It has been a long time since I've written a Thoughtful Thursday post and quite a while since I've blogged about Anna. The thing is... she's doing well right now. I say that with a whisper in my voice and hesitation in my heart because with her, things change rapidly and dramatically. It's easy to blog when things are rough but finding that appreciation for stasis and celebrating it should be just as important.
The school year started off really badly. Six weeks of misery for her and the staff at school. Countless specialist appointments, endless meetings, daily reports. Changing her placement from inclusion to life skills has made an immense difference. She is participating in class, she has befriended Caroline (Anna reads her stories and gets to push her wheelchair to the bus at the end of the day), she has not been back to Room 300 (the in-school suspension room), and she is happy to be at school. Her body has finally recovered from its premature thrust into puberty last year; changing from Risperdal to Abilify is what turned that around. She hasn't had a seizure in 17 months, a new record. She is on a good cocktail of meds now too. For the first time in ages, she is stable. Stable. Most parents have no idea what a blessing this is. It's easy to take for granted having a happy kid, one who is generally healthy and well-behaved. It's agony to watch your child endure psychiatric issues, health concerns, academic problems, and social missteps. Feeling helpless is the worst feeling... as a mom, your instinct is to do anything and everything to have your child be happy.
noun formal or technical
a period or state of inactivity or equilibrium.
We're into at least a month of Anna achieving a sort of statis... emotionally, psychologically, medically. Dare I say, there have been moments of feeling normal, even typical, in our family of late. Stability is the core of helping Anna navigate the world. When things are predictable and when she feels safe, she starts to blossom. So even though it seems like Groundhog Day here most of the time, it works. And for that, I'm eternally grateful. So, I want to challenge each of you to think about your life right now. If you are in a zone of stasis, become aware of it. Put some of the memories of this time in a bubble... write about it, take photos, record it in some way. Because the thing about stasis is that is doesn't last. Things change in a heartbeat, regardless if you have a child with special needs or not.
My nephew's father passed away last weekend. He was 39 and suffered a stroke. Curtis went to Ohio this week to be with his sister and our nephew and it's been a profound experience. Our nephew is only 12. Can you imagine having to tell your child that their father has died? Curtis has been helping the family... they've been at his house (SIL is divorced from him) gathering mementos for our nephew and cleaning things out. I got this text from Curtis yesterday morning:
"We are cleaning out his house right now and it is so striking. A life unfinished. Everywhere I look is something half done. It makes me a little ashamed for my procrastination and what people would say of me if I were suddenly gone. Umph, so heavy."
So if you have stasis in your life at the moment, celebrate it. Celebrate the routine, the mundane, the boring. Make today a thoughtful day in your life.