I would tell you in detail about the hard time that Mihiretu is having in school but that’s his story. Maybe if you catch him in twenty years he’ll lay it on you.
Suffice it to say, he’s struggling. He’s acting out at school, he’s acting out at home. He’s suffering. As are the rest of us.
I’m on the phone. With the principal, with neuro-psychologists, with behavioral pediatricians.
Ben is out of town, this week when the shit has really hit the fan. He’s doing what he can from afar but, between phone calls, it’s up to me to calm myself down. It was this time last year that I dove deep into depression. There are lots of triggers for me as summer turns to fall; ancient wounds from my childhood, fresher ones from adulthood. I know that as the light grows golden, as the sun slants lower, I’m in dangerous territory. Add to this the additional worry of Mihiretu’s school situation and I know I need to tread very carefully. I take care of myself to take care of him. The lower my cortisol levels, the lower his will be.
I have a number of tricks to ease my anxiety. When I pry Mihiretu off me in the morning at school and sprint out the door before he can catch me, I just keep running. I’m up to seven miles in this effort to quiet my mind. At this rate, I’ll be marathoning by Christmas. Or inducing a heart attack.
We acquired a couple of magic kitties a month or so ago – a pair of blue-grey kittens that look almost exactly alike. They are Lucy and Ethel; Lucy thin and higher-strung, Ethel wider and mellower, with a penchant for flatuence. They are incredibly tolerant and brave with the kids, particularly the currently shrieky Mihiretu. In times of extreme tension, after a particularly tough phone call, I pull one – or better both – of these kitties on to my lap. They purr, I breathe.
My latest crafty endeavor is rescuing old unfinished quilts at flea markets and completing them. So if I’m really upset you’ll find me cradling kitties and hand-stitching a seventy-year-old quilt all at the same time.
There is my love affair with my cup of coffee in the morning and the glass of Sauvignon Blanc at night. There is the 8:30 bedtime (yes, for me) and the ten solid hours of sleep (only interrupted to get into bed with Mihiretu once or twice when he stirs).
We will get through this, I suppose. We will find the right situation for this boy, he will thrive. I will be able to put down the phone and the kittens and the quilt and join the larger world. In the meantime, Mihiretu, me, Ben and the girls, we must find our comfort, find our ease, in whatever corner we can.