Becoming the Impossible

Climbing the MountainAt one he was fiercely determined. Although he was not yet walking, he found his own way around. He had preferences, made choices, changed his mind. Independence had come and sat comfortably beside him.

At two he found aggression. His interactions were unnecessarily physical. His body and mind and spirit wandered constantly, never settling on one idea. Excitability found its way to us and settled in, inviting Anger to visit more often than we’d like.

By three the world was attacking him. Too many smells lingered in his nose. Bright lights flashed at his eyes. Tags and socks and sleeves-too-long or sleeves-too-short were hurting his body. Every sound made its way into his mind, taking his attention, pretending to be important. The music, the rain, the hum of the refrigerator or tick of the clock all came to him with the same importance. Our words were drowned in the chaos of listening to all of it at once. Insecurity joined him. Anger stayed more often now and Excitability only made Anger seem bigger.

At four he chose independence again – independence in the form of solitude. He often chose the company of none. When faced with groups, he found solace in language. He used his own words to silence the noise pushed on him. His words never stopped. The battle raged on each day. He seemed determined to make more noise from within than all that came to him from the outside. He absorbed knowledge from every source he could and regurgitated information readily. Constantly. Defiance found a home with him. Anger had settled in, vowing not to be pushed out. Excitability brought words faster and quicker. Over and over.

At 5 his world changed. Hurtful labels hung heavy on his shoulders. Those he looked to for guidance dismissed him. His Anger greeted me every night. His Insecurity woke with him each morning. Excitement faded away, overshadowed by Sadness.

With six he found inspiration. Written words began to make more sense and offered a new way to see the world. Someone else looked at him the way I always had – beyond the labels, despite the labels – a whole person with abilities sometimes shuttered behind challenges. Frustration visited often, but sadness was not around as much. Anger still tried to find its place with him, but he was growing stronger against it. There were glimpses of Excitement again.

Now 7, he became one of the medicated masses. First it made him wild. Next it made him sleep when all around him the world moved on. Trial after trial until the right fit was found. The proof of success was his head that didn’t tell him the wrong things anymore. “I know which parts to listen to now” he told me. Frustration still attended daily but did not stay as long. Anger still fueled responses, but not every one. Insecurity clung to him still.

By eight he found joy in books. The unfamiliar frightened him still. Frightened him to inaction. In books he could explore safely. History. Science Fiction. Harry Potter captured his attention, his heart, and whisked him away to the wizard world. Even in the scariest, darkest pages he found safety in the familiar. Peace came by his side. Peace had always been there, but got pushed aside time and time again. Shoved down by Anger. Swept away by Insecurity. Overpowered by Frustration. Stomped on by Sadness. Here it was, within his reach.

At nine he built friendships. Real friendships. He laughed with friends. He partied with friends. He stepped into the unknown with friends. There was so much messiness. Learning to navigate arguments. Disagreeing on favorite games or books. Trading lunches and getting a bum deal. Comparing grades. Friends brought big smiles and laughter. Friends brought disappointment and confusion and a sense of injustice. Independence returned with a surprising maturity.

He’s ten now. He joins clubs. He calls friends and plans time together. He reviews toys and books and sends his reviews to makers. He asks me to post pictures on social media. He goes to dances. He re-enacts scenes from movies he likes using his toys. He loves his camera – to tell his own story. He creates historical moments with his Lego. He writes short stories. He tells me his heart. He shows me his dreams. Anger lingers. Insecurity grasps. Frustration dwells.

Independence stands. Peace echos.


At three, friends seemed unlikely.

At five, reading and writing was the enemy.

At seven, reality was hidden behind medication.

We are here – at ten – at the impossible. Anger does not live here anymore. Oh, there are visits, make no mistake. But Anger does not live here. Frustration fights to stay on top – and loses. It will come to fight again, but Frustration will not win. Insecurity clings to him and whispers too loudly in his ear sometimes. But he found Peace. He found that he can trust Peace and Peace will help him silence Insecurity.

Impossible is not forever.

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