We are so proud of him.

After the years of crisis and battle and hard work, Nicholas stabilized and learned to manage Major Depressive Disorder, graduated high school, and went to college. He has been home from his first year for a little less than a month now.

He handled being away from home, not knowing anyone, and unfamiliar courses and procedures. He handled a relapse in January. He secured rides home for Thanksgiving and Easter, and got himself to and from the airport so he could join me in Florida for spring break. His grades were decent, if not stellar.

We are so proud.

But his success was a little uneven. He had some academic difficulties, time management struggles, and communication mishaps. He did poorly when memorization or tests came into play. He had trouble keeping track of grades. Tasks related to processing speed or executive function suffered.

So this summer, we are pursuing evaluation for learning disorders and challenges. We know that these are often associated with mood disorders like Bipolar and Major Depressive. We know his medications can affect learning. We know that his childhood seizure disorder might have put him at risk.

While we are reading up and making phone calls, we are also dodging and weaving. Why didn’t we get him evaluated sooner? A blow aiming at the head. We should have set him up better. A fist whistling toward the gut. He will always struggle because of our failure. A sword thrusting for the heart.

The defense against the onslaught of regret is memory. We remember what those crisis years were like. We did the best we could. The task then was not to “set him up for success;” it was to keep him alive. We were ragged with the work it took to help Nicholas make tiny steps toward wellness and stability. Hard, painful, necessary, all-consuming work.

It is a blessing to now have other concerns, like bringing Cs up to Bs. Sneaky, malicious regret needs to be tossed out on its backside. I know from where we have come. I know Who brought us this far. I know Who will bring us home.

“Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer, nor His lovingkindness from me.” Psalm 66:20