't want to live a life of excuses.