There is nothing that shows the truth about relationships like being under video surveillance for 48 hours – with a teenager to humble you – or me rather. What on earth made me think I could handle that trip alone is beyond me… That was mistake – and a good experience all at once. It didn’t matter what I did – I felt guilty. I hated making him be there, but knew we had to be. I hated leaving my oldest behind – but knew he could handle it. And I hated watching my baby go through things a mom doesn’t want to happen. I felt guilty when I stayed, when I corrected unacceptable behavior and I felt guilty when I left the room for walks, or coffee or whatever. I only left him alone maybe three or four times a day. I needed those quiet times to pray or find other parents who were also someplace they didn’t want to be, looking for answers and healing as well. But I still felt guilty. False shame hits the best of all of us some days.
Dillon and I spent three days in a Fort Worth hospital, trying to find answers for his epilepsy. Neither of us wanted to be there really. Who would? I wanted answers and was willing to stay to find them. Dillon just wanted out of there, and definitely did not like the sticks (5 in all) , the wires, the food, or the camera. Or sharing a room with MOM of all people for three days straight. Not only did the staff get to see his seizures and eeg activity – they got to see the honesty of how a Mom and teenage son relate during three stressful days of constant activity, boredom, and no sleep. Oh yes, we gave them a great stress study. Mom’s and sons can get snippy with each other. 😉 Even snippy, they still love each other. Though I will agree that special needs nurses do not necessarily have a sense of humor. There were jokes that we shared that he thought were funny, but no one else did.
They don’t have many teenagers in that ward. Mostly they deal with young children – thankfully there were staff who had teenagers, and they understood the looks, the sighs and the breaks.
I can think of 100 things I could have done differently – but really, I’m just trying to change the reality of his being mad about being there. He had the right to be mad, and I kept the line of being mad is okay, taking it out on others is not. The rules at home still apply. I needed to let go of making it all okay – because it really wasn’t. Not for him anyway. There was no way Dillon was going to talk to me about what was going on in his thoughts and emotions while the camera was rolling. Conversation was not what he wanted. He had my company though – he knew I was there for him and with him. I did succeed in getting him to play with the Wii – I was so bad at the pool game he just had to help. Score one for mom. Mostly though, he drew – or watched a sports game or played on my laptop – he found a games web page. He wanted to speak to no one..
What they didn’t see – was the ride home. About halfway home tensions released and our relationship showed the other side – the best parts of honesty, communication and love. A child who will allow me to touch him and tell him I love him – but only when no one is looking. I would try to touch him in the hospital and he’d pull away in anger and teenage disgust. And yet riding home, listening to a metal station for part of the ride and comparing it to the rock music of my day – we find a middle road and grace in a changing relationship. Riding home, away from the cameras – he could find his voice and feel my touch.
Raising boys, is harder than I ever imagined it would be and yet God’s grace is sufficient and never ending. And his love – like a mother’s – knows no end.