16 October, 2008

Turning Corners in a Round House

last night as Jake settles into bed:

He is kicking the bed frame which then bangs against the wall and shudders the house, making it sound like he is thrashing about when really he is criss-crossing his legs, practicing really a new skill of making one side of his body cooperate with the other. His toes cling to the bed post as he creeps them up and down lying on his back looking at the very dimmed light fixture. I crawl in next to him for a moment, because I miss him, this calm him, because I want relationship with my own son who won't can't make eye contact with me. I want to at least feel close to him, and since he isn't flailing about I think I can. So I lay on the twin bed. He is nearly as long as I am, but he is all bones and muscle and joints. Even his frame is hard to hold because he is angular against my motherly roundness. I hug him and he rolls into me, his face next to mine on the pillow.

me: "Jake, I love you so much. I'm so glad you're feeling better."
Jake: "Mmph" said with a smile
me: "Jake I love you. Can you tell mommy 'I love you?' Can you say 'love'?"
Jake: clearly "Love."

He is happy this morning, lots of happy sounds and running up and down the stairs , jumping and smiling at the sight of a fresh cup of milk or more cheerios. Maybe he is back from where ever he goes when he is so upset in his own body. He's back and he may have learned more new skills again. It was hard this time. Physical injuries and a baby sister who felt abandoned. Descartes and I only fought one time, and only for a moment, so we are better at this, but we're still learning.

There's no rulebook for our child, or this life. There's only slowly moving forward, hoping that the next time we come more prepared, with a more fortified army of caretakers, medications and resources. Because no matter how far we've come, no matter that this morning it feels like it is over, I know another episode is coming; my calendar says next week.
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