No, it’s not what you’re thinking. There is still plenty of sneaking and stealing going on, but get this! Today when I had my daughter write an essay about why she sneaks into places she’s not supposed to be, she actually had a reason! For many years of stealing, when my daughter was asked why she did it, she would answer, ” I dunno.” And she didn’t. She wasn’t being hateful, just clueless. Well today she knew. She wrote clear as a bell that she steals to get back at me, mom, to make us “even” when I’ve given her a consequence she doesn’t like. She also wrote that when she’s feeling frustrated with me, it helps her to “calm down” when she steals from me.

That is a huge accomplishment for her to recognize by herself what she was feeling and why she did something. There’s no telling what healing is in store for her now that she’s capable of this kind of connecting her behavior with feelings and motivation. I’m so excited for her and for us.

I also had to laugh at the part where she talked about wearing my high school graduation ring to church while I was out of town. Because it looked so good with her outfit. Being a RAD kid, she is wonderfully charming and, like most of us, her best self at church. But in my mind’s eye, I see her waving her bejeweled finger around and all the people at church just having no idea that it was stolen from mom’s jewelry box. I have to find my amusement where I can some days.

Alas, two steps forward, one step back. I was so thrilled at the breakthrough and then I just happened to catch sight of the bag of dinner she had thrown out her bedroom window onto the roof. It seems she wasn’t in the mood for the peanut butter sandwich I lovingly made her for dinner last night. I’m not sure she was in the mood to eat it tonight either, and I encouraged her to make it take as long as possible, but darn it, she didn’t want to do what I said so she ate it right up. Well…when I say “ate it right up” what I really mean is she complained, whined, argued and cried about how dry it was as she dramatically choked down tiny piece after tiny piece. Can’t wait to read tomorrow’s essay.