Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Family Fun with the Family Girl

We always tell Alyssa that the reason we go to therapy is so that she can learn how to be a family girl. It's a concept that she can understand, and it takes the focus off of "Alyssa's Problems". Well, we saw the Family Girl in action this weekend!

Friday night we went to Family Appreciation Night at Alyssa's day care. By grown up standards, it was pretty lame. But Alyssa had a blast! She loved being able to dance with Mom & Dad and ended up winning a door prize! We brought home a whole bucket of outside toys. Alyssa was so excited to have won! She was responsible, respectful, and FUN, all night. Even when we said it was time to go, she didn't whine, argue or complain! We got home and she got ready for bed, and even said "thank you" to us for taking her!

Saturday we went to Tundra Lodge. It is an indoor water park about 50 miles from here. We spent the entire day swimming and having fun. We took Alyssa to Chucky Cheese for supper and we all decided that next time, we eat first! The pizza was AWFUL, but Jeff & Alyssa had tons of fun playing all the games! We got back to the hotel and Alyssa took a shower and then I braided her hair. Daddy fell asleep and started snoring and Alyssa was so worried that she wouldn't be able to sleep 'cause Daddy was so LOUD! We solved that problem by waking Jeff up and told him he had to stay awake until after Alyssa fell asleep. It didn't take long, we had a long, busy day and Alyssa was pooped! Then I had the pleasure of listening to BOTH of them snore!

Sunday morning we woke up and hit the water park one more time. We played for about 2 hours and Alyssa spent most of that time trying to get Mom & Dad drenched. She finally achieved her goal and then was content to leave. We got dressed, checked out of our room and then went to IHOP for a big breakfast.

The weekend was so wonderful. Alyssa said that this was the best weekend ever! We told Alyssa that we were so proud of her behavior. We really stressed that the reason the weekend was so fun was because Alyssa behaved just like a family girl. We all worked together, we compromised, we did things that we all enjoyed, and we enjoyed just being a family.

As always, we were prepared for the bomb to drop on Monday. Usually, after a fun weekend, Alyssa doesn't know how to handle the let down and falls apart. I am very proud to say that she had a wonderful Monday! She even talked to me in the morning about how she felt sad that the weekend was over, but that she knew there would be more fun weekends!

I spent the day yesterday being very reflective. For the first time, I really see the person my daughter hides underneath all those layers of hurt. Bit by bit, those layers have been peeled away and my daughter is coming to the surface. Her life will be forever affected by the trauma that she endured. But my daughter is a survivor! She is working hard to overcome and accept her past. She is working hard to be a family girl! She is succeeding! Alyssa has a very unique personality and she really is a lot of fun. She is bright, caring, energetic, and she is my daughter!
Daily life will not always be this bright, but the future will be! My daughter is developing genuine feelings, genuine compassion, and genuine LOVE!

Alyssa truly is a FAMILY GIRL!!!!