I haven't really talked very much about my process with Alex. Its been quiet around here in regards to that. We are still in the process of figuring out what is best for her, and until there are concrete details, there is not much to talk about.
Its been easy to be lulled into a sense of quietness. I've been trying to save my money as much as I can with this mindframe. Its a lack of permanency for me even right now because I don't really know what role I will be playing in the next 6 months. Will I still be the big sister? or will I be a parent? Will I be in the same row home? or will I packing to move... once again? Its like my mind has turned back to the post-college student mindframe. I'm starting to make long term plans again...
I just received an email from her case manager, and I got twangs of nervousness again. Okay, I gotta get back into parent mode. Our last weekend I spent with Alex was a little stressful. I guess I acted too much like I have something to prove, like I had to prove that I can "make" her listen. That hasn't been my approach up to this point at all! I'll tell you what, Alex balked at it. We both left that weekend feeling weary and worn out. I guess I'll need to work on my process a bit more. Once we know for sure whats going to happen, I'm definitely going to start family therapy. I need it in a big way.
I'm definitely ready to start over again with her. If she moves in with me, I want our relationship to be strong and withstanding. I don't want to peter out at the first sign of struggle. That would not be a good thing at all. I promised to be honest as I can be with all of you. So I guess I'll give you a little of my parenting philosophy. Please give me advice :-)
1) I want Alex to be treated the same way I would like to be treated.
2) I want to use methods that leave my integrity and her integrity intact.
3) I want Alex to be able to express herself in creative constructive ways.
4) I want to love Alex unconditionally. She deserves it because she is Alex, and no other reason is necessary.
5) I will keep Alex Busy.
I got most of the above from some books that I've been reading, with the exception of #5. Even though they are great ways of thinking in regards to parenting, I'm still struggling with parenting. I've never parented before and the longest I've spent "watching" a child was as a camp counsellor. I never lost one yet :-) In fact thats where #5 hails from. Camp's premise to a successful week at camp is to keep those buggers as busy as possible. With so much going on, they'll leave with a bundle of memories! There needs to be more of a balance between busyness and rest wth Alex. Although, I do think that children need opportunities to grow and to explore. Oops I mean teenagers :-)
Plain and simple I'm nervous. Can I do it? Granted, God has blessed this process beyond belief, but its going to be hard! The hardest thing that I have ever done in my life.
God, help me to not blow our next weekend with trying too hard. The only person I need to impress is Alex and you. (You first), and well to be fair, I've never wanted to impress Alex. Its been easier to do what I needed to do for her when I wasn't worried about it. God you have her best interest in mind, and I know that you'll take care of her, no matter where she is. God you will also take care of me. I know that since I am struggling to do what is right and what you would want for me to do, that you will overfill my warehouses! (A new car would certainly overflow my room... just saying). If you can, please help the nervousness and insecurities go away. Help me to stand firm in my faith, and to never grow tireed of doing the right thing. Its at least something to aim for.
As usual, I appreciate your listening ear!