Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Waves

I grew up in northern Alabama on a mountain in my own paradise of forests and trees and vines to cut at the ground and then use for swings.......and animals and at least one trip to the beach each year. Most of you have been to a beach of some sort, but unless you have been to the sugar-white, dreamy beaches of Alabama or the Florida panhandle, you cannot fully imagine the beauty of the beaches I was so blessed to grow up on. It was truly dreamy. Thank you, Mom and Dad!!! And I remember very clearly the sounds of the ocean in the Gulf of Mexico along the silky, white sand. I can remember hearing it as I swam, built sand castles, chased sand crabs, or as I became a teen, lying out until I was crispy "getting a tan." The sound is calming, rhythmic, soothing, but not truly consistent. It had its own rhythm, but sometimes it misses a beat. So there might be a minute or so of similar sized waves washing ashore, but then sometimes there are these pauses where the rhythm is still there, but barely skipping a few beats and then another wave coming ashore after a few that didn't really come on shore at all. This is the best way to share the emotions I am feeling tonight.

Yesterday I was so excited about the Make-A-Wish wish being approved for Garrett, and I still am very, very happy. I am thinking I may be happier for Addie and Ainslee than I am for Garrett even. I feel like they deal with so much. And I have shared before, but I will state again that I am not the parent I was before Garrett. I am not as energetic and fresh and motivated. Yes, I know I am getting older each year, but it's not that. It is just the toll and change in focus and need to just survive the next thing with Garrett that have taken so much of me from Addie and Ainslee.

But the waves. That is how I sense the emotions. There are days where the waves crash all day, albeit gently, but on time, never missing a beat, and I allow myself to settle into a groove of knowing things are "off" in our household, but that we are okay and I can handle it. But then there are days like today when even just 5 minutes after Garrett getting off the bus at noon, I am feeling anxiety as I hear his weird screams, watch him struggle with his emotions, fill his diaper from past days of constipation, and go from thing to thing to thing without meaningfully doing anything focused. I spoke with a very dear friend today, Kim. She moved from Louisiana to Texas about the same time we moved from Louisiana to Idaho. We are close and our kiddos are close. She had not talked to Garrett in many months, but then he got on the phone with her and had a cute little chat. She was blown away by his verbal skills and how much he is communicating. I beamed, I BEAMED, and I was so excited to hear how she could see so much progress!! In the back of my mind I am guarded as I see every few minutes how not normal he is, but I did bask in the progress!!! The Grouchy stayed home with Garrett while I took the girls to their respective dance and gymnastics. I wasn't 5 minutes from home and he called to share his frustration with Garrett. Garrett had asked for a bowl of Raisin Bran just as he does most evenings before dinnertime, and Grouchy made a bowl for him with milk and all and took it to the table. Keep in mind Garrett can clear his plates on his own by taking them to the sink, can drink from a cup sometimes, etc. Grouchy puts the bowl at Garrett's place at our table and turns around and walks 20 feet to the Garage to put something in his truck. He walks in to Garrett standing by the table with the entire bowl of Raisin Bran poured out on the table. Grouch was very frustrated and I was feeling for him........but not because he had to clean up the huge mess, but because Garrett does this when I am with him at least three times per week!!!!! I have just gotten to a point where it just hurts now. It doesn't make me mad anymore. I don't get frustrated. I just take a breath, feel like I am shrinking, and start cleaning. And do you want to know what Garrett has to say when we ask why he does it. He says, "I don't know. I sorry." WHAT!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? And then lately he got into my car and wrote on the display panel glass with a pen, put another dent in Addie and Ainslee's room, lost 3 Nintendo DS games, broke our new Apple desktop computer by putting multiple "things" into the CD drive, broke the kitchen drawer he stood in......from the PRICELESS post a few posts ago, lost the DVD player remote for our main television, ripped his Nintendo DS Nerf cover to shreds, has trashed 3 shirts by chewing on the sleeves until the fabric is completely ruined, AND has started pillaging my car's interior by unpacking everything in the console, seat pockets, etc, and I am back to having to lock my car and hide the key again. We are about to have to drill holes in our nice computer armoire so we can put a chain on it with a lock so he cannot get to the Mac desktop computer.

So is Garrett making progress? YES!!! He knows most of the letters of the alphabet when he wants you to know he knows. He is counting to 20, knows his colors and shapes and chats like ME!!!! He is saying please and thank you more often and still telling many people that he loves them. And there is the stuff that makes the waves gently break on the sand and roll up onto the shore. But then times like today when it is oh so hard to just face the abnormal and off and hard when I can no longer hear the rhythm, feel the sand, or even hope for it to resume. It's the waves, the roller coaster, whatever you want to call it. But it is real, it is always just around the bend, and it makes all of the joys and progress sometimes not seem so exciting or even promising.

I remember the psychologist plainly saying, "I think Garrett will need assistance in living throughout his life. I do not think he will live independently." I was shocked, but not shocked that what she said is likely, but that she SAID IT!! And times like today when I cannot hear or see or feel the waves, it is painfully real and it all comes back as I realize that while Garrett is making some great forward progress, the things that are off are not allowing Garrett to fit in with the world and manage better at all sometimes. He is improving, but he is also aging, and as he moves forward over time, the bar moves up so much more month by month that passes him by. And that is where I find this sadness. It's not a panic really, but a sad reality. The Raising Bran is the case in point. When I see the mess on the table my heart sinks. I sink. It is so painful to see my son do things that are so way out there and then say he doesn't know why he does them. And I believe him!!! He doesn't know. And neither do I.

There is my rosy analogy and overview of the latest emotions. Thank you for listening!!! And if you are in the same shoes, feel free to share. I hope I enable someone else to be real, share their feelings, and take a load off!!!

On a very bright note, Addie has her very first dance recital Saturday, and I am so excited. And just a tiny bit of news...SHE TURNS 11 TOMORROW!!!! OH MY!!!!! Addie is so beautiful and sensitive and loving. Her heart is HUGE (hopefully not literally, but I haven't heard back from the cardiologist on her tests yet!!) but she is beginning to be challenged by those stinkin' hormones. She has been off the past few days, not feeling energetic at all, just seems to have the blues. I am hoping tomorrow's shopping trip with Ainslee and Grouchy and their trip to Build A Bear help her perk up some!


1 comment:

  1. I understand completely the waves of emotion that come with this life. The constant roller coaster, going up and down, sometimes in one day, a week, or whatever the time is. Just when I feel I have control, soon after, I lose it again. If it wasn't for the strength God has given me, I have no idea where I would be. It's a hard life, but one thing I can say with complete confidence, is it is all going to be better one day. Not just better, but perfect. Sometimes, Heaven seems like a pretend fairy-land to me, especially when things are so bad. But, then I return to God's Word, and see the truth. I read something once that said, "God never said it would be easy, he just promised it would be worth it.". So true. Praying that good days come, soon, and that God will give you the strength and grace that will carry you!