Two days ago, (see previous post) Primo and I had an interaction in the car that ended up with him pinching a huge bruise into my upper arm, and me speaking in a hurtful way.
I was truly shaken. I sank into an ugly and dark funk. I wrote that post. I felt deeply saddened by this violence, discouraged that we could have such a setback, ashamed that even though my son had hurt me, I wasn't able in that moment to keep my temper in check and stay calm enough to keep from scaring him.
Then we cried separately and together for forty-five minutes, talked, apologized, hugged, and moved on. Here's the rest of the story:
At age 12, Primo is almost as tall as I am now, and though he's very much better at controlling his temper, he does still have trouble with safety issues when he's angry. He said that by the time he thought to calm himself and be safe, he'd already torn apart some things in the car and pinched me. That's his fight-or-flight response and the autism delay.
Tomorrow Spark is going in for his second all-day dyslexia evaluation appointment. I'm so excited to get the data and strategies that we need, but I'm not so happy to give up my only day off to be there. We do know he's right in the middle of the 'spectrum' of dyslexia (forgive the autism metaphor), not severe and not mild. We're starting to be able to tell him about the ways he is smart, and we'll learn how to help him know it for sure.
And well, that Hero, and the music, it's something that's integral to his being, something that cannot change, even if he tried. I think I'm feeling, first, the pre-summer crisis of confidence in our abilities to manage childcare without school; second, a lack of shared purpose in my life with Hero. We need a spoken agreement on our priorities. We've been just surviving and tag-team parenting for so many years now.
Our marriage is a true partnership based on deep love (and wacky humor), but the part where we enjoy each other and have fun together is missing. The majority of the time we spend together occurs when we're asleep. We don't know who's the leader when we're both home at the same time. We don't know how to make conversation at the dinner table when all of us are together.
I'm hoping that a change in schedule at my office may be coming, so that we'll be able to be a complete family more evenings each week. I'm not sure whether that means I will have a new job at a different business, whether my position may be terminated, or whether I'll be allowed to simply work a shorter schedule. My next career step is a big question mark right now.
That brings me to today. Today has been pretty grand. I've breathed deeply. Our geographic area has had a week of stormy weather, drenching downpours, rapidly shifting temperatures, and then sunshine. Today is a mostly sunshine day.
When the boys and I got home after school, Spark went outside to explore the yard and observe bugs. I let the cats out so that they could bask in the sunshine and eat grass tips. They were calmly joyful, as cats can be. I looked through all the little parts of our yard where I like to plant things, and got more ideas for what I'll work on this weekend.
I was a very lazy gardener last year, planting very little, not weeding, not mulching. A perennial that looks very like creeping bellflower (campanula) went to seed and has started taking over our and our neighbors' yards. Time in the garden, just keeping my mind on the plants and getting my hands in the soil, is healing to me. So that's the plan for the weekend.
Dyslexia, gardening, and laundry and family. Sounds all right to me.