I'm feeling OK today but a bit bored with my own health issues, so I can't imagine that you aren't tired of hearing about them.....
I just had breakfast with Kari after a struggle with Dunn Brothers internet that still isn't working very well. She and I were discussing the whole parenting thing ... from the challenges of school issues with neuro-atypical kids and the criminal justice system. We concluded our conversation with her making the brilliant comment "It's all hindsight."
Parenting these kids has a huge learning curve. I now understand why there are many older folks who are doing foster care ... because there is a need to apply some of the stuff that you learned through mistakes along the way.
On Tuesday I found out that some people we met 15 years ago are still foster parents...they were then as well. They have to be close to our age and are fostering little kids with the help of their now grown kids or high school kids. I get why they are doing it!
Looking back I can see so clearly how during the days when I was feeling lucky to have survived each and every day, one minute at a time, I could have been using different parenting techniques that might have helped all of us. But then we didn't know AND if we had I'm not sure we would have had the energy.
I have been quite frustrated with some of the choices of the kids in our house who are 15-17. But I have to realize that the kids who are doing poorly at this time are the ones who didn't live with us during those years. They were either in residential treatment or had found a way to get out of the house to avoid the guildelines we place on them. The ones who are doing the best are the ones who stayed in our home until high school graduation (or are still there). So I suppose the fact that they are still in the house and we're all still OK is a good sign.
One of the things I'm having to let go of is some of the rules that we have had in the past as we have our youngest kids in their teens. By April, everyone except Wilson will be 16 or over! isn't that crazy?
As they say, hindsight is 20/20. And it's my goal, once I'm feeling "normal" again, to continue to help people learn the things that I have learned. After all, when it comes to certain issues in the realm of parenting kids with special needs, my vision must be 20/20.