Tuesday, September 25, 2012

11:30 PM and all is not well.

I begin to doze off as Sam abruptly enters my room and plops loudly on the bed.

“Tickle Daddy. Push Daddy.” Translation? Trouble.

With agility he leaps up and runs down the stairs.  I quickly shake the sleep off and follow. I find him in the kitchen, stalled for a moment. “Sam sit,” I say. “I can help you.” I look for something to distract. For a moment he sits angrily and scribbles harsh lines on paper. He exudes pain and frustration.

I search his body language for the source of his distress without success. I try to formulate a plan. For what I am not sure.

Sam leaps up and stares through me. I wait for the pounce. It doesn't materialize.  He eyes the door instead. I prepare for the bolt. I ask him again to trust me. “I can help you.” I say, projecting a calm that belies my inner turmoil. He glances at the door, then eyes me carefully before running to another room to confront a very startled Tony. I feel everyone’s blood pressure escalate.

I motion to Tony to remain motionless and he complies. Sam moves to strike Tony but lets out a loud screech instead. His eyes fill with tears. I carefully step in between them and watch Sam desperately try to maintain control of his emotions.    

Sam's eyes dart about the room, looking for a release of some sort. It's not there. He looks for something to throw. Instead he hurls himself to the floor as more tears flood his eyes. His anxiety penetrates the room. I am at a loss how to help.

We eye each other like two caged tigers, each wary of the other. I ask him again to trust me. “I will help you,” I promise. I move slowly toward him. He scrutinizes each step making each feel like slow motion frames.

And unexpectedly he takes my outstretched hand.

“Tissue,” he finally says, “wipe your Sam eyes.” “Yes, I can help.” I say with the smallest of smiles as I wipe his eyes. And slowly, ever so slowly, I watch him calm. “It’s OK,” I say. “It’s OK.”

He did not push.
He did not hit.
He did not harm.
He did not run.
He trusted.

He hung on to thin threads of self control, giving me a small measure of hope for tomorrow. 

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  1. I'm a little weepy right now.
    Good job, both of you. All three of you.

  2. Thanks. He has a long way to go, but has come so very far, with the help of so many good people.