Because I am cynical, cranky, and quite possibly almost old enough to be called a curmudgeon (Is that gender specific? Can girls be curmudgeons? I think so….)….I try to,
once in a blue moon routinely make a point of noticing some of the goodness and/or progress in attachment and healing ’round this crazy home. It’s been a few months, let’s have a look-see:
- Marta has been home for 2 1/2 years now! And, honestly, it’s better. It’s far far from perfect. It’s nothing at all like any of us thought it would be. But maybe (yup, I”ll say it out loud) just maybe that’s not only ok, but it’s a good thing. It has it’s own sweetness amidst the baffling hard stuff
- She is the manager for the varsity girls basketball team. This not only is something she enjoys, it has given her purpose, joy, and a greater sense of belonging. Her job is simple, she keeps them in water and towels and fusses over the players a bit. But, she loves it and the team has seemingly, blessedly, embraced her. Her coach simply rocks. And the girls on the team? An amazing bunch of players, but even better, really kind lovely girls. The whole ‘manager’ gig: it’s all gift. Thank you Coach Serra.
- She got a 75 on her 2d art test. It was a written test, hard for her. And while we had to discuss it (per her need, not ours, we don’t care what she gets in art), with a couple of tears over a couple of days, she accepted it without meltdown. Sounds like a no big deal kind of thing? Au Contraire! So, so big. She is a perfectionist, a little crazed about it and wants to make an “A” in every class or assignment. This, even last year, would have been enough to send her off kilter and into a meltdown, possibly for a rocky intense week or more.
- She made the honor roll. She had her name in the paper and on the school website. She felt famous. Sure her classes are in the school’s (amazing fantastic) special ed program; different classes/levels. But, I propose that she studies about as hard as many of the kids at that school and she works possibly harder than most. She earned it. She’s so proud. And so are we.
- She had a double ear infection last week. And she coped. Ear infections hurt. But she even went to school. And she was a trooper. This, coping with something hurting, is a skill she did not have when she first came home. Not for almost two years, actually. This is the first time for real and a big step forward for her.
- And one of my favorites: she is more playful. Play is a funny thing. Marta didn’t really play when she came home, not for a long time. We don’t know if it’s because of the transition, fear, insecurity, or her disabilities. I’m sure it’s a big old mixture of all of the above. But, nowadays, she is more playful. NOT every day, not by a longshot. She’s still a teen, of course, with all the moods and hormones that entails! But, she is relaxed enough now, on a good day, to make jokes, to poke fun, to be silly, and to sometimes hang out while we visit instead of disappearing or interrupting to redirect the activity to go do something for her. (It doesn’t last long, but, apropos of this post, I want to mark that it does happen.).
- Marta is a great pray-er. I’ve mentioned before how she is a very devout girl. It’s lovely. We pray together every day that we can, which is almost every single day (unless there is a late basketball game). And, for those in the know, once you make it onto her prayer list, well, you are there (so far as I can tell) forever. She is one of my two ‘secret weapons’ when it comes to serious prayer; they have a connection and focus I can only wish for.
- Last but not least, she has been unseated, for days or weeks at a time, in the “monopolize all the time and attention in the house and my conversation” status. That might sound kooky or a weird thing to mark, but a dear friend noticed it last week when we were talking and it dawned on me that she was right. Marta wasn’t top of the roster of my
rambling and rantingmeasured reports anymore. It’s a tossup on any given day who’s going to be the neediest or highest maintenance child. She’s among the top three, typically, but to have lost the crown…..that’s a major game changer, right there. So, I’m marking it.