On the Desire to Hold Still

It is a strange space when things are suddenly better after they’ve been very hard. The slide downward was so slow and inexorable. I turned myself inside out trying to figure out how to help my children. I configured and re-configured schedules. I lowered the bar trying to make things possible for my son who was struggling. Time and again he went under the just-lowered bar. Everything hurt for months. He hurt. I hurt. Howard hurt. After all of that, to have things suddenly better is disorienting. I don’t trust it. Surely the climb back out should take as long as the slide downward. Also, we’re on summer schedule where stresses are next to none. There is every possibility that the advent of school will mean a return of emotional pain. So I’d like to rejoice when my children easily manage something that was a source of conflict or meltdown. I’d like to be happy that the son who moves through my house now is the one that I remember from before things got hard. Instead I feel like I’m holding very still, as if a wrong move from me could scare away the current good state of things. I’m afraid, but I know that hold-still-forever is not a viable life strategy. So I try to take each day as it’s own capsule, like a glass ball with a scene in it. If today is a good place, I hold it in my mind like a small treasure. No matter what comes next it can’t change the good I had today.