That's a common side effect to living in crisis mode, I would suspect. But for someone who thrives on seeing the humor in life and who loves almost nothing more than a long drawn-out fit of giggles, having serious, grown-up issues to digest and comprehend and sort out at almost every waking moment is getting a bit old.
My current default emotions are anything but funny.
And it's wearing me out.
If we don't find something to laugh about, it's all too easy for my hubby and me to mentally curl up in a dark, cob-webby corner and lose ourselves in sorrow. So we're having to make a conscious effort these days to "find the funny" in our lives...even in our current situation.
Let's face it: there is very little humorous about our son going off the deep end, assaulting people, and being locked up in Juvenile Detention. We get this. We understand. Our son's future, his choices and his violent behavior are not a laughing matter...
....we still need to laugh.
For starters, it's amazing to hear how every single thing that's happened is not our son's fault. I'm beginning to see how the jails are full of people who 'didn't do it', but I'm also a bit concerned about all the seemingly law-abiding people walking around free...you know, all the ones who are actually to blame. Like me. And my husband. And the police officers. And the caseworkers. And the cat.
It's just a teeny tiny bit humorous (to borrow our son's rationale) that it's acceptable to threaten to report people to CPS just for looking at you funny, and that when any authority figure doesn't do what you want, it's perfectly logical that you should threaten to kill them.
We also discovered recently through acquired documentation of his hospital stay, that after our son had been ripping up all the carpet squares in his hospital room, he went into a rage and furiously demanded that he be moved to a room with nice carpet. How dare they keep him in a room with ruined carpet? Seriously?! I find this hilariously unbelievable, and yet so consistent with what we see at home.
A few weeks ago, we came upon a question on a form asking us: "What five things concern you the most about your child's behavior?"
Without missing a beat, my husband writes in:
#1. He wants to kill me.
The absurdity of it all sent us both into peals of laughter until tears were nearly running down our faces. I mean, really, is it necessary to list four more concerns after that one?
#2. He wants to kill my wife.
#3. See #1 and #2.
And then there's the funding issue. The payer of last resort. We're still researching residential treatment facilities and therapeutic boarding schools and what-not, and have participated in at least
After talking to countless places in-depth, each of them has claimed to be the "payer of last resort". How can this be? How does that even work? If they all can pay, but are only the "payer of last resort", are they all going to refuse to pay until someone else does? Or are they all going to decide to pay at the same time? Is that even possible? I don't think it makes any sense...but at least we've got an awesome new catch phrase in our home. And when we're grocery shopping, you better believe that I'm gonna let my husband get his debit card out before I do. I'm pleading my case as the "payer of last resort".
In all seriousness, there have been very few things to laugh about with everything our family has been through in recent months. But laughter is therapeutic, and we believe that God made us with an innate need to laugh and to seek out joy in every situation...so we're trying.
I've started to look around at all the other little people in my life with an incredible thankfulness for the joy that they offer to me freely, whenever I remember to watch and listen.
Just this morning, my 10-year-old daughter asked me what date the Fourth of July was on..."Is it July 24th?" Hmmmm.
And my six-year-old has a new fondness for knock-knock jokes, none of which make sense to anyone besides her four-year-old brother. And they laugh and laugh and laugh until they're both red-faced and teary.
My four-year-old son insists that counting by tens and reciting the days of the week can only be done while hopping up and down on one foot, ending up in a heap of giggles on the floor. :)
And my 21-month-old continues to lift up my shirt regularly (even in public) to "see" the baby, demanding that "Baby come out!" How great is that? I don't think he really gets it...but he sure does love to pat my belly, say "Baby!" and ask to "See it?"
And I'm learning that joy really can be found in the midst of every "hopeless" situation...it just doesn't always come as easily as I'm used to.
Usually, the world is knocking on my door, waiting to reveal the next episode of silliness to set me off laughing...
...but now that the world is turned a bit upside-down, sometimes I just have to work a little harder to find the funny.
Keep laughing with us, keep loving us, keep believing alongside us. As read in a comment on this very blog: You, our prayerful friends and family and concerned strangers, are our "Aarons"...holding us up with your own strong arms while Scott and I are at our weakest. It's a beautiful picture of the Body of Christ at work, and we're so blessed by and thankful for each of you.