Tuesday, July 5, 2016

July 4th

We celebrated July 4th with D this week. For the record, July 4th is my absolute favorite holiday. I love that there are no social expectations--- just spending time with friends and continuing traditions. One of our traditions is attending the parade. I love knowing that every year the Republicans throw tootsie rolls and the Democrats have the awesome jazz band. There will be many princesses, old tractors and the horses will be last. (Okay, maybe there are some expectations after all ;).

D was quiet throughout the parade and somewhat stoic. Then he saw the vehicle with the puppets. There are little things like that he gets so excited about and it cracks me up.

We enjoyed dinner with some neighbors and then ended our evening at the airport for fireworks. He has been in the US before for July  4th, but had never seen a larger firework display. We arrived an hour early to grab a spot and settle in. He was quiet throughout, but said that he really liked it, that it was "big". He remained stoic when as soon as it ended Sam instructed him, "Run, D! Now we have to try to get out of the parking lot!" He looked at me and I told him that the challenge is not to lose your religion while navigating your minivan out of the airport after the fireworks. He quickly snagged 2 chairs and jogged behind Greg to the van. Five minutes later we were headed home-- record time!

He has started to call me "Mom" and Greg "Dad". I don't know what he thinks or feels when he uses those names for us, if they affect him like they do us. I love hearing him say it and I love having him here. It feels very simple when it's just the six of us but quickly becomes complicated when we add others to the mix. There's still a preference to stick closer to home and not venture out too far or for too long, which is completely fine. We're enjoying our time together.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Two views side by side

We are almost at the end of our first week of hosting and have seen so many changes. D is smiling more and has begun to laugh out loud at times and tease back Sam and Emily. The challenge I have begun to encounter has nothing to do with a difficult behavior or personality conflict-- he fits into our home like he's always been here. Instead, it's viewing situations through a new lense.

The conversation was innocent enough with the ladies, but it was almost more than I could handle. It all centered around having the right opportunity for my child with a sport -- how this potential opportunity would open doors, allow my child to progress and play the sport in high school, would be more competitive, give my child an edge. All I could think about was D. He plays this sport with his friends at school. There isn't any official team. No slick uniforms, parents cheering on from a sideline or a trophy at the end of a season. All of a sudden it seemed ridiculous and unfair to me to be having a conversation about bettering my child with this opportunity when I have a beautiful, gifted young man in front of me without half of that opportunity available.

I went to my van and cried.

If this conversation had transpired one month ago, I would have been fine. I would have been following the same line of thought, considering the same advantages. Now I had a heat spreading through me and wave of tense knowledge as I realized there is no easy or quick fix. It isn't fair. It just isn't. And this is just how it is.

I can't unsee how I see things. We've only had one week together, but I feel fairly certain that I will never look through my old lense the same way again.