Sam Part IV

Before you begin,  here’s the Sam series, in order, with an important note about ballet in there:

Sam Part I,

Sam Part II,

Beauty and the Beast

Sam Part III

Sam Part IV (this one)

Fix You


So, the last time we saw Sam, he had just jumped out of my car, and the family was headed for Wit’s End Lane really fast. As an emergency measure, the psychiatrist prescribed a mood stabilizer, Risperdal, and we hoped for the best.

The results were sudden and stunning.

For the first time in a year, we saw our son. The funny little guy under all that anger, the creative thinker hidden under all the frustration. He still had meltdowns (still has them), but they lasted a few minutes instead of a few hours, and he understood the gravity of his actions. For two weeks solid, he apologized every day for jumping out of the car. (Note: I accepted every one, but I sure didn’t discourage the thinking-through that he was doing.)

We had to have blood testing, which determined that Sam can keep taking this drug, which is working miracles for him. This isn’t a long term solution. When he’s a little older, we’ll have to find a different medication that doesn’t have such alarming side effects over the course of numerous years of taking it. But with any luck, it will get us through a school year. And Sam so needs a good year.

But seriously, if that was all, I’d have posted a Facebook update. I’m writing because of the ballet. Yesterday, I told you about Caroline’s stint as an extra in Giselle, and now I’ll pick up where I left off. We got an e-mail this past week asking kids to come audition for a performance to be done on the local military base. Our ballet is hurting for funds, and I have hopes that maybe the air force commissioned a piece or something.

Anyway, there was one part for a kid ages five to eight. So I sent both children and Scott over to try out. I told Caroline point blank that she should focus on the audition process. They go for equality in this company, and she just got to be in Giselle. I had a strong feeling they were going to choose someone who hadn’t gotten a turn lately.

I told Sam Miss Kyana wanted him to come dance. He was good with that. If I told him Miss Kyana was hoping he’d try out skydiving, I’d have to go pick him up at the airport.

Scott took them in, and Sam commenced to flirting with his favorite teacher. Kiss-blowing, eyelash batting, the works. Everything short of the marriage proposal. (He reserves those for me. Sigh.) There were fourteen kids, and when they went into the studio, the new director came out and explained to the parents that he was really excited so many children had turned out. There was only going to be one part in this particular ballet, but he really hoped everyone would come back for Nutcracker tryouts in September. He made it clear that he loved all of their kids and thought them all splendid dancers.

After the first round, seven kids got sent back out. Caroline was among that set. In fact, all the  seven and eight year olds got sent back. The seven who remained were all six and under. Clearly, they wanted a younger child, since there’s no question that the older students have more technical mastery than the younger ones. After another round, four more kids came back to their parents. That left three children. Finally, Sam and the last two little girls came out, and it was decision time.

I should note that Caroline, as soon as she didn’t get the part, immediately started rooting for her brother. She’s my little sunshine with an awesome spirit. While waiting, the three remaining parents were joking with each other and the kids were just bored. Nobody sat on tenterhooks. And then Mr. Darren came back out. He said, “This was a difficult decision, because all three of you are really good dancers.”

And then he picked Sam. I’m tearing up just typing that.

The kid who jumped out of my car three months ago.

Just got cast in a ballet.

Because he didn’t flinch in the part where another dancer has to put a hand over his face.

Because he performed a lift without wiggling.

Another of the little ones has been cast as Sam’s understudy. (My kid has an understudy, ohmygod.)

On October 11 and 12 2012, Sam will be performing the role of the son of an MIA soldier, once at a local church, and once at the military base.

And the church performance will be live streamed. I’ll post the link on Twitter for anybody who wants to see (or to search the audience for the sobbing mother I know I’ll morph into, having heard the plot.)





We are so proud of our little guy right now.

This isn’t the little girl from the tryouts. It’s a girl who was in fairytale ballet camp with him this summer

About jesterqueen:
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.


Sam Part IV — 45 Comments

    • He is pumped. At first, he just came home and fell asleep on the couch. Scott and Caroline had to tell me how it went. But then when he woke up, he was all sparkly happy about it.

    • We are so grateful. He was spiraling out of control so fast, and we were so worried that he would not get himself together without having to be institutionalized. At five. Scary. And so exciting to see him back on the right track.

  1. I am SO EXCITED for Sam! In a few short months, he’s really made some serious strides, hasn’t he? I hope you’ll put something up so we can see it.
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    • I’ll put up the link to the livestream for sure. I’m just thrilled he’s so excited about it. I wouldn’t care if it was mud diving – it’s that he’s fully engaged and totally excited about it. The positive attention he’s getting from the adults around him is so wonderful and important.

  2. I’m so happy for Sam and for you. I hope the new medications continue to help, and he has a great time dancing in his ballet.
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    • I hope they do, too. The medication roller coaster is ever changing, especially where kids are concerned. As their hormones change, so too shift their medical needs. Bur for right now, he’s in a good spot. Knock on wood, I hope he stays there.

  3. Oh, Jessie. You just made me cry. I’m so happy for you all. I’m glad you’re going to post that link. I want to be in the internet audience. I hope they post it to You Tube so no one misses it.

    • I’m not sure what they do with their live streams. It’s a church, so I think it’s just their way of … well doing their thing for a wider audience on Sundays.

    • Thanks Missy! I’m completely flabbergasted. It’s a rare occasion when I was speechless for ten whole minutes, which tickled Scott to death, since I’m the talker in our family. (Well, me and the kids. He rarely gets a word in edgewise, and he had to repeat everything twice so it could sink in.)

    • We’re so thrilled. Thanks, Kathy! I think you have an idea of what kind of an emotional journey he’s on. Right now, we’re addressing the autism, but there’s a strong probability that bipolar is one of his underlying issues. I had to learn the word ‘comorbid’ to discuss his varying diagnoses. So I think you’re one of those who can really appreciate what he’s been through to get here. At age five. Lordy.

  4. It’s lovely to see him flourish and enjoy himself. (I haven’t been able to open or comment on any of your recent posts so I apologise for the delays). I had no idea that asparagus was so widespread either. 😉
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  7. That’s awesome! Hope he did well. He’s a handsome little guy. And glad you’ve found a treatment that works even if it can’t be long term. We have a child with Asberger’s in our extended family (older than Sam) and it’s been such a struggle with school and finding treatment (and finding what is covered by insurance). Love your attitude and sense of humor!
    Hop over and visit Kathy Penney @ Pinner Takes All’s recent post Tailgating Food: Bacon Wrapped Brown Sugar Sausage BitesMy Profile

    • Oh YEAH. The insurance battles. Don’t even get me started there. So much of our kids care has been out of pocket, and because there is an affordable private school in our area that is designed for kids on the spectrum and with ADHD, we send both kids there. Because seriously, they are awesomely smart, but they could NOT function in a typical classroom. At all. I hate that the things I can give my kids aren’t available for everyone. It’s not fair, and it makes me so angry. I mean, my kids are great. But they aren’t any more wonderful than the kids who have to go without these supports. And those parents don’t love their children any less than Scott and I do. We just got lucky. Bottom line. Hugs to your whole family. And if the child with Asperger’s has sensory issues that make touching a struggle, a big thumbs up instead!

  8. That is just an absolutely heartwarming, wonderful story! Congratulations to Sam…I have a feeling that you just had a great weekend! ;):) Happy SITS day to you!
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    • Yes – the meds were a game changer for him. A HUGE game changer. He is such a wonderful kid, but only a few people were able to see it before.

    • Thanks Sheila,
      Thank you SO much for complimenting my fiction. I really do want to pull people into my worlds, and you made me smile even bigger. If that’s possible.

    • Oh God! He gets by with SO much on the ‘adorability’ factor. He LOVES being the center of attention and he’s a FLIRT. Mother’s beware. This kid is going to be a danger to everyone when he gets to the age when charming gets you more than free candy.