On Heartbreak and Ice Cream

My heart breaks for him.
He breaks my heart.

Elliot is struggling with school. Not the academics but the school-ness of school. Last year it was not wanting to sit on the mat and say good morning with the class because he already knew how and didn’t feel the need to practice. Funny. Sort of. Probably indicative of not getting the social aspect of the exercise.

He inadvertently trips the teacher. She doesn’t fall, merely stumbles. She says, “Elliot you should say you’re sorry for tripping me.” He says, “I didn’t mean to. You tripped over my foot. I did not trip you. And since I didn’t mean to I have nothing to be sorry for.” Logical? Yes. Empathetic? No.

He’s such a good boy.
And my heart is breaking.

He meant to write 7  on the board and wrote 8. He became unglued because he meant to write 7. Why should he be out of the game for a wrong answer when he meant to write the correct one? And why won’t the teacher see the logic of his argument of intent? And why is he being sent to the quiet corner to calm down? He didn’t mean to yell at the teacher. It just came out because she wasn’t understanding him.

There’s a special door Lego piece. There’s only one in our whole collection. Both kids want it. They rock-paper-scissors for it. Audrey wins. Elliot changes his mind. “It’s mine,” he argues. “It came in my set,” he explains. He yells. She yells. Peter intervenes. Elliot says, “I changed my mind.” He loses the piece. He loses his shit. He yells at Peter. He has to go to the quiet couch. He can’t calm down. I cuddle him like a baby. The tension leaves his body and he rests against me.

I lay awake in bed thinking that I cannot send him to school. They do not like him. They do not love him like I do. I should home school him. Peter points out that the social opportunities for he and I alone together all day are not great and he needs socialization.

He’s a good boy with pure intentions.
He’s struggling.
He hurts.
I cannot fix this alone.
I cannot fix this.

I send him to school. This day is better than the day before. As it turns out ice cream is an effective motivator.

Ice cream cannot fix this.

Grand Canyon

I had never seen the Grand Canyon before. I had seen pictures, I understood conceptually that it’s big. But seeing it in person is … well, it made me speechless. Sometimes the colors of the canyon walls made me think they were a painted back drop because they were just too perfect. Like that movie where the kid gets out of the tour bus in Egypt, runs up to the pyramids and one of them deflates. Maybe the backdrop would fall down and we’d all see the suburbs back there. But alas, it is rock and canyon walls for as far as the eye can see.

We had the good fortune to ride the shuttle to the west end and then then next morning drive out through the east entrance aka Desert View. It was as spectacular and glorious as you would expect. And not stifling hot as I expected.

(taken at Pima Point)

(taken at Bright Angel trail head)

Santa Fe: The Awkward Family Photo Edition

All I want is a picture of my family with everyone facing the same direction and appearing normal. Is that too much to ask?

Vacation Through the Other Kid’s Eyes

Like Elliot, Audrey also took pictures (although not as many) during our road trip. Here’s what mattered to her.

Vacation Through Kid’s Eyes

A few weeks back we took a road trip that included Santa Fe, Petrified Forest, Meteor Crater, Grand Canyon, Glen Canyon, Bryce Canyon (not really a canyon btw) and Capitol Reef. Here are some highlights from Elliot’s perspective.

Graduation

Audrey graduated from preschool yesterday. It was terribly exciting. So exciting in fact that she woke up Wednesday morning hoping it was dinner time so she could go back to bed and wake up to have it be graduation day.

We had a teeny celebration at breakfast for her. She loved her card, in which Elliot wrote, “Good job Audrey! Love your Elliot”. Her face beamed when I read that to her. It’s all fine and dandy when mom and dad are gushy and lovey but when Elliot is lovey? Break out the ticker tape parade, it’s the BEST DAY EVER.

I think I’m in shock. I know she’s heading off to Kindergarten this Fall. I’m thrilled about that (not as thrilled as she is though). She’s independent and doesn’t need constant supervision, yay! But that also means there are no babies in this house. Actually, we’ve been baby free for some time. There are no little kids in this house; no walking babies. In this house people say their words properly, eat with utensils, go to the bathroom all on their own. In this house kids choose their own clothes, do their own hair, choose what to have for breakfast and occasionally make it themselves.

They’re growing up. And I’m not sure I’m entirely on board with that plan.

These milestones that are supposedly about our children seem to be put in place to remind us to let go.

Hunting for the Elusive Blogger

I know there’s one around here … maybe around the next corner

Autism Awareness Month

h/t: my friends Joy and Brian

Blue Sky

This is a little jarring, like maybe you’re about to be hit by a stick.  Or maybe you just were. The sky though, the sky is so blue. So, what am I looking for? Oh yeah NOT GRAY. I think this is what it’s like for the kids to climb around in the tree. The branches are all right there in their faces, in their reach. And the tree is so big.

TED: Jamie Oliver

Sharing powerful stories from his anti-obesity project in Huntington, W. Va., TED Prize winner Jamie Oliver makes the case for an all-out assault on our ignorance of food.

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