When he was adopted at age 10 out of foster care, he came carrying some heavy luggage...steamer trunks really. Much too heavy and cumbersome for a boy to even have within his possession. But they arrived with him nonetheless. Beyond being heavy, they are black, they leave scuff marks everywhere and quite honestly, they don't smell very good.
Little by little and with much help, we are trying to empty them. But the process has become quite complicated and I found disconnecting helped me. With practice I have been able to move around in neutral quite well. The thing about neutral is, it doesn't get you anywhere. My car allows me some functions in neutral, but not many. Time to find the gear shift, but it has felt out of reach.
Today he returned to school after being out on suspension. As we walked into the school this morning we talked about feelings and how to be brave today to face the consequences of his choices over the past several weeks. I sat in the principals office with him as they described what his school day would look like from now until the end of the year.
He was mad. Angry. The steely look in his eyes was back, his face set, his voice harsh. Instantly I felt so sad. This day will not go well. Two days ago, that would have made me mad, frustrated, worried. Today it made my heart swollen and tears fall...and this is good. Neutral wasn't really getting us anywhere anyway.