I spoke to my brother over the weekend. He was fine, but anxious about some impending test results. Test were performed on his son who is 5 years old because his head start teachers were concerned about some behavioral difficulties. I am always leery when I hear that. I know that some teachers just cannot deal with a child that does not fit into a cookie cutter mold, or color inside the lines. I also know, as the mother of a nearly 12 year old, that time does work magic on kids. The grow into and out of behaviors their entire lives. That which you would kill (or medicate) them for today will be replaced in 6 months by something else. I told my brother this, but it did little to allay his fears.
The call came Monday. Dakota has defiant disorder, anger issues, shows signs of obsessive compulsive disorder, possibly has Aspergers Syndrome, and last, but not least, ADHD. Man, it seems everything but the kitchen sink. Needless to say, my brother was pretty freaked out. He said he felt completely unprepared, that he didn't know if he could deal with all this. It was understandably impossible for him to take a step back to gain any kind of perspective. I asked him whether a: he had confidence in the information imparted (yes) and b: whether today was really any different from yesterday in terms of the actual child that stood in before him, other than the fact that big scary names had been attached to him. I think that helped him calm himself for the moment. He will need a lot of support, as will his wife and two daughters. My brother was a behaviorally challenged child himself; I know exactly what kind of strain that puts on a family. But there is so much more information available today to help him wade through this, and be an effective advocate for his son.
Also on Monday, my husband called my office to tell me that a couple with whom we used to be very close until an unspecified event last summer was coming to dinner that night. I had seen these people only once in the intervening six months, and that was two weeks ago at a mutual friend's birthday party. Bygones were set aside, and we had a good visit, both at the party, and around my table. I still don't know what the breakdown in our friendship was, and I find myself really needing to know in order to get past it. As Alanis Morissette says:
"The only way out is through
The only way we'll feel better,
The only way out is through,
The sooner we're in the better,
I believe this to be true (actually that whole album speaks to the theme of personal growth and recognition). My natural tendency when faced with a difficult discussion where I am even fractionally at fault is to run and hide. My fear is not of my own mistake per se, but another's judgment of it or me. In this instance, the mistake, problem or misunderstanding is six months old and I don't know what it is. That said, I really do want to face this head on. The friendship I lost hurt me to the core. If facing the truth of it can resuscitate it, I have to step up and face it, no matter how unpleasant. Likewise, she has to face my truth of it as well. It will take time and courage, but we took this first step. My prayer is that it was not in vain.
For these six months, my husband and I both absented ourselves and were excluded from activities and/or parties that involved the entire group of friends. That, too, seems to be resolving as time goes on. I want to ask what changed, but am not sure I will. Most of this group are more casual friends, only with one or two did I see myself in a rocking chair on some porch in thirty years.
Needless to say, I went into Tuesday morning's yoga class tired and spent. Naturally, it was one of the most vigorous ones I've attended thus far. I felt completely outclassed--that I had absolutely no business among such accomplished practitioners. I judged myself harshly when I could not reach poses, or fell out of them. I was in pain. My hip joint would not cooperate at all. I haven't had such negative thoughts about my physical being in a long time. My sense of post-yoga peace with which I normally face the day was shattered.
A glass of wine, and some much needed sleep brought me to a somewhat better place Wednesday, so I went to the gym to exorcise my demons. Felt good enough about it to wake up early and go back to yoga again, for which I was rewarded with a sense of accomplishment. I'm on my third Starbucks of the day, but that's just fine. I don't feel like I am going to cry, tear someone's head off or crash, so it is a good day.
And spring is coming. It is a balmy 45 degrees here in New York. Sun is shining. Daylight Savings time begins this weekend, and opening day at Shea is less than a month away. Life, while it smacks me up beside the head pretty good some times, is in fact very, very good.