Food, Fires, and Fences

IMG_20160807_203421_560It has been a long, hard week, but I think it was still much better than last week.  We’ve managed to connect with J over several activities, and that has been good.

Food continues to be an issue, but J likes to experiment in the kitchen, and we’ve connected over making popcorn (he’s going to keep trying sweetened/caramel varieties until he gets one to work, I think).

IMG_20160807_204753_661Turns out J loves setting up fires in the firepit.  He’s good at it, too.  Roasted marshmallows are the first truly American food he seems to love.  We’re only doing fires on weekends when it’s not raining (and we had a bit of a sulk when we wouldn’t let him start a fire in a shallow hole in the ground instead of in the fire pit), but on the whole backyard campfires have been a good thing.  Maybe camping together as a family is in our future after all.  (We may try backyard tent camping here soon as a trial run).

We had a bit of a downturn on Thursday when it came time to visit the school.  We actually went, which was a good thing, but it was very clear that he felt traumatized by being there, and the school recommended we try home-school until he’s more willing to attend class.  I’m not totally excited about going back into home-schooling, but that’s my problem, not J’s.  We always knew it might be a possibility.

Friday, our neighbor rented a cherry-picker and helped us take down the dead tree in our front yard.  This made a ton of noise and was hard for J, but he lived with it when we explained that in this part of the world, especially in the winter, the wind gets very strong, and could easily knock the tree down on our house.  He was surprised we took the tree all the way to the ground, but approved when we explained that we wanted to grind out the roots and plant a different tree in the spring.  Jon (the neighbor helping us) was super understanding of the entire situation, and he and Marlena even brought a mechanical toy for J around at the end of the day–and we had a good several hours putting it together.

We spent much of Friday outside working, and J took it upon himself to (quite literally) mend our fences.  It was, on the whole, a good day.  There were some bad moments, but more good ones.

Then, Saturday, we worked on getting the dog we’ve promised him.  There was an adoption event at the local pet store (run by a local shelter), and that was stressful for both our boys (and for K, who was off camping with cousins and couldn’t be there), but we found a super-friendly two-year-old chihuahua mix that seems to be fitting into our family quite well already, and as expected, J is able to be affectionate with her in ways he’s not yet able to be with any people around here.

So, a better week.  There were lots of down moments most days, but there were a few good moments most days too–and a few of the days (like Friday and yesterday), we had more good than bad, I think.