It started last week with our young man getting noisy, being tossed from church (big misunderstanding there), and walking himself home in a towering rage. In the middle, we had tantrums about all manner of things, but most notably bedtime, the fire in the backyard fire-pit, and siblings making too much noise in the house (as in any at all).
A low point came on Wednesday afternoon when things got so bad that somebody called the cops, and we had to have a trip to the ER for a mental health evaluation. That was scary for all of us, J most of all.
The next day, Craig and I decided we had to start imposing more structure in our lives than we had been using, and J’s initial reaction to that was the angry destruction of the tablet he’s been using as well as a significant portion of our bathroom (fortunately nothing that required calling in a plumber).
After two such awful days, we weren’t sure what would happen next, but we took our social worker’s advice and asked friends to help us clean up our house. We also stuck to the firmer rules. And for a couple of days, we’ve had some down moments, but also a fair number of opportunities to interact and do things together. Tonight, for the second night in a row, J has slept in his own room with hardly any fuss at bedtime at all.
Today, B had a few friends over to celebrate his birthday, and though the cake-decorating activity didn’t work out the way J liked, and the noise clearly bothered him, he kept himself under control. We went to a quiet place to work on some Lego building for a while, and when that still didn’t seem to be keeping him far enough away from the party chaos, J, K, and I took the dog on a walk. When we returned, we had supper. After the guests left, I cleaned up from the party, and J helped with some of that. Then K asked him to help her with a Lego project, and that seemed to erase much of his bad mood.
Though I wasn’t able to be there for much of it, B seems to have enjoyed his party. We all still feel strung out and a bit exhausted, but we’re doing better than I dared hope a few days ago. J even had some fun with the neighbor late in the week:
I don’t think we could have made it through this week without great help from a number of people: Lila Bauman, Rainey Hall, Jill Flateland, Bonnie Deener, Victoria Smatla, Joshua Zhong, Sheila King, Aunt Dottie and Uncle Dave, & Steve and Cathy Byers, thank you, thank you, thank you. You all are amazing. We’re so blessed to have all of you in our life. And blessed as well by so many others who have helped and called and prayed (and sent gifts or spent time with us) over the past few weeks. Thank you all. You are helping so much more than you know. Love you bunches.
Pictures coming when I have time to get them off phones and onto the computer..