My baby girl is growing up. 3 more weeks and she will be done with elementary school. I’m in denial. This week she spent 3 days away on Outdoor Ed. with all the 4th graders from her school. I was a wreck – worried and anxious the whole time. She wasn’t. She had so much fun with her friends and loved her independence. I know I’m completely biased, but she’s amazing. I love how confident she is. I love how she manages to roll with the punches. I love how she walked into a new school at the end of the year and has managed to make new friends, do great in class, and thrive. She’s so much like her daddy it’s crazy. She came back from Outdoor Ed. looking older. Her teacher said she matured. I believe it.
J is 7 now. How did this happen? I love this kid. Enthusiastic. Inquisitive. Snuggly. Determined. Silly. Compassionate. Lego loving. He’s a pretty great kid. His birthday was a perfect mix of fun and calm. Is that even possible? Presents in the morning, Lego cupcakes at school, a couple friends over for an afternoon of Skylanders and pizza, and a concert at school to finish it off. Happy, happy birthday Guapo. I love you like crazy.
First of all, has it really been 3 months since I’ve last posted? Well, at least I have an excuse. Nothing like moving (twice, no less) to make one forget about things like blogs.
We’ve been in our new house for almost 2 months and on our island for almost 3. 837.7 miles from our former home and most days we don’t miss it. Well, it’s not that we don’t miss it because we sure do miss our friends, our school, kung fu, our beach, the Golden Gate bridge…it’s more like we are so happy and content being where we know we are supposed to be. The transition has probably been as good as it could possibly be, and we are all loving our new lives here.
Z is especially doing great. I guess gaining 1,000 square feet of house and over an acre of yard and forest has been good for him. We were pretty crammed in our old place. Which just made the walls easier to bounce off. Now he has room to run, room to swing, room to ride his bike, room to climb, room to go outside and explore. We still have all the issues we had before. Sleeping is still hard. Understanding boundaries with everyone else around him is a struggle. There is still a lot of bouncing, crashing, and yelling. We are still exhausted and have to make a point of working with him consistently through the day to keep him regulated. Which still doesn’t always happen. But, we really are in a place that is good for him and he is happy and thriving. We’ve had a number of evaluations at the developmental preschool and we are hopeful he will qualify for services in the fall. We meet (finally) with an OT in the city tomorrow and are looking forward to getting back into the routine of superhero classes.
In other news, 2 weekends ago I got to attend a Sensory Processing Disorder seminar. I spent the whole sunny weekend sitting in a classroom learning about the brain, nervous system, serotonin, sensory diets, and school related issues. It was amazing. Understanding (just a little bit) what is going on in his body makes a world of difference. Knowing that there is something “broken” or “off” with his system and learning how it can be “fixed” or changed left me with so much more understanding and hope. Hearing about all the ways to help hm succeed in school took away a lot of the fears I have for him. And, learning practical ways to help him through the day gives us so many more resources to help the whole family to cope. I’ll leave you with just one example.
We had known about joint compressions before, but I was reminded of it and how good they are for him. Last week I needed to clip his fingernails (which had really turned into claws) and, as usual, he had a meltdown and starting crying and trying to escape as soon as he saw the nail clippers. I sat him on my lap and spent about 5 minutes doing joint compressions. As I was doing them, I could feel him relax and practically melt into my lap. I then clipped all 20 of his nails without a struggle or peep out of him. Mr. D* was amazed. I was amazed. That has never happened before. It sounds crazy that such a small thing like clipping a child’s nails without a fit would leave me with so much hope, but it did. It also left me with so much hope that he will learn to adjust to life and he won’t spend it living in fear of everyday things. That’s enough to make a mama happy.