Today, though, she had a very good lesson in the futility of this thinking.
Her birthday is coming up, and she is hugely excited about it. The other day, she saw her little best friend, J, and was so excited to invite J to her birthday.
What she did not know is that I've been planning a trip out of town to see another dear friend, CG, who moved away. Abi has been begging to see CG for months, and I was planning to surprise her on her birthday.
I told Abi not to ask J over on her birthday, and I told her we'd see J another time soon. They see each other at least weekly anyway.
Today, during Braille lesson, I overheard Abi enthusiastically recording a birthday invitation for J with the braille teacher. Sigh. Yet another case of blatant disobedience and being sneaky.
I went in and reminded her that I'd asked her not to do that, and as usual she acted surprised to get caught. We said goodbye to the braille teacher, and I pulled Abi aside for a chat.
Basically, I told her how sad I felt that she did not trust me enough to listen when I asked her to wait. To not talk to J about her birthday. Then I told her why. I said I'd been working hard to plan a surprise trip up to see CG, and that is why she wouldn't be in town to play with J. I said that if she trusted me, I had something even better planned, since she hardly ever gets to see CG, whom she loves to pieces. (I had planned to try to organize something with J too, but hadn't gotten there yet.)
I think it finally got through, because I saw tears as she realized what she had done.
How very like Abi I am to God! If I'd only relax and trust Him instead of insisting on doing things my own way!
But back to my story. I told her I felt sad that I wouldn't be able to surprise her now. (And I do! I hate it when surprises get ruined. Waaa!) But I hoped that this would show her how important it is to trust me, to listen when I ask her to do (or not do) something. To not sneak and try to hide her disobedience. To not insist that her way is the only way.
I hope and pray that this is one more step along the road to healing. Trust is not so easily given when the people she should have been able to trust to care for her as a wee one could not. But for us, caring for a child who won't trust us is difficult indeed.
One step at a time, we must try over and over to show her that while we aren't perfect, we are trustworthy. And one step at a time, I pray that she will trust us, maybe not in the way the other children do so effortlessly, but at least enough to function.