As a child I would often joyfully make myself dizzy to the point of collapse. I would fling my arms out wide and spin in a circle faster and faster and faster. I’d keep my eyes up to the blue sky, laughing in that carefree way that only children do. I would spin until the world tilted up to greet me and then collapse in a heap of giggles. As the earth seemingly continued to rock I would stare up st the clouds and revel in the sensation of utter abandon. I was so happy. I was so free. I was so young.
These days I admire the sky from a much slower pace. I can appreciate the crazy tilting of this roller coaster world without ever taking a step. I may have fast-forwarded to the part where I lie spread-eagle in the grass and lift up my laughter to the blue expanse of sky.
Spring is here. The sky is a a soft robin’s egg blue. Plants are sprouting green buds. Puffy white clouds turn grey and heavy with rain at times. I dread the spring showers as much as I love the sunshine. The rainy days bring a deep pain and swelling in my hip joints. For these last few years Springtime has been a dichotomy of both joy and pain.
I used to dread the spring entirely because this is the season that Carl’s trauma would make itself known. No matter what Luke and I did to prepare, Carl would always get caught in the sharp relentless teeth of his past terrors. There would be screaming and smashing and anger that stretched the never-ending span of the season.
Something different is happening this year. Yes, Carl is irritable. Yes, he’s quick to anger. However, so far he’s been able to handle his feelings. He hasn’t had a single rage at all.
Last Spring he was hospitalized for his uncontrollable outbursts. Two months ago the intensive in-home psychiatric team finally called to follow up. They were here to help Carl with his “crisis.” How ridiculous. An intensive team designed to keep children out of the hospital and/or residential treatment is available a mere 9 months after the actual crisis?! All I can do is shake my head. This is the quintessential example of ineffective bureaucracy. We told them we didn’t need them this year.
This season, Carl has had a scant few instances where he’s yelled at us. It’s only occurred when he is hungry or tired. Without fail he always apologizes afterwards and is able to repair his message. Luke and I are starting to relax and enjoy the flow of the first peaceful Spring season we’ve had in 5 years.
Meanwhile, Carl fills his days practicing with his lacrosse team. At school he’s making the honor roll each term with ease. At home he helps me with chores and bakes cookies for the family. This Spring is like a dream so far.
Perhaps I don’t need to spin myself anymore. Life has done the spinning for me. I think I’ll just skip to the good part. Let me lie down and revel in the view of these clouds for awhile.
**Names have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.