Without January, Could We Really Love June?

Jack is doing better. Things aren’t completely perfect, but they are substantially improved.

He is on a new medication, which is helping him stay calmer, cheerier, mellower, happier. He is also sleeping fourteen hours per night, for real.

He still gets the angry, crazy face but mostly isn’t attacking people. We still have Code Browns and lakes of urine. We aren’t entirely confident that we can take him in the car without a second adult to act as bouncer. But compared to a week ago, we’ve come a blissfully long way.

Today my friend Shirley gave the lesson in Relief Society. The central theme came from a Richard G. Scott talk where he said (in so many words), “We experience turmoil so we can understand peace.”

It’s one of those concepts that shoots into your chest with an icy prickle of truth, then warms and melts as it resonates in your heart. Yes, Richard G. Scott, you summarized my life in that one sentence. Bingo.

Without sadness, what is happiness?

Without stretching and changing, where is progress?

If it weren’t for January, could we really love June?

Yesterday I told Dutch that I’m worried about Jack being happy in the years to come. He replied, “To Jack, happiness is a vacuum.”

I think I need to stop worrying what’s ahead and just embrace the reality that for my son, happiness is a trip to McDonald’s.

It’s a fluffy quilt wrapped around his head on the couch.

It’s Kirby, the sweet adaptive P.E. teacher at school.

It’s Hostess cupcakes and Reese’s peanut butter cups.

It’s bouncing on the trampoline.

Happiness is a bath, a sheet of bubble wrap, a stick of gum, a vacuum.

If I didn’t know turmoil intimately, I couldn’t appreciate peace.

If I didn’t have my Jack, I wouldn’t understand the gift of simplicity.


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