Some days I fail to be a therapeutic parent. Some days I do not even try. I'd love to be a better person, but I have to be honest.
Today for example. I do not feel therapeutic today. In fact, truth be told, I feel like having an icy martini. That's not an option, since we're supporting T in his fledgling sobriety by keeping alcohol out of the house and out of his presence. But it's really on my mind.
Today I do not feel like gently ignoring his attempts to hook me. Take, for example, the expensive gym membership he recently convinced me to provide for him. Tonight we had plans to go to the gym together. Somehow, over dinner, that turned into "You're trying to force me to go to the gym." Sure, yes I am. Because the money I might have spent on some really good shoes got spent on your stupid gym membership. Now it's just sitting in your pocket while you laze around the house watching television and spreading your teen malaise. I don't feel too therapeutic about that.
I don't feel therapeutic about the food issues today. For years, I've mostly managed patience while nearly everything we cook is rejected. But tonight the chili was GOOD, and the disgusted and immediate "What, no rice?" really got on my last nerve. Just. Eat. It.
I don't feel therapeutic about Thanksgiving, either. It's been 8 months since I've been back to my hometown, and I want to see my friends and family. I don't want to argue about where we stay, or how long we stay for, or all the things you want me to promise in order to stave off boredom. I've done all my reading about adoption and trauma and holidays, and we've been through enough holiday seasons together now for me to develop a deep compassion about the complications and complexities. But this year I just want to go home. I don't care who's whining in the backseat as long as I get there.
It's not realistic to be therapeutic all the time. I love T more than anybody and I am willing to go to the extremes of my own capability for him. But I have my limits. Some nights I'm loose of tongue, short of temper, and devoid of patience. This night is one of them.