And the Band Played On
"I know we've been struggling with staying positive in the face of how difficult things have been getting with Bennett's aggression." I said to her. "I was out and thought, I don't know...it might be cheesy but maybe we could all use a reminder."
"Where'd you get 'em?", she asked as I started unwrapping from the newspaper.
As I lay them out in a row I asked if she could tell me which one was for each of us.
"Let's see...Laugh is for Carter. Believe is definitely for you. Cherish is for me."
"I'm just that good!"
She walked triumphantly back into the other room, as if she had just won the Pick 4, past the window covering I'd picked up for her car. One that you can put on your windshield that keeps you from having to scrape snow and ice and shit off in the morning.
She didn't thank me for that one either.
I felt a heaviness in my chest...that same one I feel every day. Multiple times a day. That same one I have felt for years. Looking down at the cup I clutched the handle and stared at the word 'BELIEVE'. A small part of me wished the cup would break in my hands, shredding my skin and sending me to the hospital for a few days.
I don't know what I believe anymore. I only know what I know from moment to moment. And at that moment all I knew is that I was determined that Bennett would not have the night like he had the night before. Tonight he would stay calm, he would be happy, and if not happy at least content, and he would fall asleep before ten, not at 2AM.
And that is exactly what happened. When the trouble started, I asked Jennifer to go to her room and Carter to go to his and stay there. Within 2 minutes Bennett and I were having a great time and within thirty he was asleep. It wasn't rocket science. Not at all. I just can't explain to you why I am not able to facilitate this all the time. It's complicated.
I would be lying to you if I told you I was happy. I'm not. My youngest son is disabled to the extreme and we are pulling him off the one medication that controlled some of his most horrifically violent behavior. My oldest is angry, afraid and isolated. My marriage is a wreck. My family's ability to interact with each other is fractured. My career is a nonexistent joke. My parenting skills are laughable my social skills eroded to the point of almost being unusable. And I'm certainly no saint. I've screwed up in my life far more than I've succeeded.
But occasionally...every once in a while...I can steer this ship away from the worst part of the storm...occasionally I can do some good.
Tonight I did. And I'm proud of it.
“You were standing in the wake of devastation
And you were waiting on the edge of the unknown
And with the cataclysm raining down
Insides crying "Save me now"
You were there, impossibly alone”