In general, Daniel has been seceding from the family for a while. He is 16 now, with all that being a teenager seems to entail. In truth, he is probably much more respectful and responsible than I was at that age, but knowing that doesn't make dealing with it any easier. I know that it's natural for kids to separate from their parents as they grow up, but he has taken this to a new level. In addition, his attitude towards God, and in particular my increasing interest in church and the Bible, has been pretty negative.
Tuesday evening was rough in our house. We were decorating our tree as a family, and for a variety of reasons relating to Daniel it was a very unpleasant experience. For most of the time, I think I handled it pretty calmly and well, trying to include him while addressing his rudeness. Things came to a head, though, when as a consequence of his actions, we sent him upstairs to shower and go to bed (without, of course, his phone, which was a part of the issue). "How much trouble would it be for me to move in with Dad?"
I am a yeller by nature, but this is an area where I have really improved since I began seeking God. All I can say is that I relapsed. There is no question that his father loves him, but he is not responsible with his money and priorities and has provided little support overall for the boys in the past 10 years. I have my reasons for not pursuing this legally, but it's a sore spot that I have to pray over regularly. Well, I flipped out when he said that, and I really felt down about the whole situation for the next day.
I felt bad because I knew that I hadn't handled things well or in a Godly manner. And I was really hurt by his attitude...not just the talk about wanting to live with his dad but his attitude in general. At our Wednesday group at church, when our group leader asked for prayer requests, mine was for Daniel and for myself to have some parenting wisdom. When Marcy prayed over the request, I was amazed once again by how her prayer pinpointed things that were a huge issue that I had not spoken of. She addressed so much of what had gone on--my part of it as well as his--and I had only mentioned the smallest part.
Well, Friday night we went to the Snowflake festival. I called Daniel to see if he wanted to go with us, and despite the fact that he had the opportunity to do something with friends that I know he would have liked to do, he chose to go with us (even before we mentioned going out to dinner, lol). It was a really nice evening, and it was so wonderful to get to do something with him being a willing, enjoyable participant. I had a real sense of God's movement on our behalf.