Friday, March 13, 2009
“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”
A Tribe - group of people related by blood or marriage
I have used many terms to describe our family. A dear new friend that we met during unfortunate circumstances referred to our clan as a tribe and it has stuck in my brain today. I like the sound of it, it rolls off your tongue easily.
Everyone seems to be on pins and needles waiting to see how D-Day went. My new 2ND BFF even sent me a text message asking me if the tribe had tied us up in a closet.
Hate to disappoint but no they did not. However there were lots of tears, anger, dismay and shear disbelief. How in the world could we turn off all the TVs, who was going to wash clothes and how could we possibly think they were not carrying their load; after all don't all teens believe parents use them as slaves?
We began by leaving them with the letter, we answered any questions and then explained that there was food available in the crock pot...and then my sweet hubby and I went out to eat. Upon our return we found that not much had changed (duh), the kids had all fixed themselves something to eat, they had all retreated to their corner of the house, one actually went down the street to play. I am not sure what I expected, but needless to say I had to laugh so that I did not implode.
While I fed dogs, Tom took the time to talk to the girls separately and then the boys. He explained that while we had begun to work on functioning as a family unit, it was done with each child taking care of the "I". What we were looking for is how we can begin to take care of the "we". Something must have clicked because they retreated to Cassie's bedroom and came out about an hour later. During that time we could hear arguing, laughing and whispering. The children emerged with a plan (on a spreadsheet no less) on how they were going to tackle what was expected of them. They had all signed the bottom and they posted it on the fridge. Neither Tom nor I wanted to hear what the plan was, we told them we wanted to see the plan in action.
So today is day 4. The house is not perfect, I don't think anyone expects it to be. Having not 1 but 2 OCD parents makes this a little hard for them, okay maybe impossible, there will always be little things that make me twitch. What I have noticed is that every bed has been made each morning, the animals have been fed, the floors upstairs were vacuumed, the rooms are clean enough I can leave bedroom doors open and I have not had to clean chips or cereal off the kitchen floor one day. Not sure who is waking each child up, my guess is its Cassie who gets up every day and then wakes up all the roosters, but who cares because it hasn't been me.
No child is sulking, as a matter of fact it's quite the opposite. There have been more one liners from the kids than I expected. While wondering what they were going to do with out TV and Internet apparently one of the children who has been on and off TV restriction said "welcome to my world, and guess what I am not dead". They are sharing books and magazines and Tom and I have decided we like the quiet. Children are forced to talk to each other because there isn't a DANG thing to do otherwise.
Now do not get the impression we are over the hump. We expect the new to wear off, no one has tackled a dinner yet and they are about to run out of Ramen Noodles, laundry has yet to be addressed, it is just piling up and the weekend is before us.
Here are the 5 stages of team building my sweet hubby told me about.
Stage 1: Forming
Stage 2: Storming
Stage 3: Norming
Stage 4: Performing
Stage 5: Adjourning
Not sure where we are today...but if I learned anything from my parents it is to hang strong!
It may never be easy but it will always be worth it.