As I sat picking out the peanut butter cups from my Moose Tracks ice cream container to eat first (and only?) I reflected on the past few weeks and though they are as fleeting as a minute they are full - if my fingers were to constantly peck away at the keyboard, I should still not be able to capture all that I see in each day.
We won a huge battle this week in the effort to get Lochlan help/services/schooling. It was an effort of many hands, excellent people in the government (though I am unable to give the credit where it is due, you know who you are; know that my gratitude is profound) and so much prayer. It finally felt like we got wind in our sails and this ship is actually moving. When we were granted this absolute miracle toward Lochlan's future, everything around me became slightly muted, like I was seeing it all through a lens, floating in some alter-reality. The eye of the storm for my life these past 6 years has been this constant fight to find the keys to start unlocking what is locked up inside of Lochlan, to find a way to set him free, inside himself. Nothing has come easily, and most things haven't come at all. The fight has at times left me weary, discouraged, infuriated, terrified and terribly alone - isolated in a field of battle. So, when mountains were moved on behalf of Lochlan this week, I felt the ground shake and simultaneously hope sprang new! And by some miracle of the heavens Lochlan will be beginning a class that revolve around ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) therapy - a program that will endeavor to help him find his voice and to learn how to communicate. My greatest hope is that he will discover freedom that is to express himself and to be found and understood by others.
As I attempt to give myself mooring in this new season of hope, I'm deeply entertained by the humans who surround me and I am amazed at who(m) they are becoming. Madigan is like a caterpillar changing into a butterfly. So much of the incredible man he is destined to become is already peaking through. I've wanted desperately to protect him from the battlefield, to shield him from the pain and insurmountable frustration that has dominated my life, but he has not been unaffected. And yet, I have seen strength, kindness, awareness of others, and empathy flourish inside of him. He has a driving desire to do what is right and good. He is tender and compassionate, and is simultaneously an absolute force of nature. And he works harder than anyone I know.
Declan, too, has felt the weight of Lochlan's pain - when Lochlan has his days of vomiting and diarrhea, Declan is always first to bring him fresh blankets, electrolyte water, turn on a heater to warm him and then offer to stay up into the late hours of the night caring for him so I can rest (which is a mighty offer, since he's most definitely NOT a night owl). He never stops giving. He finds heart shaped rocks, tiny flowers, blackberries off our bushes to give to each of us, and he shares copious portions of his favorite foods with us because "it tastes better when it's shared". He, like his older brother, puts his heart into every task he's given on the farm, working diligently and dependably. He usually has a hole in his pants and shoes untied. When the firemen came from multiple states to fight the forest fire that threatened us this past summer, Declan insisted that we make dozens of homemade cookies for them so that they could "have something homemade when they're so far away from home and working to save everything we care about from the fire."
Kelton is hilarious. Always. Hilarious. He's either "hot as a chicken" or "cold as a cow". One day while riding through the woods, we heard a coyote howl. I said, "Oh, that coyote sounds close by." He said, "No that's probably a wolf." Then, after a lengthy pause, "... or a chicken." He tries very hard to be obedient, but doesn't always succeed. He has never known life without the responsibility of being an "older brother" with older brother responsibilities, even though he's the youngest. I know he feels responsible to help with Lochlan, even though we've truly endeavored to protect him from that role. He is passionate about all things and a formidable force when he sets his mind to something.
So, on this Friday, as we march into/through/past another weekend, I wait to see what adventures await us. My horse is presently standing at the front door looking into the house with the clear expectation that apples may pour forth. And so the day begins...