Monday, August 25, 2008

Monsoon Emotions

During a good Monsoon a dust storm is followed by rain.  The heat increases and draws out all the moisture from the desert as the day goes on. In the late afternoon the moisture explodes into high thunderclouds that reach up into the atmosphere at a rapid rate. The downdrafts from these forming thunderstorms kick up dirt. A well-formed storm can kick up a wall of dirt miles wide and thousands of feet high, causing traffic accidents, and dusting everything in its path. When the dust passes a downpour of rain almost always follows it.

After spending a year with our kids we have gotten so we can see the signs that something inside of them is brewing into a storm. This past weekend, Brian regressed in his behavior a little. He would be swimming in the pool and we would hear him growling. His play was unusually energetic and he was having a hard time calming down. His emotional strength was low and he reacted or cried over everything.

After 2 days of watching this behavior and giving each other puzzled looks, Kirk and I had a talk. We both agreed that Brian must be thinking about something. Kirk had some grocery shopping to do and he took Brian along. On the way to the store, Kirk talked to Brian.

“How are you doing, Brian?”

“Good” was the answer.

“Well, you are giving me signs that something might be bothering you. Are you thinking about anything?”

Brian hemmed and hawed and tried to change the subject by asking what kind of car had just passed them.   He finally said, “Yeah, I’m sad that I might never see my mom again.” He again changed the subject by asking about another car they passed.

Later that evening we had a family talk. We have talks occasionally where we open the floor for them to ask us questions or talk about things they are thinking about. Brian brought it up again, “I am sad that I might never see my mom again.” He started to rock back and forth, buried his head in a pillow and started to laugh hysterically.

Faith looked at Brian, and then at us, “He does that when he is upset.” She then scooted over to where I was sitting and grabbed my hand, “I’m scared”. I held her hand. We let Brian laugh and rock for a while. Then I got on the floor, sat next to him and put my hand on his back. He sat up and rested against me. Faith moved over to my other side and rested up against me on that side.

We talked. Brian was cycling through grief again and he needed a safe place to go through it. I was reminded how wounded theses kids are.