Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Roller coasters and mountain climbing

Making the ascension!

Parenting Caleb is like riding a roller coaster. Actually, it's like walking along peacefully and then being thrust onto a roller coaster. Upon completing the ride, I'm not exhilarated as much as really tired.

The last couple of days I've rode the roller coaster. Caleb took me on some wonderful highs on Friday. In fact, his teacher sent me a laudatory e-mail touting Caleb's good behavior for the day. (I thanked her for giving me the best Mother's Day gift I could receive: that e-mail!) He was in good spirits and a delight.

Sunday afternoon and evening was a different story. Challenging Caleb reared his head and caused a lot of conflict and stress the remainder of the day. During his challenges, Chris turned to me a couple of times and said sheepishly with a hint of sarcasm, "Happy Mother's Day!" Although his comments are somewhat amusing now, neither one of us laughed much at the moment.

Today good-natured Caleb emerged. He was a pure delight in the afternoon: jovial, agreeable, interesting and insightful.

I wonder which Caleb will appear tomorrow? Oftentimes after several days of riding the roller coaster, I wonder if we're making any progress.

After more thought, I believe parenting Caleb is really like hiking up a mountain on a blustery day. The ascension is not easy. Oftentimes you'll be blown off course or stumble on unstable terrain. You may lose a few steps in the process, but you continue to move forward, keeping your eye on the peak.

It's the same with Caleb. I truly believe we're moving forward. We deal with resistance and missteps along the way. We have times where we're not making much of an ascent; but our eyes are on the peak at it's better up there than at the base.

Today we took a few steps up the incline.

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