No, it’s NOT yours, ITS MINE!
Do these words sound familiar?
I bet if you talk to any Mom, anywhere, at any time, they have heard this phrase shouted over and over again throughout the course of the day.
It’s enough to make any Mom roll her eyes back in her head and question why she decided to become a mother.
But in our house? It’s a completely different story.
This was the first time my girls have ever gotten into a fight. This was the first time that my two girls were looking at each other and feeling unable to tolerate one another. This was the first time that my girls were acting like sisters. Real, true, life-long siblings. The first time. It took five weeks for our Heavenly to feel comfortable enough around us all to let loose and yell at Tera. It was the first time that emotions won over politeness and courage won over fear. It was so much more than an argument between two sisters.
No, I’m not a supermom and I didn’t jump up and down and throw confetti in the air because I was so happy they were fighting. In fact, I reacted just the way any ‘ol Mom would react and began to rebuke Heavenly for her harsh words. Before I could turn to Tera and also reprimand her, Heavenly began to react to me. It escalated far enough that Theo sent us all to our rooms (lol, even me) and talked individually to everyone.
Turns out our sweet Heavenly needed to erect a wall around herself as quickly as possible because she felt that Mama Bear was just lashing out at her to protect Tera. I can totally see where she got that from. And within the course of five minutes, we quickly learned what our Heavenly’s coping mechanism is when she is feeling threatened. It’s not the healthiest of coping mechanisms, but all in one fight we learned some of the most crucial parenting need-to-knows. What her triggers are, what her defensive mechanisms are and what she is like when she is experiencing big emotions.
It’s something we as biological parents take for granted. I’ve been with Tera every single day of her life and know her feelings and emotions sometimes even better than she does. I know her tendencies and her triggers and I also know when her buttons are being pushed and when she is pushing buttons.
We don’t have that advantage as foster parents. We don’t even know that the child exists 24 hours before they show up on our doorstep. We don’t know what they have been through or what they have built up as their defense mechanisms. We don’t know their triggers or the things that most push their buttons.
So when things like this go down…it’s hard. We might yell and fight and many tears are shed. We are not immune to all the emotions, in fact we probably have them all in excess.
But, in hindsight, I’m thankful. I’m so very thankful that y girls got in their first fight. I’m so glad that Heavenly feels safe enough in our home to fight with her sister. I’m so glad that Tera didn’t think twice about yelling at her. I am so glad that we have a safe home to learn safe coping mechanisms.
So every time my girls fight (they do it quite often, now), I need to remind myself of this. They are acting like sisters, and that is a beautiful thing.
What are you thankful for this week?