Saturday, December 17, 2011

121711 Maybe I'm happy

      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."
      Thank God.
      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.


  1. You're doing great if you can all maintain over the holidays! I have a lot of fear around this time of year.

  2. Annie, this is the FIRST year I haven't been afraid--literally the first--and it's such an unexpected joy. I'm going to hold very good thoughts for you and all the other moms and dads, who have that knot in the pit of their stomachs, that this will be a year where the happiness out-balances the anxiety. It used to infuriate me that even Christmas magic was stolen from our kids. Actually, it still does.

  3. sounds like happiness to me! Abel is recognizing how he feels and comparing it to how he used to feel; THAT is spectacular growth. Abel must have a sense of accomplishment and no small bit of satisfaction in working so hard to make such cool stuff happen! Yea!!!

  4. Thanks, Becky. :) He's such a great guy and I'm so exceedingly proud of him.

    Of course, in two weeks when he leaves his dirty socks on the kitchen (yes! the kitchen!) counter AGAIN, I may not be so complimentary.

  5. hahaha! I hear ya! One of the hardest thing for me to remember is behavioral quirks like sock on the kitchen counter do not make emotional growth less spectacular or significant. I really think that comparing them really is counterproductive. not to mention frustrating...I must admit that it is still something I do albeit a lot less often!

    Seems to me, it really is comparing two totally different things based on a questionable, if not false premise: that spectacular progress in one area is, or should be universally applicable---when we are confronted with the reality that this is not the case, it is the disappointment we feel that leads to the erroneous conclusion.

    so for me I have to realize that 'my problem' is in fact an unrealistic belief fed by an expectation that once it is definitively unfulfilled--I have a resentment. so really 'the problem' is mine.

    I really believe that behavior serves a least initially---some become behaviors simply by habit and the precipitating cause can become obscured. The purpose behaviors fulfill-or at least try to are usually basic: to fulfill a need or a want, or to cope with something or to avoid dealing with a situation because we don't know how or cope or what to do. I really think this is particularly true for quirky behavior like 'socks in the kitchen'