Friday, November 11, 2016

November 11: My Son's Anger, Jennifer Reeser, "Compass Rose"

Jennifer Reeser has a poem about devotion to a child.  The impulse every parent feels to surround his/her baby with all that's good.  Warmth and blankets and sunlight.  Pumpkin seeds and lullabies.  It sort of breaks my heart:

Compass Rose

by:  Jennifer Reeser

I’d buy you a Babushka doll, my heart,
and brush your ash-blonde hair until it gleams,
were Russia and our land not laid apart
by ocean so much deeper than it seems.

I have an oval pin, though -- glossy lacquer
hand-made in Moscow, after glasnost came,
with fine, deft roses on a background blacker
perhaps, than history’s collective shame.

I’ve done my best to compass you with roses:
the tablecloth, the walls, the pillowcase,
the western side-yard only dusk discloses
briefly, in Climbing Blaze and Queen Anne’s lace.

May they suffice for peace when you discover
your love is not enough to turn the earth.
I dream I saw a handful of them hover
against my pane the morning of your birth.

I find myself in a difficult position right now.  My son is having some problems.  He has ADHD and has been on medication for it since the first grade.  Recently, he's been having outbursts at home and school.  Violent, angry outbursts.  At parent teach conferences this week, his teacher said that his anger is "scary" sometimes. 

My wife and I took him to the pediatrician for a flu shot yesterday, and we talked about his anger.  The pediatrician wrote a prescription for an additional medication.  The only problem is that it might really change his personality.  Make him tired all the time.  Sedated.  There's no way to know how it will work for him until we try it.

I don't want to make him take another medication, even though I know he needs it.  When he has one of his anger episodes, there's no controlling him.  He needs help.  But I also don't want to lose my smart little guy.  The one who got up early this morning because he misses me when I'm at work.  The one who stands in front of the TV and does a "butt dance" after his bath, shaking his rear in an eight-year-old version of a twerk.  The one who says grace before he eats a Milky Way. 

Saint Marty is saying a few prayers for his son tonight, that he won't ever forget to shake his behind when the mood hits him.

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