Saturday, December 4, 2010

Mark the good, belated redux

I've written before about "marking the good."
I think it's an important thing to do, and it's one I too often fail to do, either here in this forum or, truly, in my own chatter and mind.
It's oh so much too easy to only see or remember the bad, the hard, the challenge.
And, it's probably my inborn gripey moody nature to do so.

But I think it's worth trying to step over and beyond our complacent habits of being and doing...especially when it comes to being able to see the good that surrounds us.
Because, really, if we blink we might miss it.
Especially when you are talking about the good in older child adoption adjustment and/or kids with difficult needs or special needs and/or attachment and/or grief/trauma issues.
Just in that sentence alone, as you can see, the bad can easily sink the good.

So, I want to go on the record that over this last weekend of Thanksgiving holiday, we had some good. Some good to mark.
Some good to give hope - certainly to me, but also, maybe, to any other mom who is doing the day in day out work of adjusting and theraputic parenting and such.  This mom encourages me all the time in her blog, go see, she is of the same mind this week: mark the good, note the progress. I wish I lived closer to her and could hang out over coffee and shortbread cookies....


Anyhow, back to the good, noticing and marking...
These things weren't glaring or obvious trumpeted things.
As usual, they were subtle moments, or, more even, they were an absence of tough and a presence of um, kinda normal.
 Read that again, there was more time without drama.
There was a sort of calm coping. Or "undrama," if  you will.
Yes, I just made that word up, because somehow, it relates to the trauma drama that can be a pervasive silent ghostly but tangible enough cloudiness in a  house.  "Undrama" is the hoped for flip or even a passing by on a tricky weekend.


Anyhow, as I was saying, or want to say....this past weekend had much craziness built in to the festivities: guests, extra guests, boys home from college, no school, big cooking and house prep, schedules whacked out.

 (homey buffet, but it was the requested fav's of the college boys, so we ran with it...
because being HOME was the point of the weekend in many ways)

 I wrote about it here, and hoped that it some advance prep would help.
Well, it did!!
Not to say that everything was perfect or that this was the only reason, but overall, we had an ok, kinda normal level of behavior weekend.  Which, considering the potential, is amazing.
Amazing.
Now, we also worked hard on keeping coping methods in the forefront and this one child in particular on radar (though not solo on that radar, if you get my drift, there is managing multiple kids out the wazoo during weekends like this).


But here is what worked:
- staying tuned in to the 'weather' of mood and coping,
- redirecting her to a special given task of help if there was drifting into the dark mood,
- going for a walk - just her and dad and puppy to get some breathing time again (one of the trump cards that is usually a win and can almost always rescue a mood swing),
- checking in with a whisper and a hug and a "good job" with a wink,
- discussing in advance the nervous making parts,
- and allowing flight to a calmer safer quiet place (bedroom) if she was feeling overwhelmed.
Now, we don't use those words (flight, overwhelmed, etc) as we discuss and prep in advance, but we try to convey the feelings and actions to help in words she can understand.

 {As you can see, the presence of my Chris, her adored big bro, didn't hurt either.  Huge help.}

I put all these up there not to say, "Oh wow, we did great" but rather to say, "O wow, SHE did great!" These things made a difference.
The seventeen months' she's been home and safe have made a difference.
The seventeen months of working on these things have made a difference.
But these things, this weekend, they also made a difference.  It wasn't a heavenly light show with a choir kind of difference, but it was a weekend without a major screeching halt to deal with a trigger reaction.
And that, right there, is a bit of a a heavenly choir in my mind. 


So I want to mark the good. We had a good, great, exhausting, kinda normal Thanksgiving weekend.  And that is a world of good different from last year and it gives me hope for maybe, maybe, a better Christmas this year too.  It's progress.  I'll take it. 

{Two of M's other favorite people: dear sweet Leslie and her other adored big bro!}

I saw the good; I'm marking it.

3 comments:

Bonner Family said...

Thanks for reminding us to step back and take note of progress - any progress :)

Jamey... said...

Even though our weekend was full of drama this is such an encouraging post to read! And I love the word "undrama". It's perfect.

Julie said...

Yay! Progress.