I’ve just returned from a gut-wrenching, teeth-clenching weekend at my parents’ home. After having spoken with my daughters, who informed me that they would not be coming home with me, I almost decided not to make the trip. It’s no fun having your heart ripped out, but I couldn’t not go. I woke my husband around 3 am and told him I had to go. We took turns driving and napping, and I prayed every waking moment. We arrived 11 hours later and stopped by the ex’s house to pick them up and take them to Grandma’s.
Sarah packed a bag, and Lindsey locked herself in her room. I called their dad to tell him that we were taking Sarah to my mom’s and that he could bring Lindsey by later. He agreed, and we discussed their rebellious behavior and possible remedies. They’re the same way with him. I explained to him that the main problem is that we have allowed them to make decisions that weren’t theirs to make. We are the parents, and we have to work together to do what’s best for them, regardless of what they think they want. We are to meet their needs, not their demands. He agreed with that also, but he disagreed that the remedy is to make the decision for them. They shouldn’t be made to live where they don’t want to live.
I told him that I had warned them that if they continued to disobey me, then I would come get them and they would have to stay with me until they learned to behave respectably and respectfully. I’m tired of having my children tell me they don’t have to do what I say because their dad says otherwise. He denied saying otherwise, but he refuses to see that in taking their side against me the message is LOUD and CLEAR. He agreed to let them come stay with me for two weeks, on the condition that I would not try make them stay against their will. I told him that if they chose to be disrespectful to me and my house, the consequence would be that they would remain until they chose to behave properly. The choice is theirs. Apparently, that sounded reasonable enough to him, so he said he would talk to Lindsey and call me back. I assumed that he was going to tell her that we had come to an agreement and that she would not be getting away with disobeying and disrespecting my authority.
Instead, he had her call me to work out a compromise. Can it be for one week? No. We agreed to two. Can we leave in the morning, instead of tonight? No. We have to get back for church. Can she bring a friend? Absolutely not, this is a family matter, and we don’t have room. Family? What family? Carl isn’t family, her dad agrees with her. I asked to speak with her dad. This time, he’s pleading her case. She’s in tears. She’s afraid I’ll make her stay. I’m sorry, but I seriously don’t believe for one minute that she’s afraid of me. She’s afraid of having to do what she’s told. She’s crying to get her way. He then asked to speak to Sarah.
Before we got ready to go, I told Sarah to call Lindsey and tell her to get packed. She said Lindsey wasn’t there and that her dad wouldn’t say where she went. I called and asked him where she was. He had let her go somewhere with a friend. Grrrr! Then Sarah said she wasn’t going without Lindsey. Now what? Separate them? I hadn’t planned on it, but maybe it would be best. I wrestled with that for a while, then decided against it. When got in the car to leave, I broke down. I could not leave her behind. I went back inside and told her to get her things. She needs to spend some time with her mother. She started to cry. When we got to the car, she refused to get in without calling her dad first. I told her that I would call him. I made her get in the car, and she got out and took off behind the house. I tried again and again. The third time she ran, I let her go.
I now understand the peace that came over me last Monday. There is nothing I can do. It’s out of my hands.