Two events this week reminded me how fun it can be to parent. The first was Tuesday evening when Brian went to our first parent/teacher conference at Carter’s new school. (I didn’t go because I had another appointment.) Brian was beside himself after the conference, but not for the usual way. The teachers couldn’t say enough nice things about our boy: he works hard, he’s friendly and polite, he’s creative and funny. Yes, of course they talked about his impatience and his rather extreme level of energy, but we’re not looking for perfection here! Parents of kids who have behavioral and emotional differences will understand me when I say that it’s nourishment for my very soul to know that people like and enjoy Carter. With our other kids, it was a given; they were simply likeable to most of the people who knew them. With Carter, though, we found out what it’s like to be the parents of “that kid,” the one that’s always getting singled out or considered a problem. We’re so grateful that Carter spends his days now at a place where he is cared about and showered with all the encouragement that any kid needs to do his or her best.
Last night, we attended Jacob’s first high school play. He had a small part, but was one of only two freshmen who got a part at all. He’s a natural born performer with such obvious and enormous talent, you can probably see him shining from space. Not that I’m biased or anything! I love to watch Jacob perform, to see how he has grown and changed since those first plays when he was just wee little thing in kindergarten.
We’re settling in after Carter’s long, long period of instability. I hope and pray that this will last. We have every reason to believe that it will; everything fell into place at once. His meds are finally (finally!) right. He trusts his therapist and is doing good work with him, and our behavioral management specialist (she comes one evening a week) is helping us a great deal. And of course, having Carter in a good school makes all the difference, both because he’s getting what he needs and because, now that we’re not together 24/7, our relationship is less stressed and strained. It feels like we just came out of a long, dark tunnel where we’d been travelling for many months. It will take us some time to adjust to the bright light and find our footing, but God willing and the crick don’t rise, we’ll have some time to do just that.