Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Saturday, January 7, 2012

What to Do When Adult Children Disappoint You!

What do you do when your children disappoint you?  What do you do when something goes awry?  Today tested my feelings on this.  Frank and I went to do a little work at my mom's house.  Remember my son, Eric moved into the back part of the house...rent free...on the day we buried my mom.  He understood when he moved in that the house was trashed.....my mom was a hoarder....and he could have to back four rooms.  No problem.....he moved all the work we had done....into the front three rooms and halls.....so I was back at square one.  No problem....I was glad to help him out......and then I didn't even question him when he and his wife tried to make things work again (the umpteenth time)....and she moved up there with him....and their three kids.  I was glad to help.....but.....and it is a big but....today when we went up there....it was obvious that someone has been plundering through my part of the house....and things were missing....mainly power tools....but they were mine.  Frank was aggravated...and so was I.  I texted Eric and asked him where they were....he called me....I called him back....and he said he did not know...but would look into it.  Now...this is where my dilemma occurs.  Frank said if it were his house he would have told him to put everything back....and move.  I on the other hand felt that by letting Eric know I realized they were missing....gave him the opportunity to put everything back....and if he doesn't....does it really matter to me?  No!  If he needed to sell them....then I hope he got a good amount of money for them.  My problem is that he did not own up to this.  I know for a fact the tools and box were there....and I know for a fact that they are now gone.  So,  help me out fellow blogger buddies.....what do you do when adult children do something like this? I came home and got my bible and found an oh so familiar story in the New Testament of something where a son and father had a parting of the ways..... 1 In this account, a man's younger son asks his father for his share of the estate, then sets off for another country. He squanders his entire inheritance in wild living and eventually ends up in a literal pigpen. Though the details may have changed, this is still a common story today. Let's look at a few things we can learn from the parable of the prodigal son.  Now I will tell you.....Eric and his sister Jenifer were not mine by birth.  When I married their father in 1976 I was 21 and they were 4 and 5.  I raised them from that moment on.  Kat joined the family in 1980.  I could not have loved them anymore than I loved her.  I used to tell them that they grew in my heart and Kat grew in it.  When their dad and I separated in 1998 I lost them too.  Eric was in his 30's.....and I was crushed.  They still called from time to time (usually when they needed something)....and always said they loved me.  The key word there is "said"...but it hurt....and I let it hurt me.  Then one day one of my colleagues told me he had met my "ex-step daughter."  The line was drawn at that moment.  I was made painfully aware of what my place in their lives was.  Years passed....I married Frank....and then....Eric needed me.....because he needed somewhere to live....and once again I came through.  Today I found myself....angry and hurt.  So I stopped and prayed as we drove to Wal-mart.  When we went into Wal-mart I was no longer angry and hurt.  I was sad....sad because the stuff was missing.....but in my heart I felt free from disappointment.  Ok, so the stuff is gone.  Right now....I feel, "hey!  it was just stuff and there are no perfect people.(Lord knows I am not one).  All people are responsible for their own actions.(I can't make him pay for what he has or has not done....and he isn't responsible for the choices I have made in my own life.  I am the one who will have to stand before God with that one....on my own.  I also realized that all people (even my kids) are capable of totally unreasonable actions.  I truly believe that the door to my home/heart is never completely shut.  I am as close as the end of the phone....I will never give up.  I cannot negate the wrong choices made.  I cannot reverse the damages.....but I will always love them.  So today, when I called Eric and told him the stuff was missing a couple of things can happen.  One...he can get them put back....and/or two...he knows I am aware of what is in there.  There is actually a third.  I am now driven to get the rest of the junk/stuff/antiques my mom has cleared out....and the house sold.  It has been 8 months....and time to move on.  Have a wonderful Saturday!

4 comments:

Sweet Tea said...

That's a tough one and I really have no advice, other than to suggest you might want to photograph the rest of the things just so you have an undeniable record of exactly what is there. . .There's a fine line between being helpful and being an enabler. You will have to decide where that line is...I'm really sorry and hope this will be an isolated incident.

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Oh Karen....I don't know what to tell you, except I know how deeply discord with your children pierces a Mother's heart. I'm so sorry for what you and Frank are going through. I know that right this very day my brother and sister-in-law are broken hearted over their son...it's a pain like no other.

skoots1mom said...

believe i'd retrieve anything I thought was valuable to me and my husband...THEN I'd say a week or two would be plenty of time to find a place...and for him to get settled somewhere else. Enabling him with a 'free' place to live obviously hasn't inspired him to seek anything better. Having a date and telling him 'people' would be cleaning the house to get it ready for sale might help move him along. (tough love wins out on this one, I believe).

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I am so sorry. I don't have any advice but I think that now that you have been pushed to finish and sell the house is a great step in the right direction. He knows what he did and knowing that you know should be eating at his soul.