Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My son

Jackson doesn't get a lot of face time here.  For such a handsome kid, he is notoriously camera shy and runs everytime he sees a camera.  He must also find it hard to compete with the precious little girls everyone is always so interested in.  I sit here, on the eve of my son's last day of his first year of school and think of how far we have come in these months.   Did he tell his big sister that she is going to get fat in Italy, while we were skyping yesterday, well yes, but he also has asked me 20 times today if she is really upset and that he didn't mean it.  

It has not been an easy year.  It still isn't "easy" but when I think back to the beginning I know that we have come so very far.  
In the beginning this poor boy was an angry, disappointed, hurt, miserable young man.   He would run away on his bike at least 3 times a week.  In fact he ran away on the morning of his baby sisters surgery, I had to have Miranda check Addis into the surgi center because I was driving around searching for him that rainy morning.   He ran, he shouted, he cried, he pushed us both physically and emotionally away from him.  He isolated himself, he didn't try at school, he was disrespectful and disobeyed me at every turn.  He would glare at me with such malice and hate, that I actually hid all the knives in the house at one point.  We had to turn the doors around so he couldn't lock them, had to latch the windows so he wouldn't go out of them.  He would give us the silent treatment for days at a time.  
He frustrated Miranda to the point of her looking to move out, because she was so miserable in her own home.  More than once she said to me that I had ruined her family.  I agreed at the lowest points.  I honestly didn't know where to turn, counseling didn't help, positive male role models didn't have any impact at all.  
And day he quit running.  Then one day, he gave me silent treatment for a few hours and APOLOGIZED!   
At the beginning of the school year he would come home and cry that he hated school and had no friends.  He sat by himself in the cafeteria, by himself on the playground, in PE.....
Now, he is the Belle of the Ball!!  Here is his social calendar for the week--best friend spent the night Friday night, soccer tournament with his friends all day Saturday, Sunday movie with soccer coach, Monday swimming with his best friend and us, Tuesday soccer practice, Wednesday lunch out with best friend then a swimming party at classmates house, Thursday lunch with a different friend, and then soccer practice, Friday swimming with friends and family, Saturday basketball practice then going to play games with a soccer friend.   WOW right??  
We still struggle with motivation, if he tried he would likely be one of the best players in town, any age group.  Now he is a great player who doesn't like to run.  He does fine at school, but doesn't push himself.  I am going to send him to tutoring this summer, to try and catch up a little more.  
He worships his baby sister Addis and is learning to like Eyerus.  She will grow on him.  He loves animals.  He misses his big sister like crazy, but doesn't know how to express is, so it comes across as annoying boy.  She is the first thing he asks about when I pick him up from anywhere.
On Mothers day he actually said "You are a good mom, and I am happy that you picked me'!!!  Tissues anyone??
He told me I am a good mom today.  It was because I let him go to the swimming party, but whatever, right??  When Addis threw up tonight, he helped me clean it up and gave me the helpful hint that maybe she shouldn't eat so many grapes :) 
I can honestly say I love him today, and I think I can say that he loves me.  I hope that it only gets better and better from here, and I also hope that I don't forget, when I am angry with him because he didn't take out the trash, that at least I haven't had to hide my knives in months!!!


Christy said...

Wow! That is intense! (as I dab my eyes) I'm glad to hear that things are getting better and that the knives are no longer hidden! Things will only get better from here!

Lisa said...

You are a wonderful and strong woman my friend! I'm so happy you are making progress and take the time to realize how far you have come. You are a "SUPER" mom in my book!!!

Chris said...

wow Grace ! what a great post . I know that your first year wasn't easy but like you said OMG waht a change in a year. Yes it will only get better and yes he is lucky that you pick him !! You are a great mom to all of your kids :) You are spoiling them too much but hey !!! LOL
He is a gorgeous boy ( with his short hair lol ) and he will someday be a great man and your best friend :) ( after me of course)

Laurie said...

Wow, a lot really has changed in a year. It was just a year ago this week that I met Jackson in Ethiopia and he impressed me with his helpfulness, generosity and love for the children. I'm glad to see that with you as his mom, he is showing those traits again. I echo what everyone else says... you're a great mom!!!

Julia & Brad said...

Wow. That just makes my heart happy :-)

Malia'sMama said...

I have been honestly worried that the blog silence and lack of pics might mean he had gone to the "other side" permanently and that you just couldn't write about him, as you considered your options.
I am so glad things are gettiing better!

Anonymous said...

so glad it is a happy ending and thanks for sharing..

mom to 4 girls and 2 boys including Laura Grace (K) and Julie Hope (D) :) :) home forever May 23

Deanne said...

That is an amazing journey! I just can't help but think how many families may have given up on him, but you hang in there as a single parent. Love sure does amazing things! So happy for Jackson. I have always loved hearing about him, I have a soft spot for boys ya know :)

Bennett said...

Yes I need that tissue!!

Yes very sweet...

I can say that is so great to hear how far he has come and it does get better, at each passing day.


Anonymous said...

wow..that is a powerful post.....not much else to say.....I am glad you 'picked' him too. Love takes time, doesn't it.