The day after Christmas, I took all three boys and the puppy out to visit with my sister and her family. We had pizza while the dogs played together. My sister and I took a trip to Bed, Bath and Beyond to exchange a gift we bought her that was not working. When we returned, I found my boys playing a trivia game with my sister's eldest son who is home on break. I volunteered to take over as card reader so my eldest could play. We all had fun and I learned some new fun facts. I was so impressed at how "normal" our visit seemed and that Colin was in a relatively good mood.
I did notice the next day, (Saturday Morning), some of the bad behavior of "Go kill yourself" / telling the puppy to kill me was back. Colin uses either a quiet or sing-songy tone which doesn't seem to bother me. I've grown immune to most of this and realize his mutterings may be a form of coping. I will how ever ignore Colin when he does this behavior and give him a bit of the silent treatment for a bit to show my disapproval in a non-confrontational manner. It is amazing how one moment he can be voicing some hateful messages and then in the next moment ask a question in a calm, normal voice.
I later asked my middle-son his opinion as to why the last week or two were mostly free of this behavior and why he thought it was coming back. My 16 year-old felt that I was barely around during my busy period at work. Now that the Holidays are over, Colin's exposure to me has increased, therefore spurring on some of his bad reactions. I do have to say that what we are dealing with is so very mild compared with the rages a year ago. I also feel that we are experiencing much more "good behavior" as time goes on.
Ringing in the New Year
I came home early from work yesterday to find that after swim practice, Eldest took Colin to breakfast at Bob Evans.( Middle-son decided to skip practice and sleep in.) The only information I was able to get out of my first-born is that he bought the meals with cash. I tried not to make a big deal out of this and went to my quiet place to privately savor the moment. It does my heart good to see the boys getting along.
Later that evening, Colin stayed home with his dog while the rest of us went to a New Year's Eve party at friends from the Y-Swim team. Colin did not want to go as he is uncomfortable seeing friends that are aware of the past year. We are mindful not to push him out of his comfort-zone and left a little early to be home before mid-night to ring in the New Year as a family....or at least under the same roof.
I am starting 2015 with much gratitude. While things are not perfect, we have much to be thankful for. Colin seems to be content in his new school, is making honor roll and participating in extra-curricular activities. He is getting along with his brothers and seems to enjoy their company. Sumter, his puppy helps keep Colin calm and brings him much joy.
I am content with limited contact with my son and am simply grateful that we are able to live under the same roof in relative peace. I am not sure how long it will take to reconcile. We are so much closer to that goal than I could have hoped for. I will continue to try to live in the moment and not look too far ahead.
As always, we are a work-in-progress!