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Posts Tagged ‘yoga’

Back in the day, Jonah adored the movie Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  That’s not exactly accurate, either, because what he really loved was one scene. You know the one, near the end where Grandpa Joe and Mr. Wonka are screaming at one another…

Mr. Wonka: You STOLE fizzy lifting drinks!  You bumped into the ceiling, which now has to be washed, and sterilized, so you get NOTHING!  You lose! Good day, sir!

Grandpa Joe: You’re a crook!  You’re a cheat, and a swindler – that’s what you are!  How could you do a thing like this?  Build up a little boy’s hopes and then smash all his dreams to pieces?!!  YOU’RE AN INHUMAN MONSTER!

Mr. Wonka: I SAID GOOD DAY!!

For whatever the reason this absolutely smashed Boo’s funny bone.  He’d giggle and laugh and sometimes almost literally shriek with joy.

More this he would ask, and I’d have to rewind back to the beginning of that scene and play it again, usually 10 or 15 times in a row.  We watched it together so often that I began to dream of sterilized ceilings, inhuman monsters, and dreams smashed to pieces.

I’m not sure when it happened (because of this blog I could look back and pinpoint it), but for a long time now his little joys and interests, like the Willie Wonka scene, have waned and all but disappeared – replaced by a devotion to car ride alone:  mama in the front.

But two weeks ago when Andy and I drove to pick him up, he first (as always) greeted us with music on? and then, after just one car ride (an unvaried and specific loop), requested go back to ‘partment?

Surprised but happy, we drove him to Andy’s place, where grandma was waiting with Jonah’s favorite foods.  Once inside, he almost immediately attacked Andy, ripping yet another shirt and biting him on the wrist, drawing blood.  Andy got him down on the floor and tried to keep him still, while I held Boo’s legs so he couldn’t back-kick Andy in the kidneys.  We are strangely quiet during all of this, even Jonah. The only sounds are Jonah kicking and hitting us or the floor.  We’re grown used to it, and we’ve come to believe that if we can just get one attack out of the way, Boo will be okay.  Sometimes even really sweet and especially happy.

Sure enough, Jonah calmed down and after that he was fine.  Better than fine.

Train on computer? he said. I was floored.  He hasn’t asked to watch trains in what feels like years.  So, as small a thing as it sounds, I was thrilled to see a spark of interest in something besides car ride.  So I set him up on YouTube, typed in railfanner, and Presto Change-o, my train-loving Boo is back, staring with rapt interest at the coming and going of the endless speeding cars.

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And after a while, just as amazingly, he looked up at me and asked Oopma Oopma? – which is always how he requested the scene from Willie Wonka.  And so once again I happily obliged, the scene eliciting the same smiles and giggles in which we all once rejoiced.

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The next day at school, Jonah went after a staff member in the residence who did his best to restrain him safely, but Boo ended up hitting his face on his dresser and being brought to the hospital, coming back with a few stitches in his lip and a swollen black eye.  We are grateful to the caregivers who stayed with him, keeping him calm, safe, and occupied, until he could go back to his residence.

By our next visit the swelling had gone down and Jonah was his usual happy self.  He asked for train on computer again and even handed me his Jungle Book Disney movie to play.  So I set it up for him and watched him wait patiently on the floor, where he threw down a little yoga move (they teach the kids simple poses in school but I’d never seen him do one spontaneously)

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…and settled down to watch the movie – nearly 30 minutes of it! – before declaring all done Jungle Book.

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No aggressions that day.  None.  Not sure when the last time that’s happened, either.

I type ad nauseam of hope, and despair, and the tiring, endless cycle of the two, but a constant thread through both is change, always change – and growth, and learning, and steps forward.

There is.  Thank God there is.  Always there is something sweet to savor, and I am evergrateful.

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Sorry for the Buddhist-poem-flake-out.  It’s all part of the necessary path, I guess.

“There’s no earthly way of knowing… which direction we are going…” ~ Willie Wonka

Not only don’t I know which direction we are going, but I don’t even know now where I am.  I sleep as early and as much as possible – greedily falling into the cushion-y darkness where everything turns OFF for long, glorious hours.  I wake confused, then teary, and I gulp down the pills that help me through the day.  I’m just not hungry lately either.  It’s as if I got to an anxiety/fear point so high I smashed through its glass roof (Willie Wonka style, speaking of the great confectioner) and now I’m flying around grasping at different ideas, completely ungrounded, definitely dazed, and evidently, flaking out as well.

All these thoughts.  I decided I ‘m going to learn Spanish.  I want to visit Mansfield, MO, home of my beloved heroine, Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I’m going to read books even as an English major I’d never dared attempt:  Les Miserable and War and Peace.  I’ll learn to play guitar.  Write a novel, maybe even out of this blog.  Visit my relatives, send them all care packages.  Volunteer to read to kids at the library.  Walk dogs at the humane society.  Do yoga.  Learn to paint.  Anything, everything.  Something so I’m not nobody doing nothing.

Sometimes I have these grandiose plans to change the world, at least my world and the people in and around it, making positive deposits in the great big bank of karma.

But still I play out scenarios of the day we drop off our son, over and over, with different circumstances and outcomes each time…except he is always gone at the end.  In the scenarios we always have to go, we always drive away.  He is always, always gone, and he will be gone, and he will be gone soon.  No wonder I am meditating on impermanence.  I can’t really comprehend any of it.

Andy and I met with a mediator and we have workbooks to fill in, just like we did at the church when we were planning to marry.  Everything is cyclic.  We will wait until Jonah is at his new school and then we will re-convene, workbooks completed, bringing yet another thing to its conclusion.

My friend H (bless her) invited M and me and Jonah to her pool again tomorrow, thank you thank you thank you little H.  To her it may not be much but to us it is everything.  Yesterday M and I had to drive Jonah around the entire time we had him; there was simply nowhere we could go.  It poured rain and Jonah didn’t want music.  I got him singing at one point but then he started his repetitive requesting-phase:

Wannatakeabath?  Wannatakeabath?  Wannatakeabath? Bye Bye M.  Wannatakeabath?  Daddy?  Wannatakeabath? Bye Bye M.  Daddy?  Daddy?  Grandma?  Swim-pool? Swim-pool? Wannatakeabath? Wannatakeabath? Wannatakeabath? Wannatakeabath? (Insert BLOOD-CURDLING SCREAM instantly followed by giggling laughter).  WannaseeJack?  WannaseeJack?

And I curse myself for gritting my teeth and wanting to shout SHUT UP because soon enough I’ll wish I could hear his little voice, no matter what it was saying or shouting or screaming.

Oh, what a weird place in time & space this is.

“For the rowers keep on rowing,
And they’re certainly not showing
Any signs that they are slowing…

~Willie Wonka

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