I’m not going to pretend Ethan has been perfect, but here we are nearly three weeks into Summer 2012, and many of my fears for transition have been unrealized. He’s been amazing. I can’t stop myself from smiling. I also can’t help but feel that somewhere in the back of my mind, I’m still holding my breath a little bit.
He has been awesome. The transition was smooth. He has settled into our new quasi-routine fairly peacefully. He’s even slept in until after 7am a couple of days (unheard of in summers past). We let him have some control in the “rules” we have of one hour of reading and two hours of other play before one hour of technology. He can choose what order he does everything in, and he can break each up into 30 minute chunks. That isn’t to say he doesn’t sometimes freak out and start to tantrum when we tell him technology time is up, but we check him and he moves on.
He is beginning to be aware of his behavior and how it affects those around him. He can usually pull it together, even if he’s not exactly thrilled with the situation. We were at the Safari Park today and before leaving, stopped by the restroom. I asked him if he needed to go. His answer was a little abrupt but that’s fairly par for him. But then he completely surprised me when a minute later, he asked me if the tone of his answer was rude. I told him it was a little short, and he apologized, literally apologized, for it coming out that way. I’m still stunned over that one. I acknowledged my gratitude for him recognizing how he sounded. Positive reinforcement, right?
Grace had recital over the weekend. This is normally a torturous event to get him through, and we often leave halfway through the show. But Grace was performing before and after intermission. Leaving wasn’t an option. He only “fussed” one time, then he pulled himself together and not only made it through the rest of the show, but was attentive (there were quite a few boys dancing this year).
He has been interacting more. Instead of freaking out and throwing a fit when we tell him to look at us when speaking, and to respond when someone asks him a question, he normally complies (although he will still make a face and roll his eyes). We are moving in the right direction. It isn’t taking him nearly as long to warm up to new people, or people he hasn’t seen in awhile. When we’re on a topic he is interested in, he is fully engaged and very talkative. Sometimes I just sit there in wonder looking at him, and how incredibly far we’ve come in a year.
I told my parents the other day about the Seattle analogy. My mom said she thinks we’ve moved from Seattle to San Francisco……not so much rain as fog. What a difference a year makes. I am thankful for each smile he gives, each laugh I hear, each word he shares, each interaction he initiates. I am thankful for him, and all he is teaching me every day about being a mom.