I know that it is the one thing we never talk about, or always talk about when we have RAD kids or FAS kids. But there is nothing worse than having your sweet faced child ask to go home with another adult. It breaks your heart, they laugh uncomfortably, and they think its a joke. The reality is it isn’t. There were years where my children would offer to go home with strangers and sincerely mean it. At the time I wondered if they would even miss me for a moment. From the outside that sounds terrible but it is just the bald truth. I sucked. I hated it. There was nothing to say.
Laughing at it didn’t help and at the time I took it really personally. I cried. I shooed my kids away and went home. Regardless of what we were doing at the time. I would cry over it, until I realized it wasn’t personal. Not at all.
Like when a child yells they hate you in your face, it’s just something to say. At the moment there were people there I wanted to go home with. I would have loved to be a kid in the family with a boat and five waverunners. Frankly I would have gone home and been a kid in most anyone’s family just then. Having a mom for awhile to cook and clean for me sounds like heaven. I get that. From the outside any other family looks better than yours. So I started treating it like the I hate yous. “Uh huh that’s nice, come one back to what we are doing.” Not phased. Not bothered. Not personal.
It was harder to get to than any other state of mind and every once in awhile it is still a punch in the gut. But as soon as I stopped reacting to it, it all but went away. That is not to say they don’t still want to be members of other families, but they are mine and I just don’t really care any more. So when D said that he didn’t want to go home with someone for the first time I did a double take. “Seriously?” I asked, “You don’t? He’s pretty cool?”
The “Nope. I have a family,” brought me to tears. I don’t think he still loves us to the end of the world. But on some level he gets that we are here to stay. Like it or not.