So, after an extra special weekend, Charlie did have lag on Tuesday. He had been, his teacher told us, the happiest at school he's been in weeks, all smiles and animated. Then right around 2.30 pm when it was time to take the bus home, boom.
The change was so sudden that, later -- after Charlie had stepped smiling off the bus, gone for a bike ride with a brief teary moment and had a quiet, easy-going evening around home -- Jim and I were reminded of our discussions with Charlie's neurologist about the possibility of a diagnosis of bipolar disorder for Charlie; there is some family history of bipolar. We have certainly dramatic, extreme swings in Charlie's moods at times throughout his life and one of the medications he is taking already addresses some of the bipolar. We of course are happy when Charlie's happy but have also learned to cultivate a bit of wariness, aware that the ups can come crashing down.
I can also see the mood swings stemming in part from hormones -- we're doing fine 'surviving adolescence' but things continue to be 'interesting' -- but, again, we've seen Charlie go from giggle and grins to distress that is expressed with a fierce physicality and, at times (not so much of late), self-injurious behavior. And there's the family history (my mother-in-law and some others, perhaps).
That's why the notion of 'keeping the peaceful easy feeling' has been important. Charlie is also incredibly attuned to other people's emotional states and often I think, he's reading our moods and fits his to ours, as much as he can.