Friday, March 19, 2010

yeah, uhuh, whatever, go ahead

I picked Reid up early from school. We met Jim at the offices of an integrative educational specialist for an initial intake appointment. Had one of those lately? The encounter was awesome and admittedly atypical.

Jim tends to leave details and decisions like this to me, so it was not until we were in the waiting room that he mouthed (a little too loudly I thought), "What is this place? How long is this gonna take? and What do they do?" Classic!

I had already gotten a tour, met the players, and interviewed 4 satisfied clients. So, the organic, responsive, in the moment, alternative experience that ensued did not take me by total surprise. Jim had not. So it did.

His reactions crack me up. His humor afterwards illustrates how open-minded and fluid we've become. His mannerisms in the moment harken back to our common reference points. Where would we be without each other as bookends to hold up all that's gone between?

After 20 minutes in the waiting room (one broken photo album and a bent wastebasket later), Reid bulldozed through the door to scope this place out. Forget greetings or a potty break between appointments for the owner. Rather than block him or force a do-over with proper greetings, this purple clad female recognized his sensing curiosity. She immediately shifted from any protocol in order to follow his lead. Honoring the child, as they call it other places, she did what made more sense: treated him energetically.

We had expected her to politely grill us and review the ream of paperwork I'd dropped off beforehand. Instead, in short order, she had Reid and I both up on different massage tables tuning into Sennheiser headphones while she began Body Talk. (photo not actual size)

What about Jim? He had no idea what to do out in the hallway. I only peeked out the window once to see his dropped jaw and dumbfounded expression. The stereophonic rain and chimes sounded too good; the blanket on my feet too cozy to worry about whether he had gotten out his laptop or gone back to work.

After my balancing, I was terrifically calm, resonating with Reid on the comfy plum sofa. I could only grin watching Jim caddy corner from me in total bewilderment. He listened to the spontaneous specialist talk in intuitive circles, unable to nod or fill in her sentences. She may as well have been speaking gibberish. Later in bed, we debated whether he had actually spoken the words, "I don't even care," or just thought them.

Either way, our new friend had sized us up. These smart, engaged parents have been around the block. The mom is anxiety ridden. The dad focussed on results.

Bottom line: she won't make any predictions or guarantees, but she has complete confidence in her work. How long? How much? How often?How will we measure success? It can't be quantified. Finally, with a furrowed brow Jim did say outloud, "so, are we done here?"

Once we got home, he chuckled describing it to Allie as a "total twilight zone seeing mom in there drooling on a pillow." (exaggeration) At the same time, God love him, he is open to the value it may hold. Together, we are undying optimists hoping against hope to find the master key which will unlock the potential all agree Reid has in him. That is the unanimous common denominator that draws us back to each new specialist.

Oh Lord, it's hard not to be cynical when you've lost count of how many have claimed their work would be the bomb. The look on Jim's face told it all. What he wanted to do was hand them a list and say, "yeah, uhuh, we know...That's what they all say." "I'll call you when the results are obvious."

I don't blame him for I felt the same way. I suppose we want to be treated as colleagues for having acquired some knowledge along the way. Evidence of progress for all the time and money invested, would be nice. And acknowledgment, just for the record, that we are not starting at square 1 here; we are way into the double digits! So I wrote that list for Jim, in chronological order as best I can recall:

Occupational therapy

Speech therapy

Cranial Osteopathy with Viola Fryman and 5 of her proteges

Floortime training with Serena Wieder

B12 injections

and now....Body Talk

Parents who've been on this journey will surely understand what it's like to be held captive hearing suggestions you've heard before presented as if they are new under the sun; listening politely to the claims while calculating the hourly fees; feeling like "the sucker born every minute" on whom P.T. Barnum banked.

By now, I feel more like a battered wife returning yet again to be socked, disappointed, even burned, all the while wondering, just this once, if it could be different. Then choosing to go because, after all, you've got nowhere else to go. And you want so badly for the happy ending.

"Where there is no vision, the people perish." Proverbs 29:18

"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Isaiah 30:20-22

1 comment:

  1. Ugh the same suggestions over and over.. you are so right about that!! Maybe we should make different cd's and label them so when someone throws out a suggestion you can just push play cd # whatever... to shut them up, LOL!