Sunday, December 20, 2009

Countdown, Christmas T-5 Days and Counting

The shopping is done. Today is designated as wrapping day. Too many big boxes for that baby so maybe there will be some just put into Christmas bags.

I have been really intense on allowing Alex to find his own way. Listening and following is not one of my strong traits. On Friday it was father-in-laws 81st birthday and we all gathered at a local restaurant for dinner and returned home for pie and ice cream. He likes pie more than cake. The daughters left early to finish their shopping. I took Alex to a friends house to hang out. On the way over there Alex began to talk. I'm not going to get into any details but from Dad's perspective it was probably the best father/son discussion we have ever had. I learned by listening and adding my perspective when it was right. 

I'm not saying we have turned the corner because I know it is a long way back and he told me how hard it is but he also said that world is in the past. When he speaks of the past that has a real meaning in our family. I always, for a long as I remember spoke of life as a walk down a sidewalk. As you look back over your shoulder there is nothing we can do but learn from the past. The concrete on the sidewalk past is hardened, and no matter whether it is pretty or ugly nothing can be done to improve or change it. The concrete around our feet is hardening as we walk. It we stop our progress we will become frozen and stuck, the concrete continues to harden no matter what is happening, we must keep moving forward. The concrete in front of us is just being poured. We can shape it, mold it, make hills, make curves, be creative, put in designs, even put our name on it (who hasn't scratched their initials in wet concrete)  but that is all about what is in front of us. Alex spoke well of the difference of the past and future. 

He has heard my lectures in the past, I really thought I was being tuned out.


Anonymous said...

I found your site this past week. Thank you so much for your posts and frankness. We too have an adult son who is struggling with his addiction. He has not sought help, so the rest of the family is working through boundaries and detachment as best we can. Keep up the good work, and God bless.

Kim A. said...

I loved the concrete visual. And yes, I am learning that hearing is different than listening. I try not to offer anymore "mom" advice unless asked. It is an ongoing process. I am happy for your talk with him..I know it did your heart good.


Annette said...

Listening is HUGE. Enjoy the day Dad.

Her Big Sad said...

Reminds me of one of my favorites:

"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending."

I'm so hopeful for your family and I wish you and yours a truly blessed Christmas!

Barbara aka Layla said...

This is wonderful news....congrats on developing your listening skills. Sounds like both of you are growing. It sounds like Alex has made done some serious thinking and is on the right path, I mean sidewalk :) (love that analogy)

About those big boxes for that baby - have fun. It will be such a sweet Christmas with her, its so much more enjoyable to have little ones around on Christmas!

big Jenn said...

I hope you two have your best Christmas ever in many ways. The opportunity to become better presents itself every minute.
Having a grandson has made or Christmas so much fun. He's 3 this year, it's the perfect age.jeNN

Gledwood said...

Did you go to that thing called Adfam? It is for the families of addicts. I can't remember which countries it is/isn't in... I'm in the UK, you see, so I wouldn't know. I go to NA because I AM the addict...

PS here's wishing you a very merry one this year

Fractalmom said...

love the sidewalk!! my analogy was always a timeline.

draw a big line, dining room table or kitchen counter. HERE is the second you were born. HERE is age 83, when statistics say the average american white person will die.

HERE is where you are right now. Look how much life you have left to live.

HERE is what you are trying to accomplish. usually about one inch in relation to the entire life on roughly 3 feets worth of table or countertop.

HERE is how long it will take to achieve your goal. (the one or two inches)

It will be HARD, it will be HELL, it will be difficult.

BUT...isn't it okay to go through THIS much hell (hold up fingers one inch apart) to GAIN THIS MUCH joy for the rest of your life (spread out arms to full width?

Its all in perspective. IT helps show them that life goes on, even after the incident (mean kid at school, nasty teacher, drug addiction, etc.

Merry Christmas and SPOIL THAT BABY !!!

Anonymous said...

Wow Fractalmom,...great visual analogy...I'm using that one ! : ) Thanks !

Debby of Oxycontin and Opiate Addiction: A Mother's Story said...

I'm blowing rasberries at you for being so organized. For some reason, I'm focusing my time, money and energy on homeless families. I don't mean to sound like Mother Theresa, but I only want one gift from my son-- his sobriety.
With that said, I smiled when you wrote that you and Alex "talked" and that you don't want to share it all (paraphrased). Amen! I think that my son is beginning to feel "safe" in talking to me. Alex has heard your lectures, Dad. You're far too articulate for your words to NOT stick in his brain. Like you, I feel these are intimate moments that I don't want to share. They're precious gifts, really. I pray that you will never lose hope-- which I think you show you still have. Please, tell Alex, that a mom in California is thinking of him-- relating with him-- missing his blog postings-- and that I am am praying for his recovery.
Merry Christmas!

mike said...

thanks for the post.
Yes, we can learn from the past, but should not ever dwell there. It is nice to read that you feel some progress is being made. Taking things slowly is best at this the trust.

Syd said...

Great analogy about the sidewalk. I agree that moving forward is the best way. I learned from every stumble I made in the past and some days the old patterns are right there, working their way back into my behavior. But I now have a good bit of Al-Anon in my head as well and the steps are a way for me to keep moving forward one day at a time.