When I say “it’s really that simple”…I suppose one might wonder what kind of “simple” it is to which I refer:
1. easily understood or done; presenting no difficulty.
“a simple solution”
synonyms: straightforward, easy, uncomplicated, un-involved, effortless,
antonyms: difficult, hard, complicated, complex
2. composed of a single element; not compound.
Today was a day in which I had the “simple.”
Clear as Windex, right?
I went to the high school my two oldest boys attend.
My eldest son is still making up for credits. This year, he signed up to do a co-op program and his choice of placement?
He works with the developmentally delayed teens within the high school. They love him.
Today, the classes put on a holiday luncheon, and parents of the youth (as well as staff of the school) could attend. My son asked if I could go, too…
I got to meet his wonderful supervisors, and the educational assistants, who he works with every day.
I got to meet the amazing youth he gets to help every day.
I heard so many wonderful, positive compliments about my son by both the adults and youth alike…
…and I was reminded of just how proud I am of my eldest son…and I got myself a little misty in my ocular orbs.
We ate…and ate well. Turkey with all the fixin’s…a dessert table the likes of which makes your glucose soar just by looking in its direction…
I chose a slice of homemade apple pie.
I listened to the youth at our table tell me how much they love Avry. How much he makes them laugh. I could see him genuinely loving the accolades, but blushing nonetheless. I watched him help his friends scoop holiday yumminess onto their plate because they couldn’t figure out just how…
I watched the youth introduce their parents to the teachers passing by their seats with such vigor…like idols…so fiercely loving. One youth wore his best suit and Christmas tie. I listened to my son converse his wisdom upon wondrous ears…”Don’t eat too much, we have gym right after we’re done!” I listened to the youth tell me where they did their own co-op placements. I looked at the tree they’d all decorated earlier in the week. I watched the people in the adjoining rooms and I’d noticed that they were all wearing the exact…same…thing.
Everyone, at almost all times…was smiling.
I sat there with my homemade slice of apple pie and I struggled to curb the tears that threatened my dry cheeks.
This time last year, my son struggled to live…poisoned by substances that threatened his very survival.
This time last year, I thought I’d lost my son.
Today, I received accolades on the warmth of his heart…the strength of my mothering…the dashing charm of his wit…hugs from teachers who have never given up on him, even when he “forgets” or gets a little “off.”
Today, “simple” was just taking the time to observe the state of the moment…and “be.”
I was happy. I exuded happy.
My son walked me out to the car:
Me: “They really, like you, the kids.”
Avry: “Well, I really like them more. You can be in the shittiest of moods, then, be talking to them for, like, four minutes, and your bad mood is gone. Just gone.”
Living with chronic afflictions affects the entire family.
Managing another family member with their own chronic affliction, in this case, previous substance abuse (he graduated a residential treatment program earlier this year), and when that member is a child…words fail to articulate the magnitude of such an endeavour.
Communication with and between all family members is absolutely crucial, I will tell you that. Never assume you know how a circumstance is affecting others, child or adult alike.
I am so fortunate to have been able to see my son demonstrate his new-found passion in this co-op placement.
The one thing he never did while “afflicted”?
He never spontaneously smiled.
To have seen him today, you’d have thought he’d won a lottery.
Maybe he did, in a way.
Or, maybe he was enjoying watching me struggle to maintain my composure between my weepy pride and that slice of apple pie. 😉