when it gets hard and you are who you hate

by Matt MooneyJune 23, 2014

I am kicking Ginny out of our house for 2.5 days come Tuesday.  She deserves more.  But this currently seems tantamount to cresting Everest- so we’ll celebrate instead of mourn the fact that 2.5 days is a gold medal moment.  I am the very dad that scoffed at fathers who acted like they were super heroes when they took care of their own kids…behaving as though they had done something worthy of a cookie.  Or- worse yet- call dad a “babysitter” and I would verbally molly wop you upside the head.

“it’s really more fatherhood than babysitting don’t you think?”  I would say with a curled up forehead that said, without words, that I thought you were an idiot for using that word in that context.  And I still hold to this- by the way- but I am just setting myself up so I can show you how I’ve been knocked down.

 Isn’t God a funny one?  Here I am- hands out, reaching for a trophy- cause I am sending my wife away for 2.5 days (not only that, 2 of the 3 rascals are going to the grandparents for ½ the time and it’s really more like 2 days then 2.5, but I’m holding on to that half day like a man with a comb-over holds on to his last strands).

She has strict instructions not to worry; these are tethered to a strict expectation policy:

  • They will be healthy and fed. 
  • That’s it.
  • Anything else is cream.
    • Probably not on time, if there at all.
    • Macaroni for 8 meals straight could happen.
    • Expect the hair of the girls to harbor amoebas.
    • Expect urine from the boy to be all over the bathroom.

I don’t talk about Lena much.  And that is on purpose.  I am tentative to type about something I know so little about.

 Ya’ll she is a mess of a 7 year old girl.

 Her behaviors determine our days.  And I’m afraid to be honest with you- about how hard things can be with our beloved daughter who lives with CP, autism, traumatic brain injury and the list goes on; the one who left her first 5 years of life in an institution behind.  The girl who understands far more of the world than you would ever believe if you happen to met her or spent 5 minutes with her.  But if that 5 minutes became 5 days, you would know.  She is smart.  And she is feisty.  And if it not for both of those, she would not be here.

The world has harmed her and we can’t tell where the disability ends and the emotional scars begin.  But we know both exist.  And we don’t talk about it much.  Cause what is there to say?  Besides, I end up in a place just ready to pounce people and blame them for what they’ve done.

And I know what I would be thinking if somehow I weren’t me and I could read what me wrote….. you chose it.  And we did.  And we would again.  See what I know I can’t make some of you believe and I am not a good enough writer to help you understand is….

Nothing of the difficulty means for one minute that we desire for anything to change.  I have a feeling you can’t help but project your belief that a simple life is better.  But I don’t buy it.  We’re fighting through and Ginny bears the brunt of most of the battle.  I just cheer and pray and jump in when she tags me.

And we love it.  And we’re believing God has called us to it.  And is in it with us and that He is sufficient.  If we’re right, we’ll see Him in clearer ways than we dare to imagine.  And if we’re wrong and our faith in Him is misplaced, and He is not who He says he is at all.  Then we love her still.

But we do believe in things unseen and we see that He uses the simple things to confound the false wisdom of this world.  So go on, Gin and bring my trophy back with you.  I hope God shows himself to you while you are away and to me while I am with the ones He has called us to.

4 Comments

  1. Abby on June 23, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Well and candidly said friend!

  2. Barb Ward Dittrich on June 24, 2014 at 6:56 am

    My dear friend, Matt, your transparency here not only resonates with those who adopt, but with those of us who pass on genetic illnesses to our children. I think I was never more stunned than when my sister-in-law scolded me, “You knew this was a risk, and you just had to have kids anyway.” Hemophilia can be utterly heartbreaking and terrorizing, but we wouldn’t give up a minute with our son for the world. We feel called to raising these 3 chronic blessings of ours. We just need people to love us and support us through it.

    As far as your own brood goes, as I tell my husband repeatedly, “It’s a miracle kids live in spite of their fathers.” As long as all 3 are still alive when I return home, we all consider it a WIN. I’m sure Ginny will too. I KNOW they will have fun with YOU. Just don’t let them tie you to a chair or record putting makeup on you.

  3. sue on June 24, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Matt, dear. You make me cry. Thanks. Very wise.

  4. Mike on July 8, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    I have no words Matt except Praise God for you guys, your open heart and those who choose the same path!

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I am kicking Ginny out of our house for 2.5 days come Tuesday.  She deserves more.  But this currently seems tantamount to cresting Everest- so we’ll celebrate instead of mourn the fact that 2.5 days is a gold medal moment.  I am the very dad that scoffed at fathers who acted like they were super heroes when they took care of their own kids…behaving as though they had done something worthy of a cookie.  Or- worse yet- call dad a “babysitter” and I would verbally molly wop you upside the head.

“it’s really more fatherhood than babysitting don’t you think?”  I would say with a curled up forehead that said, without words, that I thought you were an idiot for using that word in that context.  And I still hold to this- by the way- but I am just setting myself up so I can show you how I’ve been knocked down.

 Isn’t God a funny one?  Here I am- hands out, reaching for a trophy- cause I am sending my wife away for 2.5 days (not only that, 2 of the 3 rascals are going to the grandparents for ½ the time and it’s really more like 2 days then 2.5, but I’m holding on to that half day like a man with a comb-over holds on to his last strands).

She has strict instructions not to worry; these are tethered to a strict expectation policy:

  • They will be healthy and fed. 
  • That’s it.
  • Anything else is cream.
    • Probably not on time, if there at all.
    • Macaroni for 8 meals straight could happen.
    • Expect the hair of the girls to harbor amoebas.
    • Expect urine from the boy to be all over the bathroom.

I don’t talk about Lena much.  And that is on purpose.  I am tentative to type about something I know so little about.

 Ya’ll she is a mess of a 7 year old girl.

 Her behaviors determine our days.  And I’m afraid to be honest with you- about how hard things can be with our beloved daughter who lives with CP, autism, traumatic brain injury and the list goes on; the one who left her first 5 years of life in an institution behind.  The girl who understands far more of the world than you would ever believe if you happen to met her or spent 5 minutes with her.  But if that 5 minutes became 5 days, you would know.  She is smart.  And she is feisty.  And if it not for both of those, she would not be here.

The world has harmed her and we can’t tell where the disability ends and the emotional scars begin.  But we know both exist.  And we don’t talk about it much.  Cause what is there to say?  Besides, I end up in a place just ready to pounce people and blame them for what they’ve done.

And I know what I would be thinking if somehow I weren’t me and I could read what me wrote….. you chose it.  And we did.  And we would again.  See what I know I can’t make some of you believe and I am not a good enough writer to help you understand is….

Nothing of the difficulty means for one minute that we desire for anything to change.  I have a feeling you can’t help but project your belief that a simple life is better.  But I don’t buy it.  We’re fighting through and Ginny bears the brunt of most of the battle.  I just cheer and pray and jump in when she tags me.

And we love it.  And we’re believing God has called us to it.  And is in it with us and that He is sufficient.  If we’re right, we’ll see Him in clearer ways than we dare to imagine.  And if we’re wrong and our faith in Him is misplaced, and He is not who He says he is at all.  Then we love her still.

But we do believe in things unseen and we see that He uses the simple things to confound the false wisdom of this world.  So go on, Gin and bring my trophy back with you.  I hope God shows himself to you while you are away and to me while I am with the ones He has called us to.

4 Comments

  1. Abby on June 23, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Well and candidly said friend!

  2. Barb Ward Dittrich on June 24, 2014 at 6:56 am

    My dear friend, Matt, your transparency here not only resonates with those who adopt, but with those of us who pass on genetic illnesses to our children. I think I was never more stunned than when my sister-in-law scolded me, “You knew this was a risk, and you just had to have kids anyway.” Hemophilia can be utterly heartbreaking and terrorizing, but we wouldn’t give up a minute with our son for the world. We feel called to raising these 3 chronic blessings of ours. We just need people to love us and support us through it.

    As far as your own brood goes, as I tell my husband repeatedly, “It’s a miracle kids live in spite of their fathers.” As long as all 3 are still alive when I return home, we all consider it a WIN. I’m sure Ginny will too. I KNOW they will have fun with YOU. Just don’t let them tie you to a chair or record putting makeup on you.

  3. sue on June 24, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Matt, dear. You make me cry. Thanks. Very wise.

  4. Mike on July 8, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    I have no words Matt except Praise God for you guys, your open heart and those who choose the same path!

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