I would like to say that I felt so moved by the spirit of God, or so humbled by the power of the message being delivered, but I would be lying.
What kind of a church goer would I be if I lied right now?
The truth is that getting ready for church this morning, like most mornings, was an emotional and dramatic process that left me feeling empty and full of rage. Nothing says church like some rage.
Both boys fought through the highly complicated process of finding socks and basically decided life wasn't worth living if they had to find their own foot coverings. There was much rolling on the floor and dressing in pirate vests without shirts underneath, and crying, and definitive statements about footwear never having a place in their lives again.
I still don't understand what was going on with the shirt removal and pirate vest wearing since they weren't even playing pirates, but that just further goes to so you what I'm up against here.
By the time Alex and I had ditched the kids with better people than ourselves, since they felt called to actually volunteer to spend hours of time with lots of children they weren't required by law to care for, I was spent. The last few weeks, fine years, of struggling with Cole's emotions and then my own had me back to feeling overwhelmed and drenched in failure as a Mother. Yay church!
I'm very uncomfortable with all the rock concert style singing and whatnot that goes on at the beginning of our church service, but I also secretly love it, don't tell. I'm so complicated. This morning was my favorite band, primarily my favorite singer. Hearing his Eddie Vedder- loves-Jesus voice sing Amazing Grace made me feel, well it made me feel more sad honestly, but in a get-it-all-out sort of way.
If this were a college frat party (and often the beginning of church feels a bit like that to me in an orderly and non-drunk sort of way,) I would totally be swooning all over this man and his oh so lovely voice. I might even stand and squeal in front of him or something.
Alex takes great joy and comfort in the fact that I haven't done anything close to that, yet.
So I cried at the beauty of his voice, the words of the song, and my exasperation with my entire parenting situation though the musical intro of church. It was therapeutic and I felt a little better until we reached the part in the sermon where the pastor started talking about his five year old daughter's struggles.
I felt horrible joy at hearing that his own daughter went through a challenging time, (this is why I'm in church people, I realize there are some slight imperfections in me.) I hung on the edge of my seat to hear the solution which had carried her and their family through this difficult time. Since my blog post last week and my repeated Facebook frustration status updates, I have received a lot of really fantastic advice about options to try with Cole. I genuinely don't know what I did before I could just ramble on and vent and have everyone else tell me how to proceed to actually make progress on the trials of life. Thank you Al Gore for the Internet. Amen.
As soon as the magic solution was uttered though, I was right back to tears. Jesus Eddie Vedder might as well have starting strumming and singing again because I was emotionally wrecked again.
You know what had helped her?
Of course it was time spent with the Jesus Storybook Bible and some extra careful censorship of TV, etc. That's great and all, but if there is one thing Cole has down it's his time with Jesus. He often prays when things are bothering him and 99% of the time only wants to read his Jesus Storybook Bible at bedtime. He talks to me about turning away from sin and carries a small New Testament Bible around nearly all the time.
All of his own doing.
I'd love to take the credit for it, but Cole and God have their own thing going on and I'm a very little part of that. Solving Cole with more Jesus? Not what he needs. He needs more reasonable emotional control and some application of a few of those amazing chapters from the Bible.
I've tried to use the Jesus card with his behavior but it doesn't work. (Not to imply that Jesus is a card to be played.) I've even thought about getting Cole a W.W.J.D. bracelet or possibly tattoo to heighten his connection between his choices and his chosen love for all things Jesus.
I've even threatened the wrath of Jesus if he doesn't shape up.
None of this is working for Cole.
Not yet anyway.
I have received so many amazing suggestions and if you are wondering if I am pursuing your suggestion, the answer is yes. We are doing EVERYTHING.
We have contacted a behavioral therapist for some suggestions and strategies for navigating the emotional and volatile world of Cole. We are going to an ENT to have his tonsil and adenoid size evaluated due to his horrible sleep patterns. We have contacted a whole health doctor to talk about how food might be playing in to how his body and mind are working.
I foresee a dairy free house in our future after reading a good portion of the book, "What's Eating Your Child," which is my current obsession. I find myself wondering about Cole's zinc levels and wondering if we could make all this go away with some kale and quinoa?
We have new charts and rewards and consequences. I'm ordering the behavior books you have recommended and started re-reading the books I have.
I am doing a lot of praying with Cole about ant bites and patience and joy.
Thank you for all your kind words of support and encouragement. Each and every comment, email text, and call was so appreciated...though not all returned due to the evil which is still Dell.
(Computer hard drive allegedly will be replaced in the next few days...ALLEGEDLY.)
The good news is that now my phone is giving me problems with reading emails and doing small tasks like, oh say, turning on. I realize that's not good news but I really wanted to use that phrase somewhere in this post.
I guess the good news could be that if you like Jesus and Eddie Vedder, I've found a guy you should meet....or cry to as he sings Amazing Grace. It's just so freakin'good.