So, it comes. Last night - after a tough afternoon...DS2 asked to have some private time for me. That is a great thing, I like that he is starting to be able to ask for that instead of tantrum for that when he needs it. He really just had a couple of questions for me. One was silly and maybe just a delay tactice. The second was more in-depth. The gist is that he wants to know when he gets his second chance. Now, to be fair to me - this would be more like his 14th chance. I have tried repeatedly to let him try again in a million realms and he doesn't do well. So, we are kinda on lock down on a few things. He isn't allowed to ride his bike out in the neighborhood with friends more than a few houses. I found out he was riding around yelling for help (falsely) and climbing into people's backyards pretending he was being followed. Not good choices. The biggie for him is that he's really limited on what games he can play both on the computer and on Xbox. Some of the games we own - which I didn't buy - are violent. I dislike them for anyone, but DS1 can play them with no side effects. I would never know by his actions what type of game he had been playing. Totally different story for DS2! Back when he could play those games (and I'm talking pretty tame ones - rated T...not M), I always knew. He would bring the violence into his life the second he turned off the game. Drawings were of shootings and blood and gore. He became violent to himself and others...from playing for 30 minutes - we would 'pay the price' for days. I still hear him proliferate on violence. He's gloms onto any story he hears or is told. If there is a murder in our city - he talks about it for days. He'll speculate on how it went down. No amount of me stopping these conversations seems to help. I've even consequenced the discussion of these topics and it persists. So, he asked why he hasn't gotten a second chance to play those games (he's really shooting for M games...dream on). I pointed out that I know he's not ready, just based on his mini-obsession about those topics. I equated it to telling a kid that loves fire that he can just light a candle...it's too much and too hard to stop that rock from rolling down the hill. Then IT came..."so, DS1 gets to do things because he's your ACTUAL son". Yes, it's come up before - different love, feelings of 'less than'. But, never this bluntly. I replied that he is my actual son and the fact that they came to me in different ways didn't matter one hoot to me...my job is the same - safety, love, compassion, and teaching responsibility so they can go out in the world and succeed. He wasn't buying it. Starting listing all the things that DS1 gets to do and he doesn't. I gave him the reason for each and every one with backup proof. We ended with a hug and a promise that I'm watching for signals that some privileges can be replaced in his life, but that decision rests with myself and DH - not with when he thinks he's ready. BTW, just had to take away his computer because he was trying to get into blocked sites with violent games and did get into a couple that I didn't know about and therefore hadn't blocked. Parental controls are his enemy...so, I'm on the right track here.
But, the thought has been haunting me. How do you explain different loves? Or do you? Because I'm human and some of the things I've gone through with both DS2 and DD have made my love for them different than for DS1. Please don't read this as all based on adoption. I really don't care where or how my children got to me - in fact, I view our Russia story as way more special then giving birth (animals can do that)! There are scars on my love for them - hurts and tears and tears (rips and crying...never realized that would be hard to write - darn homophones). I don't have those moments of them totally relying on me to look back on in the rough times. They never have totally relied on me. They were already at an age where they should have had a certain level of independence and in the beginning, I tried to give them that. Most of it is gone now - and yes, I am angry sometimes that I have to raise a 10 and 11 (next month is birthdays) year old like toddlers. Am I as free with my kind words (I'm talking about ones that aren't faked or forced) as I am with DS1? As free to easily hug and touch and kiss and tousle hair and all that stuff? And, someday in the future - will they be on Dr. Phil telling him that it's just because they are adopted...that I never loved them the same. It's a haunting thought!