The 3 to 4 o'clock hour yesterday offered up quite a dichotomy....
I was watching Dr. Phil in between picking up Ashley at preschool, Carissa's carpool arriving, and Sean's bus pulling up. The hour filled with revolving doors, a symphonic cacophony of stories of their days and a swirling storm of thrown coats, shoes, backpacks and socks.
And all the while, Dr. Phil is talking about violent kids....
One, in particular, showed signs of being on the spectrum. The video footage that they shot at home showed how the parents dealt with his violent outbursts and trying to restrain him, or, at the very least, attempt to keep everyone safe.
I remember those days.... I remember having Sean down on the floor, trying to control his flailing arms and legs as he screamed. I remember crying and begging him to just stop.... please just stop.
It could have been over something as simple as him wanting to do his homework and not finding a pencil....
My friends laugh at me for having my children's things overly organized. We are talking individual bins - some of them clear - labelled for specific Burger King/McDonald theme toys, trucks, Slinky's, animals, etc. It's an obsession for me. Everything with regards to the kids has a very specific place and I completely freak if things aren't put away properly.
The reason is simple.
Years ago, if Sean couldn't find the wind up Chicken Little toy that burst out of the egg within a mere nanosecond of him asking for it, he would meltdown for hours. I couldn't take a 3 hour battle over a toy.
As I sat there and watched Dr. Phil, I also remembered how difficult it was to talk to the professionals back then. Before Sean's diagnosis, I had been put through hell and beaten down to nothing because the "professionals" all thought - and said way too many times - that I needed to be a better parent. Sean was the way he was because of me....
One phone call, in particular, stands out. The psychologist called and asked how I was doing and how was I handling a certain issue that we were having.
I was terrified that if I said the wrong thing she would have my children taken away from me. Terrified. Absolutely terrified. I lived in fear of that every day for years.
A truly dark memory in deed. Thanks Dr. Phil.
And then Sean walked in the door with report card in hand. It doesn't matter that it was sealed and addressed to mom and dad....he opened it anyway. He said he was curious.
All A's and one B. Good job.
But the thing that struck me the most was the comment on the bottom.
"Sean is a definite role model and example for his peers to follow. We hope that he continues to set a positive example for others."
I almost cried. I was so proud.
Now when I am reminded of the past by a television show or the broken closet door in the bedroom, I can look back and see how far he's come.
I always knew that he was a great kid. He is a great kid. Now, finally, the rest of the world is beginning to see it.
While Dr. Phil made me recall the worst of times, Sean reminded me that things do change and that these are the best of times...
And tomorrow may even be better.