Last night, Abel, Jacob, and I were sitting in the living room watching something, maybe Kung Fu Panda. Abel and Jacob had been wrestling and laughing on the couch. Abel was torturing Jacob by tickling his feet. Jacob was torturing Abel by calling him a big fat turtle (yes, it must have been Kung Fu Panda). When they tired of that, Abel moved over to the arm chair and sat, hands folded, staring at his intertwined fingers. After a minute or two, he looked up at me.
"I feel weird," he said.
I got that little lurch in the pit of my stomach. "What do you mean, weird?"
"I don't know. I'm not tired. I'm not wired up."
"I'm not mad."
He paused for another few seconds. He looked up at me and smiled. "Maybe I'm happy."
We are going through a very good time right now. Jacob, being 6, is ecstatic that Christmas is in one week. Abel is "maybe" happy. I am definitely happy... and trying not to be scared by the happiness. It's hard not to let the old training come to the fore, that if you're happy, something has to happen to spoil it. Truthfully, the little bit of fear that I'm experiencing is so much less than in past days. And, Amelia has also finally got it through my thick head that fear doesn't equal death. Fear can just be fear, a little anxiety, and doesn't have to rule my life, or my sons'.
For those of you in the middle of the bad times, hold onto the image of Abel sitting in that chair, saying those words: "Maybe I'm happy." It can happen. And it can be the most wonderful reward for all the struggles. I always said to Amelia that I could make it through anything if I only knew how the story would turn out. While I know we still have challenges, and no one knows what life will bring, right now, right this minute with Abel stretched out on the couch scratching Squeaker's ears, and Jacob crawling around on the floor giving voices to his Power Rangers, I am so happy. It's all any parent could want.