This is my mantra when Rahul takes a turn for the dark side: 2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back. Since we met he has had this pattern (his doctors call it "cycling") where he will be happy and flexible for several months, then he will be unhappy and immovable for a few. Early in 2010 I had an appointment with our family therapist and Rahul had been doing really well. In fact, I was positively giddy, thinking that our bad times had past and we could just focus on moving forward. Guess what Bob said. "Renee, don't forget, with Rahul its always 2 steps forward, 1 step back."
I was really glad he said that one week later when Rahul entered one of the darkest periods we have ever experienced.
Then a few months ( and 4 new doctors later) he took a sudden turn for the better. It is hard to describe how happy I was to see Rahul able to enjoy life. In fact, the first day he spent in his happy place, I watched him try many new things with my mouth hanging open, waiting for the other shoe to drop. At the end of that day we went to a park in our neighborhood, and as he was running around with a friend tears just streamed down my face, I was so joyful to see him having fun like every other kid there.
The 2 Steps Forward phase is super fun. Rahul is able to do so much more and I try to really push him to his limit, knowing that our time in this phase is limited. In fact, it is now over and we have officially entered the 1 Step Back phase. And this phase is not fun at all.
Rahul had a rough week this week, but it didn't dawn on me that we had left the happy cycle until yesterday. My two cherished plants that I just wrote about in my last blog post were destroyed in a rage. Rahul gave them to me as a gift for our first Mother's Day and when he is upset he destroys things that I love as a way to get me to share in the pain he is feeling and also to take his pain out on someone he trusts will not leave him. And as I stood at the window crying over all that those plants that I nurtured from seedlings to huge thriving specimens represent to me, I heard Bob's voice reassuring me, 2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back.
And I dug in my heels to wait for those 2 steps.