Statistically, I am supposed to be dead, in jail, or homeless. At 14, I'd been kicked out of so many foster homes that it became a game to me. I acted out because I didn't trust anyone, and I didn't expect that to change any time soon. So, how come I didn't end up as yet another statistic? ONE. CARING. ADULT.
Our oldest child was eleven when he went away to his first weeklong summer camp. He came home sunburned, sleep-deprived, and filthy. When I picked him up from our church parking lot, everything in me wanted to get him home so he could shower and I could start the (massive) post-camp laundry. But instead, I took him out for a hamburger.
We humans are moody a bunch, each and every one of us. Some more so than others, yes, but it's there inside us all as we experience sadness, melancholy, frustration, disappointment, hurt and, hopefully, some joy along the way. To be human is to experience a full range of moods from day to day, hour to hour, moment to moment depending on factors often out of our control.
No marriage begins with the end goal in mind of getting a divorce. It's a painful and often devastating experience for all involved, and is particularly destabilizing for children. It's an experience that can provoke anger and anxiety as they struggle to understand something beyond their control that turns their lives upside down.
Sometimes the stuff we need to hear from our children is muddled or falls to the floor, silent as snowflakes. Other times, those gems of communiqué are deafening, delivering messages that are both unfiltered and unapologetic. Still other times, the meat of the message is sandwiched in-between layers of fluff, artfully disguised as something unimportant.
Imagine for a moment, you're an insecure teenager struggling to fit into the world and a parent tells you that you need to lose ten pounds. Afterwards, every time you look in the mirror you see your body as being "fat and ugly." Suddenly you are obsessed with losing weight and you will do whatever it takes to shed the pounds.