Friday, February 26, 2010

A Different Child

After just five days on Prozac, one Ben Schaefer is a different child.

Now I know you mother-types out there are probably horrified, and believe me, this was NOT an easy decision.  But since about Day One, he has been a moody, sullen and unhappy child.  Yes, you're right.  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, but in the last six months, he's become increasingly disagreeable, difficult to manage, to enjoy, to communicate with, to mother, and, last but not least, a little bit scary.  His relationships with his teachers, what few friends he has, his family--are all combative, guarded, mistrustful, defensive, and antagonistic.  It's all been very difficult for a mother to watch.  His behavior was affecting the whole family, coloring the atmosphere of our house--and I finally decided to do something about it.  After five months of counseling, his counselor referred us to a physician who could prescribe medication.  She talked with Ben, with me...and wrote him a 'starter prescription'.

After just five days, the resulting changes have been, in short, phenomenal. 

For one, he now takes 'no' for an answer.  ["Mom, I don't want milk."  "You have milk first and then you can have a pop."  "Okay."]  He listened to and participated in conversations going on around him.  He accepted interruption during said conversations.  At the grocery, he came running when I barked.  He tried to help us problem-solve a transportation issue for tomorrow.  As he is a low talker, I frequently have to say, "Louder, Ben!" when he's in the back seat of the car.  Usually he gets mad and says, "Just forget it, Mom!!!" or he purposely repeats himself perhaps even more quietly.  Not tonight.  He spoke up with what he had to say.  I don't think I've heard an edgy tone, a contradiction, or any arguing all day.  His countenance is relaxed, almost at peace.  It's all I can do to keep my mouth from dropping open with each interaction.  

Give it a couple more days and I'll try something that...two weeks ago....would have have rendered him immediately oppositional--I'll check his homework.  THEN, we'll see.  Say a prayer.  Keep your fingers crossed...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Rise of Sophomoric Humor

In the midst of this rather stressful stretch of days, I'm taking joy and comfort in the growing sense humor of my youngest child.  On his way out the door to the bus this morning, he solemnly informed me that they were going to watch "The Movie" again in Health class today.

[For those of you who are so far removed from middle school as to have forgotten about "The Movie", stay tuned; I'm sure those memory synapses will be firing in just moments....]

He reminded me of the conversation we had when they watched "The Movie" last week, which centered around the lunch menu.  They had hot dogs.  He--and his middle school compatriots--thought that riotously funny--in view of having just seen 'The Movie".

This morning, looking me right in the eye, he solemnly said, "We're watching 'The Movie' again today."
"Oh?" I said.
"And you know what we're having for lunch?"
"Hot dogs again?" I queried.
"No," he said, pausing for a moment.  "Shrimp poppers."  And THEN the giggles broke forth.

Seeing the humor, setting the scenario, building the suspense, was all there.  He might be my child after all...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Goodnight, Noises

I cannot sleep, sleep, sleep
And I wait, wait, wait
for the sounds of night to lull me
to where I want to go....

The steady ticking of the timepiece
from the living room
Measuring the miracles,
the moments, the passage of time.
Goodnight, clock.

A long rattling sigh from the man beside me
letting go of his day's horrors,
settling into steady breathing.
Goodnight, husband.

Dog whimpering after squirrels in her sleep
Nails clicking against the leg of the bed
in dreamworld running.
Goodnight, dog.  Goodnight, squirrels.

The sound of melting snow
heard only by the sump pump
working to keep the crawl space dry.
Goodnight, pump.  Farewell, snow.

The real or imagined sound of my son's laptop
the fan whirring and keyboard tapping
His customary haunting of the wee hours
Goodnight, son.  Goodnight, Gaia.

In the next room
my young son shifts on the top bunk
and the thump of falling books
Makes me jump
even though I'm wide awake.
Goodnight, books.  Goodnight, Special.

A short twizzling growl of my stomach
And the soft beat of my heart
Sounds that are mine alone.
My breath, my life, my dark,
and finally a yawn...finally.
Goodnight, Heart.  Goodnight, hunger. 
Goodnight, dark.
Goodnight, noises everywhere.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

In the Way He Can

An agony of heart and spirit
The chill ocean depths
The musty suffocating cave
a devil that ensnares though I struggle not
More weight...more weight, the stones press down

A pain not remotely understood--
Time and place have seen to that
And he knows not what to do
Or how to cure the ill that ails me
The magic combination of words and gestures
that may make or break existence

Tear-stained and choked
I struggle and beg, grasping out for something,
for anything--
a scrabbling handhold on the mountain
a truth that will clear the confusion
a sign pointing the way to feathered blue hope.

And he--with ever a sailor's eye to the horizon--
notes the impending storm.
Backpeddling out of the sightlines,
donning Harry's cloak as he goes.

Can't lay blame.
Really can't.
He's tried and failed
Countless of times
And knows better now...

Abandoned to grief,
I concentrate on the sound of my ragged breathing
Whilst he lays down tracks 
betwixt him
and the chaos that is me.

Safely distanced, unencumbered, 
a sigh of relief.
 his soul still intact, thank god.
Yet across the divide, 
a song echoes forth, some disembodied text,
a grounding link of laughter,
like the sun through lace curtains.

A reaffirmation of a belief in fairies,
it's what I needed to know.
And he loves me 
in the way he can.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Going to Bed Content

I'm going to bed this evening with a great feeling of contentment.  

Today was good--all good.  
We had a two-hour delay which means extra sleep.  
I had a quiet day in the Gallery.  I got a lot done.  
DC and I made plans for the next show.  Much excitement and anticipation. 
The Boy showed up.  First time I've actually seen him in about a week.
Rehearsal was really good.  The set is up.  Some of my favorite peeps spent time bonding.  The skirts are pinned.  
I returned the fish sandwich for a large diet coke.  
I don't have to get #2 up in the morning.
I researched cars online with #1.
My hubby is warm.

It's good.  It's all good.