On Tuesday, the day before Christmas, my eldest drove out with me to my sister's house to drop a few things off for Colin. We filled his stocking with candy, an envelope with holiday money from the grandparents and a video game that Colin had asked his aunt for a while back. We also dropped off a gift to Colin from another aunt (a personalized blanket from Land's End) as well as something for my sister and her family, even though they do not celebrate Christmas. (a late Hannukah / early New Year's gift).
We met my sister at the end of her driveway, to avoid upsetting Colin. Their family dog was out. He trotted out to the half-way point and stopped at an invisible line, refusing to come any closer, even when being called by my sister. This was out of character for the pup. Colin has been bonding with the dog over the last couple of months. It was as if his canine friend was avoiding us out of loyalty to his new family member.
So far we have not heard anything but are prepared that our gifts will be rejected. The video game is currently not playable as the X-Box has been removed from Colin's room. He has been steadfast in his refusal to participate in any type of therapy, no matter how small.
I had a conversation with my sister before we came out. Colin seems to be doing fine as long as he is not pressed about his issues. He has been trying to help a bit around the house and will socialize when family friends come to visit. I have been relieved to hear that Colin has been well-behaved and acting relatively "normal" around others. A college-aged neighbor thought he was adorable. He loves slightly-older women and knows how to turn on the charm.
Earlier this week, he asked his aunt if he could go for a haircut. My sister obliged and they stopped to take pictures on the way. Due to melting snow and heavy rains, a nearby dam has been overflowing. Colin filled up his memory card. It will be interesting to see if he will use his laptop from home to download his cache.
While waiting his turn with the barber, his aunt took him to the nearby pet shop to look at the puppies. It seems like our son is now interested in getting a dog. I've been warned that Colin may be coming home with a "friend". As long as the friend is well-behaved and comes from a shelter, I am fine with this.
At this point, there is no indication that our son will be ready to come home.....
We are a work-in-progress.