Mom and Kai at the zoo

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.

Yoga places much importance on being even-minded through life’s storms. My guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, took it one step further, asking us to be both even-minded and cheerful through this dance of life.

With that in mind, I nevertheless hereby go on record to say that I despise regressions.

I know, I know: they are part of the journey and they can signal a coming leap in development.

But what if this regression doesn’t follow that pattern? — asks my mind. What if this regression is the one that takes us backwards from here on in? What if yesterday was as good as it ever gets? What if...

Yada yada. The mind amazes me with its infinite nightmarish scenarios.

So yes, what’s going on does appear to be a bit of regression. A little less engagement, a little more indulging in trains and such.

Example: I read Joseph a new book today, a really cool one about how the sun goes down here and at the same time rises in China. This is stuff Joseph is normally very interested in. But this time, as we got toward the end of the book he just looked at me and said, “Will there be any trains in this book?”

Lovely, static trains. Predictable, controllable, safe. Not like those off-the-wall human beings. You never know what those people are going to do next.

But I digress.

Stan Kurtz has coined a term: healing regression. He defines it as a regression where you see some slipping backward in most areas and yet some new, forward-moving steps in a few other places. He says it is a sign that the regression is going somewhere positive.

If my fearful mind would just step aside for a moment, I would be happy to share with you that there are some new, positive things happening for Joseph. He sat on the potty the other day without his little-bottom-adapter-seat — something he was terrified about doing before. And this on his own initiative.

Also, he just started teasing me — taking delight in the fact that he can terrorize and annoy me. And when he does, he is giving me great eye contact, emotion sharing with me, sharing the laughter and fun of the moment with me.

Blue Eyes and I used to fall into a nasty trap: every morning we’d check in with each other to get a reaction on how autistic Joseph seemed to be that day. Can you imagine someone observing you like that every single day? How sharp are you today? Are you a little duller than usual? Did you forget that new word you’d learned yesterday? Are you maybe a little fatter?

Anyway, we gave that up a year ago, and life’s been better for all of us since then. But still, we watch the regression and we hate it. It’s hard not to make comparisons or to wish it wasn’t the way it is.

Thank God for meditation. It reminds me to pull back from the story. It takes me way out of the trees and lets me see the forest. It reminds me to look at the longer rhythm of it all.

So. Cheerful during this period of regression? — maybe not. But I can aim for that even-minded part.