Nothing cuter than a bunch of four year olds in a ballet class, Hazel's eyes always on Sarah and I, making sure we're watching and admiring.
Nurse Faye let me know that JoJo was feeling sick, so I ran to get him afterwards, and he blamed today's school meat, his face an impressive shade of green.
"You're right," he moaned, "We should all be vegetarians," yet he immediately undid the positive thought with a vividly descriptive diarrhea threat, reminding me of years ago when a rather disturbed ten year old son of mine peed a stench-filled lake in the front seat of my Honda on purpose, later breaking out a van window just because.
He subsequently spent five years in the San Antonio State Mental Hospital, only to return to our family, pronounced "healed," by many professionals.
Within just a short time he committed a felony on the high school grounds and was expelled, put on probation, in and out of jail, wearing the color jumpsuit while incarcerated that indicated a mental health issue, only to wind up serving a couple of years in prison for aggravated assault charges.
Anyone wonder why I'm jittery? Slam a door and see if I don't jump five feet within two seconds.
This is what mental illness looks like. This man, my son, now in his 20s, literally can NOT not commit crimes. He will likely be in and out of lock ups for many years to come, and it's simply not his fault. Intermittent Rage Disorder, BiPolar, Schizo-Affective Disorder, PTSD were amongst the many diagnoses over the years, I believe it was a combination of all of them, bless his heart.
He was fundamentally neurologically miswired before birth, all sorts of diagnoses varying in severity, none of them helped at all by the fact that his birth mother was an alcoholic drug user whose drug of choice involved inhalants - linked solidly to brain damage.
During the long, hard, scary years I parented him we sought all sorts of resources, residential facilities, psychiatrists, psychologists, special education services, sticker charts, reward systems, behavior modification techniques, and every other possibility under the sun, to no avail.
Kicked out of OTP, pronounced the most disturbed kid a therapist there had ever seen, yet sent home to live with this scrawny fool (me) and more than a dozen kids.
That's when Texas helped me out, the adoption not yet finalized, thus the five years in SASH, later returning to us bigger, meaner, and even less able to control himself.
All these remembered fears coursing through my body this afternoon just because JoJo - wildly impulsive, ODD to the core, silly, happy, goofy, a handful certainly - threatened to let loose his bowels in my truck.
I lead a charmed life, right?