Some of you have asked about our older two kids and how they deal with Rachel's spells. To be honest, I don't usually give this much thought - they usually seem so oblivious to what is happening. But yesterday, I think we saw some after effects of the latest spell. Ethan was playing in his room while we were getting lunch ready and he hurt his eye somehow. He had been trying to fix a broken stick that goes in his monster truck flag and (we finally pieced this together) the sticks must have slipped and hit him in the eye. I couldn't see anything wrong with it but he cried for a long time. Then shortly after, he started complaining that both eyes hurt, his head, then his legs, and he stumbled around with his eyes in slits. We didn't know what to make of it. I managed to get him into bed and he slept for 2 hours. When he woke up, he complained again about his eyes. He was SO worried about them and begged to go the the Hospital. He didn't want to play on the computer or watch a movie (my tricks to see if his eyes really hurt) and he just wanted to be held. (And he usually doesn't have time for hugs) We know that his worries often work themselves out.....but this time seemed different. Distractions didn't work. And it took a bit of time for us to realize that he was just desperate for reassurance from us.
Just before supper, we decided that maybe I should take him to the Children's to get his eye looked at. Dave decided one last time to offer that the kids could watch a short movie. After supper we would re-evaluate. Ethan said, 'ok'. And after the movie, he was perfectly fine! He said to me, "mommy, are you glad that I am ok now?"
It struck me that maybe there was a connection between his obsession with his eyes and Rachel's spell. I remembered that in the van we had talked alot about her eyes. Of course they heard all of this.
"her eyes are deviated"
"the right eye is all white"
"her eyes are wide open and they're not blinking"
"I don't think she sees me at all"
"ok, (sigh of relief after many minutes) she blinked"
Yesterday taught me to pay more attention to how our older kids might be processing these events. And they hear so much more than we realize. I would sure appreciate your prayers as we parent our kids through this. We need wisdom to know how to decipher our kids complaints and to know what they need from us. It doesn't surprise me that they feel that the world is scary and unpredictable. I feel that way too. (I just read the latest McCleans about Japan today) I pray that they can know and be confident in God's love for them in a world that is full of both beautiful and good things, but also painful things. Yesterday, Ethan was really needing to know that everything was going to be ok. And in a real sense, it is. And will be. Sometimes I wish my kids didn't have to learn these things so early and yet, I think this experience will deepen their character too. I hope that they will have soft hearts towards God. I pray that this will give them greater compassion for others.