Thursday, August 2, 2012
In my childhood there was a neighborhood parade with banners. They were large cloth things that had been painted and repainted for years. I was usually riding a bike or in later years playing an instrument, but I had a special place in my heart for those banners.
I am sometimes anxious. Specifically I'm anxious that someone will call child services and they'll try to take away my kids. P has tried to help me understand that this is an unreasonable fear. Sheesh, I'm prideful enough to think I'm one of the best moms I know! But still the fear that someone will, for spite, call child services on me. I recently found out that the source of this fear is possibly when I was 4 a neighbor did just that to our family.
I was 4, and mom had left us in the care of my brother R who was 12 to run an errand. My sister M got her eye cut on the pole of a volleyball set. So I ran over to the house of a neighbor from church. This neighbor, rather than come and help, called child services on us. Nice.
I'm sure at the time I got some heat for being the one who let that neighbor know we had a situation. I know that throughout my life, whenever that story is told, my role has been brought up. I didn't know she was toxic. My mom paints a picture of a disabled woman who smoked and sort of came to church, who sometimes would call the school if she thought our family had kids walking to school, but whose own children were often driven to school by my mom.
I do have a fond memory of being taken to her house and apparently cared for. Specifically I remember how she watched General Hospital and that during the opening credits everyone got to/had to hug one another.
So the lasting effect is my general fear of having child services called, and my resolve to never leave my children in the care of anyone who might call them. For that matter, I tend to view my friendships with that lens also.
While my mom was here M and lP got up on the car and the pediatrician neighbor saw them as she was driving into her driveway. So I was fearful.
And that leads me to a current decision I'm trying to make. Should I move my kids to her practice so she can regularly have data to show that my children are happy and healthy? We have insurance now that allows us to go to any practice in town and I would sort of like to get a family practice doctor so when we all get sick we can all go to the same place. That is my choice of convenience. But shouldn't I let my fears dictate my actions?
Also, I need to figure out how to raise my children to not live in fear. Phrases like "if you do that someone might call the cops and mom will have to go to jail" are obviously going to make the kids anxious. Yet that is what I'm thinking.
And by the way for public information I did just make M get a marble out of the toilet. She'd dropped it in the toilet yesterday because she didn't want to leave it behind. We got her a rubber glove and told her that she had to get the marble. Yesterday she was to scared, so we sent her back to the corner. P couldn't see the marble so we chalked it up to something that might cause permanent damage to the septic tank. This morning G spotted it and M happily used the rubber glove to retrieve it. Thank goodness for disinfectants. Can you imagine all the things that probably got lost in out houses over the years. The perfect place to hide anything...
We give our kids baggage. How to turn it to their strength is the mystery and the goal.
Posted by Lucky Day at 7:16 AM