Hold on, man. We don't go anywhere with "scary," "spooky," "haunted,"
or "forbidden" in the title.~From Scooby-Doo

Oct 30, 2010

To Halloween...or NOT to Halloween!

I'm back from a year 'sabbatical' from blogging. In this past year I broke my leg, adopted 2 kids, helped my mom through her kidney transplant, visited family and friends and spent every day indoctrinating myself in the world of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). In January of this year my two adopted children were diagnosed with RAD and our lives have never been the same. More on this story later, but for now I am in a good place with a wonderful therapist, great private school (behavioral service oriented) and lots of resources and great, supportive people in my life...but not everyone! :D

The topic today is Halloween, which I will preface by saying I don't like it. Never have, don't see the benefit and while I do participate I could easily give it up with no regrets. Last year we had all our children participate in the Trick-or-Treat night, church party, Trunk-or-Treat and class parties. At the time it was out of control but I was helpless to control it.

This year, I am better equipped to handle this holiday and others. The Big Easy and I have decided to not have our two RAD kids participate in any Halloween festivities. I feel good about that. Why? Because I know, as their mom, that participating brings no benefit to their mental health and emotional security. I can feel people's judgment when I say they won't be attending the class party or going out with our 3 healthy kids around the neighborhood tonight. "How can you prevent them from having fun?", "It's an American Institution", "It's unfair that you let some of your kids do it and not all of them", "What kind of mother are you?"

Fortunately, I'm used to the last feeling/statement - and I'll tell you what kind of mother I am. I'm a mother who lives every day with 2 children who do not trust or love me. I am a mother who spends every ounce of our family's financial, emotional and spiritual resources to help these two kids get the help that they need to be successful in life. I'm the kind of mother who has long-term vision for all my children and while it may not seem 'fun' or 'fair' in the moment - I ponder how every decision I make for them will affect their lives as adults. I'm the mother who is caring for children who didn't have someone looking out for their best interests early on in life. I'm the mom who cleans up the pee, poop and listens to them yell/scream/cry at me when they don't get what they think they 'want'. I'm the mother who loves my children and will fight fiercely for them.

So, A&S will not be dressing up or trick-or-treating this year. Yes, it's not fun for them. It's not fair to the family that we don't all get to go out together. It's not fair to me or The Big Easy that one of us has to stay home and have an early night - but we see the greater good. And honestly...does anyone really believe that there will be emotional scarring for not getting oodles of candy? pretending to be someone you're not? or being scared out of your wits!? These 2 kids have had enough 'tricks' in their short life before joining our family that a lifetime of 'treats' will not cure that. What will cure it is consistency, love, affection, bonding, and trust in a Mom that will look out for their best interest and have vision for their future. I'm that kind of mom.

The Halloween Grinch!