This is going to be a difficult post. I have hesitated writing it, partly because I think I am in denial, partly because I am embarrassed, partly because I am still wondering if it is something I caused. I am writing though because it helps me, and I long ago chose to live my life in the light and things that are kept hidden are usually bad, and full of darkness. I believe that by being honest, and keeping it real, I may not only be able to help our family, but I may just be able to help someone else in some way.
As all of you know, John and I noticed from a very early age that something was different about William. Big tears are streaming down as I type this-- there I go again--- silly me promised to stop grieving long ago and focus on all the wonderful things about my son. You know he is wonderful. From the moment that I gave birth to him and held him in my arms, and nicknamed him Winky because he had a clogged tear duct and looked like he was always winking, he has always had a special place in my heart. He slept longer than any other of my babies and my best friend was always telling me what an easy baby he was. "But just you wait, Christine... he might be easy now, but just you wait," she would say jokingly. Big sigh..... I'm beginning to think she was right.
A couple of years ago after we got Dolly our dog, I found William throwing a shoe at her cornered in the garage. I was so upset! We talked about it, punished the behavior and worked on his heart hoping he would feel something. See, I know he loves the dogs, and I assumed he just had a very bugging type personality..... and actually, the what I call "cruelty" stopped for the most part. When he had done the shoe throwing thing, we were having him evaluated by a psychologist who said that it was nothing to be alramed about, so I believed him.
But, William has also shown an attraction to fire, more so as he is getting older. This has become very apparent with at least four to six instances in the last month. Not only has he found matches at a friends house and then lit two of them, but he will do almost anything with the promise of a fire. Remember the staple incident.... I am almost positive that he knew what he was doing. This came to a head finally--- yesterday. The kids came down yelling and fighting how William could no longer be the president of their club because he tried to burn our house down. I constantly check on the kids, but with them playing in the landing upstairs in the wide open as a group of five kids, I felt confident that they did not need constant supervision. But like I said, the kids ran down screaming that William was trying to wad up paper to stuff around the lamp shade so it would touch the hot bulb. My kids are smart, so you better believe this freaked them out, as it did me. TIMEOUT. I immediately called John, and we talked. Having discussed this before, we felt that William was really needing to see fire, feel fire if that was what he was choosing , and we were withholding it from him.
As he sat down and wrote, "I will not burn down our house, " I had a very serious talk with him. I got the feeling that he is embarrassed and yet excited about his fascination with fire. It is not malicious and he seemed genuinely sorry for scaring all of us. I wanted to laugh and cry---- it was so surreal. I couldn't believe that this was my life. Here I am always hearing how adoptive children are the ones to watch out for. That's ridiculous.
After I felt confident that William understood how dangerous any type of fire activity is and how it is not okay if it is not contained and done with safety in mind, I let him play with fire.
I set up a plate with a little candle on it and gave him a few matches and some rolled up paper. We discussed how to safely keep it contained and how not to burn himself. I made sure that he does not want to get hurt or die or kill any of us. This is not his intent at all. I watched sadly from my kitchen window as I baked cookies----- one of the few kinds that William will actually eat.
I was sad and my older kids sensed it. Julia and Adam found it to be very funny and laughed at their brother who was playing with fire outside. I had to explain to them why I was allowing this. I had to explain to them that I didn't know if I was doing the right thing. I had to explain to them how I was sorry that their brother needed more attention then them because of things like this. And I was blessed. My Adam said, "Mom, you are the best Mom any of us could ever have. It is okay about William. We still love him." Just then the fire went out and he offered to go outside and relight William's candle for him as a favor to me.
John and I think this may be pyromania. William has some special needs that are already being addressed, but I think it is time to look into getting him reevaluated. No matter what, he is my smart, funny, cuddly, lovable William and I trust that we will get through this.
Sveta took this picture of me yesterday making the cookies. I was talking with William about the lamp incident.
I asked Sveta to take a picture of William and I together and this is what I got. Gotta love her!
After William was done outside, he came back in and told me with all sincerity, "Thanks Mom."
I went out looking for a fire pit for his birthday present so that we could have safe fires where he can sit and watch and roast marshmallows all the while being supervised.
***Disclaimer*** I will delete mean spirited comments.