Slow River

This morning at 10 am, Carter and I were eating toast and watching Little House on the Prairie when I said, “I’ve hardly been on the computer for days. I should go to my office for awhile.”

Carter, who has a (inherited) flare for (melo)drama, sighed loudly. “We had so much fun the last 2 or 9 days!”

Carter’s sense of time is a bit non-specific.

He finished his toast and asked, “Do you think we could do some more today? There’s still tons of stuff to clean.”

Yes, we could do some more today, and we did. If you think I’ve been absent for the online world for the past week or so because I’ve been riding roller coasters and surfing, you’d be wrong. But neither have I been hiding under the metaphorical bed, too sad to speak to anyone even virtually.

A month ago, I wrote about Carter’s new stability and how much trouble I was having. I couldn’t decide how to spend my time and was overwhelmed by how much work I had to do to reclaim our lives, so recently released from the grip of Carter’s illness.

With the help and encouragement of Brian and you, my readers and friends, I did something radical (which was not, in fact, radical, unless one is sister of Erin, daughter of Janet, granddaughter of Margery and Margaret, and on through the (extremely tidy) generations). I decided to let go, to let the dirty laundry fester and the dog hair continue to collect in the corners until I felt ready to deal with it.

A few days ago, I felt ready. Carter is out of school for 2 1/2 weeks and he’s excited to help because he wants to surprise his daddy, who is in Brazil this week. We defrosted the freezer and vacuumed under the couch cushions. Carter loves the lambswool duster and is unimpressed with cleaning toilets (I concur).

Most of all, my boy is here, fully himself. He tells me stories while he flings the dust off of the books and into the air. He asks me questions while I show him which tools and cleaners to use in the bathroom and which to use in the kitchen. He loves, above all, to sort the socks.

Carter’s illness is like a snarling, slobbering monster. In stark contrast, this stability is like a wide, slow river and Carter and I are here on our raft, telling stories and making jokes. We’ll come to shore soon, but for now, the air is warm and what is there to do on a raft, really, except enjoy each other’s company?

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22 thoughts on “Slow River”

  1. Oh, Adrienne, as happy as it makes me to read these words, to picture you actually getting to enjoy your time with Carter, I know how much happier you are to have been able to write this. And I’m sure at moments there is a surreal quality to it all, that it feels like you are dreaming, that it can’t be real; you keep pinching yourself thinking “wake up” but no, there he is still smiling and conversing with you and simply enjoying the simple things in his life. I am picturing you on that raft, winding your way down the slowly snaking river. You know there will be rapids somewhere up ahead. You fear the sea serpent lurking under the water, ever on the lookout for flashes of his sharp fins below, but right now you are basking in the sunshine and easy companionship. As it should be, as it should be.

  2. I’m so glad that things have been good for this long, and that you are finally ready to tackle what you let go, with your partner, Carter. That is so awesome that you two can work together on this!

  3. Soak it up, that warm sunshine of well days. I’m so happy for Carter, that he feels good, and so happy for you that you get to have quality time with him. We’ll still be here when you get back. And honestly? I hope it takes a long time. You’re gone for a good reason.

  4. Life reclaiming doesn’t happen in a weekend. It took a long time for it to get ahead of you, don’t fret about how long it takes you to catch up.

    With the authority vested in my by the State of Martha, I hereby decree you exempt from point needs for at least one full calendar year.

    Wow – I am giddy with my own power now!

  5. Let EVERYTHING pile up and enjoy that little man of yours til you go blind from happiness. Nothing is more important than that and it sounds like you are loving every minute of it. SO glad!

  6. and isn’t this weather perfect for Carter to have a couple of weeks off?

    yes it is.

    perfect weather to float down the lazy river.

    that’s my excuse and i’m stickin to it.

    enjoy. we’ll be here when you get back.

  7. Enjoy! The peace is so much more precious when the storm is violent. Having this time with Carter reminds you that even when his illness is getting the better of him, he’s still your little boy and loves you with no end.
    Have a martini on me!

  8. We are at this point with my daughter’s reactive attachment disorder. We have been fighting her RAD for 7 years. She’s now getting better, but there is always a part of me that is waiting for the other shoe to drop. The more days she is normal, the more I actually begin to hope we have made a MAJOR breakthrough.

    Enjoy the days while he’s present. They are truly a gift.

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