I was being interviewed as a student by the Dean of Students at a large university for an assistantship in the department. Here I was in my mid twenties being asked a question and not having any idea what the word she used meant. After learning what it meant, I still wondered how I could have spent that long in life without encountering the word yet having lived it so profusely. (I also felt very stupid and still do when I think back on it.) The question was ” How do you handle ambiguity?” I had to ask her what it meant. Somehow I got the job which gave me a few more lessons in ambiguity.
The right word or term can bring clarity to a feeling or situation. Knowing a right word or right term can begin the process of healing, the process of finding a solution or at least send me in the right direction for help to deal with an unsolvable situation.
In a way we have been parents twice. The first time was with our boys who were a joy to raise. They followed normal patterns and they are now into their young adulthood, having launched and beginning relationships with significant others. (I am hoping for at least one wedding next summer.) Ambiguity was at a normal level.
Then we had the girls and I loved it! Finally, dolls, ruffles, lace, cute hairdos and sweet times. It wasn’t long before I was introduced to First Steps, IEPs and developmental delays. I was up to the challenge and enjoyed the journey of learning about them and loving them. Ambiguity was taking a back seat; until now!
Now, uncertainty is hitting us square in the face. It is so different than anxiety. I am relaxed in knowing that God has a future for them and that He is in control. It’s the “me” that is confusing.
I am uncertain with the decision of how we are educating them, especially Cassie. She is now working toward her GED. We could still send her to school for her Sophomore year if she insists on being lazy and unhelpful. Does she need the structure? Can she endure the environment? Can she endure the structure? Should we make her endure the structure to combat her laziness and bad use of time? Do we insist on her getting a job? There are many more questions and they remain that because I see no clear answers.
What does Borderline Intellectual functioning and mildly mentally handicapped mean in disciplining them, pushing them, not pushing them…? We want to raise producers, not consumers. What is the level of maturity that we should expect from them? I have no idea. I just know I don’t like what I see. I want some clear cut guidelines. I want to do this parenting right!!!
Both girls are rebellious, snitty, and just plain mean, especially to me. We are exhausted in trying to put a stop to it. We are both nearing 60 and we find that the energy and excitement isn’t there any more. Compound this with all the ambiguity and you know the only way we can rise above it is with His strength.
The familiar verse comes to my mind and heart. “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
As I see it, the new word is “steps”. You have to take steps to walk down a path. Take steps – one at a time- in the midst of all the confusion. First step: Ignore the ambiguity for now and deal with what is obvious. What I know for certain is that what I am seeing now in their behavior is not acceptable. The steps will be softer than how I feel, but directional and intentional. In the midst of dealing with aging parents and their immediate needs, my husband and I will meet, hopefully eating gyros sandwiches, and plan the steps we will take to begin the process of making life at home bearable again and turning them into productive young women. Then we will meet with the girls and let them in on the plan. If they rebel, I guess the steps will have to have more muscle. If we are intentional now with what we do know, maybe the rest will fall in place. I will let you know how this turns out. If we don’t act now, summer could be unbearable. I also want you to know that we have friends praying for us because we have been open about the situation, but please, don’t let that stop you from also praying for us and everyone on this blog! There is strength in prayer!