I have never been pregnant. I have not given birth. I have heard women who have birthed their children say "You forget the pain". It is their testimony to love and bonding that when you hold that tiny babe in your arms, the love overshadows the pain and you forget it.
I can not let myself forget the pain he brought into our home.
Now, we visit him at his facility home. He smiles and hugs us. He says he loves us. He acts like any other child. He isn't. It's the peace of proximity. I find myself enjoying his company. He is, at times, fun to be with. I let my guard down... just for a second and BAM!!! He strikes. Like a hypnotic cobra. It's as if he is waiting and watching until I am not. I can't allow him to get too close. I can never entertain the thoughts of him returning home. He can't come back.
I regurgitate the memories from deep down in a lost place. I pull them up, one by one until my soul shudders at the sight of them.
I play them out ...
He is leaning off of his loft bed, hanging onto the light fixture and pulling it from the ceiling. My heart jolts me to action and I run to turn the power off before he electrocutes himself.
He is mad because I don't give him the answers to his homework. He starts to walk out of the room. I turn... I didn't see the chair. He grabbed it and threw it so quickly and fiercely that no one had time to duck. Thank God it missed his brother's head by a couple of inches. The lamp is dead.
He is stuffing things into the electric heater. I have to turn it off and restrain him. The heat leaves the house much too quickly and we all pay the price.
He is mad at me (Why?) He is across his room from me as I try to help him calm himself and process his feelings. He jumps once and bounces off the window. I try not to react because to react might make him more agitated. He jumps again and I move toward him... not fast enough. He jumps a third time and throws himself into the window. I didn't know Plexiglas could shatter. He has cuts but it could have been worse... I think.
He wants more at dinner. He has had three helpings and I need to save some food for my husband. I know he has had enough but he doesn't. He reaches into the pan on the stove scooping out a handful of the food saved for his dad. I reach out and grab his fist. The punch comes swiftly and unexpected to my face. It stings and shocks me to the core. He hit me!! It's not the first time.
I hear my oldest scream. I run and find him sitting against the wall with blood encircling his nose. It's a bite mark. It looks like someone has tried to bite his nose off. I turn and he is playing... quietly and completely uninterested in the pain. He caused it but it effects him not. My heart is chilled at the sight. It won't be the last time.
He is two and he is the Tin Man. Stiff to hug and in need of a heart.
He is three and he never sleeps. He climbs around during the night and we are scared.
He is four and he looks at dead things. Chops up lizards and tells me he wants our house to burn.
He is five and throws things. No warning. Sometimes in anger, sometimes to play with us.
He is six. He runs faster than I do. He has no fear of consequences. I am terrified he will be hit by a car.
He is seven and punches his baby brother in the head, just to make me angry.
He is eight and he watches me all the time.
He is nine and he has mastered the game of cat & mouse.
He is ten and too dangerous to live with.
I hold onto these memories like a well worn scrapbook. They are our life with him.
He is a boy who was robbed of his life before he entered it. We are a family who was robbed of the joy of his presence. ... the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but HE came to bring life... and that more abundantly.
We have all paid the price.. for what? How does God use THIS? How does He work all of THIS together for the good of those who love him. I LOVE YOU LORD!! How will you make this work out for our good?
The pain is all I have of this child. I can't forget the pain.