When my son was about 3 years old our family spent the weekend in the Poconos at a lovely resort. We were there for part business, part family fun. The condo we stayed in had a Jacuzzi Room. The kids couldn’t wait to try out that HUGE tub.
On our first night there I ran the water for them to take a “bath”. I added a bit of shampoo for bubbles and turned the jets on. My two daughters ran to change into swimsuits to bathe with their three year old brother, but my son climbed right in. Not much time had passed when I heard a small voice coming from the Jacuzzi room…
“Something’s happening to me… something’s happening to me”.
I walked into the room to find my three year old standing in the tub with bubbles up to about his ears. It was a preciously funny site. I have told and retold that story many times over the years. It always hit me what a profound statement that was for a child to utter regarding his surroundings.
Fast forward 21 years, my son, now nearly 24, and the profoundness of that statement hits me yet again as I watch him work toward his recovery. Not 70 days ago my son was actively using a mix of drugs that quite frankly should have killed him. Today, I see a young man changing before my eyes. Something is happening to him… never before in this winding, difficult journey of active addiction and clean days have I seen such a change. There is something drastically different.
This weekend we were at a family gathering, celebrating my sisters 50th birthday. She is much loved by all of my children. My son wanted to be there, I wanted him to be there. I knew there would be drinking and I warned my son of such.
He told me “mom I’m good don’t worry, I know I can’t go there”. In the past he would have laughed it off, insisted he could drink and for me to mind my own business.
This was so different… there was a steadiness about his response that I wasn’t expecting, but was thrilled with its existence.
As the party progressed, a few people there over indulged, people my son has looked up to over the years. I watched my son pull away from them and spend his time playing and swimming with the younger cousins, even starting a football game.
I took it all in, watching this man/child break away from his addictive habits of the past. In my mind’s eye I could hear again that little voice “something’s happening to me, something’s happening to me”. This time it’s not about being covered in bubbles, it’s about walking further down the road of his recovery, a few steps more than he’s ever been before.