I’ve hinted at it a bit in the last few posts, but the past few weeks has had some difficult moments. Some time in October we felt like we’d hit a breaking point and things were on the upswing. But then, it seems that we began trekking through another difficult time. I heard that this is normal–to rotate through peaks and valleys during transition.
Jac0b’s teachers felt like he was “off”, Jac0b and Lexi started butting heads again, even Scott and I weren’t getting along. Last Monday Lexi “ran away” to our side yard. I had to have a “pep talk” with her, as she calls them. Once we signed the final adoption papers at the beginning of November and then got our court date, it seems Satan went on the attack again trying to cause strife in our family.
But then this weekend.
This long holiday weekend was exactly what we needed.
On Thursday for Thanksgiving, we ate lunch and dinner with our families in town. I was sitting at dinner and thinking back to one of our first dinners at my parents’ after we got Jac0b and realizing how much better I knew him. I knew which dishes on the table he would eat and which he wouldn’t. I had an idea of how much food he could eat. I could tell how far to push with him and knew when Scott’s banter was too much. I wasn’t just so entirely grateful that last year he wasn’t at our table and this year he was, but that these 4 months of hard work were paying off. We know each other so much better now.
And then, as we were eating, I noticed that Lexi and Jac0b were unnecessarily shoulder to shoulder eating their dinner. In fact, the entire weekend all 3 kids spent the weekend playing nice with each other.
Jac0b hasn’t gotten an “X” on his behavior chart in nearly a week. In fact, somewhere on Friday he said, “Why isn’t there anything on any of these days?” He was working so hard this weekend to get more and more checkmarks (we give for sharing, going the extra mile, compliments, etc).
He told me Friday night while I was putting him to bed that he was excited to go to court (17 days!). I was ecstatic because it’s the first time he’s indicated to me he was happy about it. I mean, I knew it meant a lot to him, but he hasn’t expressed downright excitement about it. He told us he wanted to go to Chuck E. Cheese on the court date to celebrate and he said he was excited to go there too. I asked him which he was more excited about and he said, “Court.” Melt my heart!
I can tell our relationship is making progress too because he’s started to connect me with good things.
He found that I had picked out his favorite ice cream in the freezer and I heard him in the kitchen say, “Lexi, Mommy has mint ice cream!” I love that he attributed it to me. He’s learning that I pay attention and give him good things.
When he was doing his DORE exercises and got a good assessment on that round, he made a point to come in the other room where I was and say, “Mommy, I got all easy on my exercises today.” He was playing cool, but I could tell he was proud of himself and I couldn’t be more happy that he wanted me to be proud of him too.
Sunday afternoon we were walking through some stores in town where it was all girl-stuff. He said, “This is why I didn’t want to be in this family!” He’s made comments before about not wanting two (annoying) sisters. But then, he quickly corrected himself and said, “I mean, I AM happy to be in this family.” A few months ago, he would have let the first barb sit there, not caring that our feelings were probably hurt.
Sunday night he was leaving after dinner to go play with a neighbor and he came right back inside and said with such wonder, “Mommy, Mr. Rich has his lights up!” We’d been waiting all week for the big light-up. I followed him outside and our neighbor had outdone himself. I literally almost started crying at Jac0b’s childlike wonder at the lights and how they were truly beautiful–and how he came to get me to see them too.
I suppose I share all those little snippets of our weekend to simply say this first Thanksgiving weekend together couldn’t have gone better. I hope this is yet another turning point. I’m sure it’s possible once we jump back into routine of school and work that tensions might rise again, but this long weekend was just the respite that we all needed.
I couldn’t be leaving this first Thanksgiving weekend of ours more grateful and ready to jump into the Advent season. I hope you and yours had a good one too.