difficult child is out of rehab (38 days clean now, he says) and I'm a little unsure of this new mix of things. But I can say this......difficult child seems waaaaaay different right now. PRO --- difficult child definitely seems different. Much calmer demeanor, more accountable, changing his behaviors, taking some early signs of (knock wood) taking charge of his life (getting up early in morning, paperwork, AA/NA meetings daily, job interview tomorrow, etc). In fact, it's still mind-boggling to me how differently he's treating us. Uber polite, apologetic for his past actions, offering to help us and acting on it (what the......REALLY?), etc. These things are all verifiable. CON --- Not all things are verifiable. Will see if he actually works, makes child support payments, stays off drugs/crime, continues to treat us and others well. Because he has hurt SO many people SO badly over SO many years, most we know are hopeful, but in wait-and-see mode. We totally agree. We, also, are in wait-and-see mode. Dare we trust it? One of the biggest cons is that it suddenly has brought his harsh birth family back into our realm (in conversation and in proximity). WE DO NOT LIKE THAT. So, we sat difficult child down and made a VERY CLEAR BOUNDARY (we make official "agreements" now). We do not wish to hear about them or go anywhere near them. We want no part of their crime and abuse. He agreed to our "agreement" -- no protest at all. BALANCE --- We have not yet found our balance in this shifting stuff. First, it'll take us a loooong time to accept that it is a true shift. We remain vigilant. Weird place to be......balancing vigilance and hope. Weird, weird, weird. My and husband's habit is hypervigilance. To a large degree, that remains. But it has lightened up a little. Such a big, BIG change in him it's surreal. I do not question his bipolar diagnosis (and maybe we're just in a good stretch now........too soon to tell). But I do wonder about his Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) diagnosis. Maybe yes, maybe no. On the surface, doesn't look Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) right now at all. Of course, Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) is very good at submerging realities with charm. Who knows........... Only time will tell. Not asking any advice here, just sharing how weird it feels on uncertain turf. On the one hand, it's turf we've prayed for fervently for years and years. On the other hand, because it's been elusive for years and years, we never thought we'd see a string of days like this (as we've never seen it before). What to think? My brain says, "Be alert, but be flexible -- ready to go any direction." My heart says, "Uh......dare I hope? Yes, no, yes, no, yes, no......." You get the gist. What to be grateful for in this? MUCH! Even if these days don't last, we really are thankful for what appear to be genuinely good days. I keep thinking, "Hey, if a cancer patient only had 5 good days a year, celebrate those 5 good days with gusto!" So, honestly, we largely are. Very thankful husband and I are on the same page with this. Very thankful many friends and family stand by us through it all. And, as you all know, it's a LOT to stand by. It does help me to sort, sift, and solidify my feelings in writing. Thanks so much for listening, everyone! Seahawks game on now, gotta go watch our Hawks lower the boom on the Cowboys. GO HAWKS! BOOM!