My boys are sophomores in high school now. About to end their sophomore year, actually- how did that happen? Just yesterday they were the size of a loaf of bread, and about as heavy. Now I watch what they are capable of as amazing young men, and I am astounded at who they have become.
One boy got up on stage a few weeks ago and belted out the most incredible solo with his choir behind him. MY boy! Say what?!? I said, he doesn’t sound like that when he’s rockin’ in the shower at the top of his lungs for 45 minutes! It brought tears to my eyes to see how confident and beautiful my boy is. He tried out for 4 choirs for next school year, and made it into all four. What?!? Amazing.
My other boy has had a longer struggle this year. First our IV treatment took its toll. Anxiety grew to the point my boy could no longer get to school. So then I had TWO boys- my sophomore and my 6th grader- who couldn’t go to school due to panic. Cri.Sis. Major crisis.
My 6th grader got into a therapeutic day school about an hour south of our home. It’s been slow, but we’re making tiny progress. My sophomore got into a partial hospitalization program (PHP) an hour east of our home. Guess who has spent the past couple months DRIIIIIVVVVIIIINNNNGGG???
And yes, the middle school district will provide transportation. However, my 6th grader tried the taxi twice, and almost got into a car accident on his second trial, so now he has vowed to never get into a taxi alone again. Gr.
My sophomore spent four weeks in the PHP. Every day, practicing his exposure therapy to desensitize his brain and help him learn coping skills to deal with panic. He worked so hard. He did his homework. He faced his biggest fears every day. It was evident that he desperately wanted to get better.
Yesterday, my sophomore “stepped down” from the PHP to the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). It’s a half day program, so my boy can go to school for half days also. Yesterday he took a taxi from his IOP to his school, and walked through the doors for class for the first time in several months. This boy. Pure poetry. I think about how far he has come, how many obstacles he has faced in his 15 years, all with grace, dignity, and courage.
I’m in awe of my children.
When I look at my twins, I still see the little 2 lb micro-preemies they were almost 16 years ago. And I wonder how a human so tiny can survive, let alone thrive. It takes guts to make it in life, especially when you’re a kiddo who has a lot of stuff stacked against you. My babies have more courage than anyone I’ve ever met.
In two weeks my boys start Driver’s Ed. Over the past few months, I didn’t know where we would be at by the end of May. I didn’t know if anxiety would take an even worse turn and we’d be somewhere even scarier. I didn’t know if things would be back to normal. I didn’t know if the boys would be able to take Driver’s Ed when I signed them up a couple months ago, but I decided to take a leap of faith and assume things would be better by the end of this month. It was sort of my mantra. By the end of May, things will be better. By the end of May, things will be better.
And things are better. I am wary of crises, because they sneak up on you and wipe your feet out from under you without you even having a suspicion they’re behind you, and it can happen at any time. But in this one moment, right now, things are better. And I am grateful for how far my boys have come these past couple months.
Watching my boys find their path through life is like watching real live poetry: unexpected, moving, complicated, beautiful beyond description.