Labor Day Weekend gave me some time to reflect. It's been just over a year ago that I started this blog to chronicle our journey. This year's Sunflowers help serve as a reminder that we made it through a year. A very challenging year. A year that despite all the drama, we survived and have come through stronger and hopefully wiser.
Colin has made it through the first two weeks of school. He seems to be doing fairly well other than Latin and Religion where he will need to buckle down. I found out through my eldest that Colin made Jazz Band and have had to hide my excitement. Our miso-son faces some challenges in Cross Country where he has picked up a bit of time due to a year of relative inactivity and starting the team late. He has missed a few practices due to a few schedule conflicts (study tables and the "In The Know" quiz team) The first two meets, Colin was one of the last to cross the finish line. At least he finished, and continues to persevere. After this weekend's meet, Dad took him for new shoes which seems to have helped. He is starting to drop time in practice and should have a better run for this weekend's meet.
There have been no rages to date, although Colin still has a bit of unresolved anger toward my husband and me. We are still subject to "shushes" and "shut-ups" and have minimal interactions with our son. He seems to be fine with his brothers and his communications with them seem fairly normal. Unfortunately we are dependent on our older boys more than we should be where Colin is concerned. Our eldest makes sure Colin has his Cross Country clothing, as well as his school gear before ushering his baby brother into the car. Our middle son also has been coaching his brother on school affairs. We are very lucky to have their support.
The puppy also has been instrumental in Colin's well-being. Not only does Sumter seem to have a calming effect, he serves as a communication tool. I can talk to the dog when Colin is within earshot to tell him we are going to the Dog Park or Aunt P's. We get a better response than with direct communication which is usually met with a "Shut-Up". On the other hand, Colin uses that dog to let us know he still is angry in numerous ways, through sing-songs and baby talk to his canine. The message is that the dog wants to kill us. Most of the time I try to ignore this. Sometimes I respond with a "Yeah, he's gonna kill me with kisses." or a "Shut-Up" or " If he ever tried that, he'd be put down!".
Last night, Colin brought his puppy into the living room where I was relaxing. He then proceeded to ask Sumter if he could show him how to do laundry. I took that as my cue and piped up, "C'mon Sumter, are you gonna show us that you know how to do laundry? You are such a smart puppy!" We then proceeded to the basement and Sumter demonstrated (with my help) how to run the washer.
Friday Night Football
Friday night was the first football game of the school year. It was a home game and my middle son made arrangements to go with Colin and meet friends there. When I came home from work that afternoon, the two boys were busy painting t-shirts in the basement to fit the patriotic theme for this game's suggested dress-code.There was also a block party for freshmen with the all-girls' school across the street from their all-boys' school. My 16 year old and his friends figured that by taking their freshmen siblings they could cash-in on the free food. I was more than happy to drive and drop the boys off, even with the last-minute notice.
We had given permission to our middle-son to host an after-party at our house. He made plans to leave the game early and got a ride back home with a friend. Colin was on his own for a bit. Our miso-son had forgotten to take his cell phone but was able to borrow one of his brother's friend's phones to call for a ride home.
The night was a success! Colin was able to call and have Dad pick him up and the teens all had a fun time at our home.
Bit by bit, we are seeing signs of progress being made. Sometimes it takes looking back in time to realize how far we have come. We are by no means, anywhere near where we want to be but we are much closer than I could have dreamed of a few months ago.
We are a work-in-progress!