Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Last night Conner said, "except for the [road] rash, I'm kind of glad this happened." His face was open, eyes wide.

He and Scott and I were playing a game. It's a dinosaur game, kind of like "Sorry", where the objective is to move dinosaur pieces from a starting place to "home". A variation is that the player rolls 3 die, one of them colored red. They move their pieces according to the white numbers; the red dice determines the moves of a "tyrannosaurus rex" piece that is moving about the board stalking pieces and threatening to take them to its lair. I was playing only after overcoming the deepest reluctance, as I had done the day before.

I looked at him. "What is it about this that makes you glad?"

He said, "The closeness that we've had. We've been doing things together and sharing things."

Oh holy god. How close I came to not playing. How unwillingly I did come. How lucky I am that I chose to overcome that unwillingness.

This speaks volumes to me. And synchronistically, I'm reading Scattered by Gabor Mate´. The theme is the role that emotional conditions play in the development of neuro-circuitry that underpins self-regulation: the ability to hold oneself steady in the face of anxiety, to tolerate one's own anxiety. Basic to being able to attend to that which one chooses.

I do believe that Scott is sensitive to emotional climates, in particular the one he's been raised in with an emotionally depleted mother and a disengaged father. Maybe this is the genesis of a brain that's altered by chronic anxiety, so that he is reactive to every fluctuation in the atmosphere around him.

I'm so surprised, because the context of Connor being hurt and immobilized for a few days seemed a predictable set-up for boredom and great frustration. And then secondary negativity. That he sees it so positively is an affirmation of what Mate´ says about the importance of the emotional climate for a child's development.

And it was purely by chance that I played with them. Wow.

I think I chose well to start with Scattered in my self-education in ADHD. It is indeed a path with Heart.

1 comment:

Deb said...

I came here from The Crooked Shall be Made Straight. I just bought Scattered Minds, small world. I'll be back to read more.