Thursday, April 1, 2010

Laughing is good

Last night we went to our favorite coffee shop and got to sit out in the evening air for a bit. We all had the giggles and played duck-duck goose, tickled each other, made the chairs into a train... T played airplane with Lil M... all, while laughing and generally making fools of ourselves in public... but it was all in good fun, and made our bellies hurt (in the good way, of course)!

This was after having a few days that were a bit more stressful. As I mentioned, last week T got herself in a little trouble with Mommy. This week, I got a call from the school for something that happened and they made it sound like it was a behavior that happened on Monday, but it was really what started everything last week. See, apparently, T got a bit obnoxious on the bus last week (Tuesday) and that was the day she decided to go "walking" with a friend and not come home when she should have. The two problems there were, a) she didn't have permission to go walk and b) she knew she needed to be home so I could go to a class.

But, the principal made it sound like what he was calling me about was this week. It was not. I believe that her bus incident happened (she told me it was the same day she got in trouble with me)... and then she probably (small guess on my part) decided that heck... if i'm already in trouble, why not go do what i want?!! So, she did. But I didn't even know about the bus thing, yet. So, she overreacted for nothing. And got herself in more trouble.

Now, one could argue that maybe she figured if she was already in trouble, why not go for it. Or maybe, if I get myself in trouble at home... the bus thing won't look so bad. I don't really know for sure, but it's all been resolved by now.

I think that what she did on the bus was typical teenage type behavior (albeit, a bit over the top). And I also think that T (as well as a lot of foster kids) get the shaft when it comes to the 'benefit of the doubt'. So, that's what I'm trying to do, in that regard.

Now, when it comes to being disrespectful to our family unit... and just going out without permission, that's a different story. And that was the only thing she saw a consequence from me about. She did say that I didn't react like previous people might have... (i didn't call the police). I want her to know that she needs to communicate with me. And, for her to really understand that, I need to communicate with her. Not just to her. With her. Some of these kids don't have that basic understanding. Everything is rules and consequences. I do believe she needs those, but she is at the point in her life where she needs to understand why there are rules/consequences and not just handed punishment.

Every situation is different, but I am trying to do right by her and all of us. I just hope I am!

This having a 17YO in the house is definitely different, but so far we're hanging in there and it's been good.


PS. I read this awesome quote from a friend of mine, and it speaks to how I feel about life:

Edward Hale: “I am only one. But I am one. I can’t do everything, but I can do something; and that I can do, I ought to do. And what I ought to do, by the grace of God I shall do.”

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