We’re back at it with ShyGuy this week. Coming from a background of NOTHING to a background of excess (not because we live frivolously, but because, let’s face it, all Americans live a life of excess compared to the average African) has been hard for him. Not ON him, just FOR him. He doesn’t get it. He doesn’t get the idea that in order to be truly happy, you need to be thankful for what God has given you.
He’s not. He wants more. Natural, I know, but WAY frustrating at the same time. This morning’s kerfluffle was over Pokemon cards. While ShyGuy was off performing for a crowd of 20,000 with his local drum line (a HUGE privilege), I took Giganto to spend his birthday money. His birthday money from MARCH. I did it in an attempt to make him feel special because he’s not old enough to join the line yet, nor is he ready. Giganto was very frugal. He has sixty some dollars and he spent eleven. He bought Pokemon cards. With the new cards, his collection grew to a whopping 23. He bought plastic sleeves for them and I helped him make a binder with a picture of Lucario on it (FYI, Lucario is one WEIRD looking dude). He wanted a way to keep his cards nice. I thought that was very smart of him.
Giganto, in true little brother form, was extremely excited to show his big brothers when they got home. Can you just picture him? “Guys! Hey Guys! I can trade with you now! I can BATTLE you!” ShyGuy’s response “Tomorrow Mom will take me to spend my birthday money. I will buy four packs and I will NOT trade with you!” When ResponsiBoy and Middle-Middle came to tell me about this interaction, I froze. Then, I saw red.
Folks, I thought we were doing better. I thought kindness was beginning to seep its way into his hardened little Ghanaian soul.
Not so much.
I know this is hard for him. I know that it’s hard to navigate this kind of change. He had NOTHING in Ghana. Other kids abused and stole from him because he was small and weak. He lashes out at the smaller and weaker because of it. I know that I have a weakness in the way I view him because of this. I try to see the hurt little boy that is doing this because of what happened to him. I don’t always see him that way. This morning, I was so.over.it. I quoted scripture to him. I told him that we live in a home where we protect those that are smaller and weaker. WE DO NOT TEAR THEM DOWN. He cried. When I asked him why he was crying, he admitted he was crying because his punishment involves not being allowed to buy more Pokemon cards until he shows me he has a grateful heart. He doesn’t get it.
I had to walk away from him.
Not the best for attachment, but good for avoiding child abuse. I had to go and tag FPD to come and deal with him. When your whole life revolves around the smaller and the weaker, raising a kid who victimizes these very people isn’t easy. Like I said, I get why it’s happening, but that doesn’t make it any easier to live with.
All I can do is pray that God will tear away some of the hardened heart I have toward ShyGuy and make me see the hurt little boy that lives underneath the sometimes mean exterior. I know he’s in there. I know he’s scared.
who needs someone to tear her down a little.