so very Gray…

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So very Gray.

Gray very rarely allows us to take his picture anymore. Be it introversion, or social anxiety, or Aspergers. Or none of the above, and he just doesn’t like it.

It’s okay. As much as I miss having as many pictures of him as I do of Annie and Max, I respect his decision. And occasionally, if I ask with the promise that no one but our little family will see it, he’ll allow me to snap one or two.

But there are so many ways to capture Gray in photos, without him even being there. I was taking some laundry into his room, and this was on top of the little set of shelves near his drawing table. (There were actually even more sets of other brands of pens and markers, all laid out in rainbow fashion with these, but I couldn’t get in position to capture them all with the camera.)

I couldn’t help but smile.

So very Gray.

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good stuff: early autumn joys…

Oh Debs, you didn’t even get through an entire month of following your blog schedule. But well, that’s hardly the end of the world, is it? Nope. Life, and fibro, just got in the way. So not a big deal. And in this first month, I did learn that I actually like having a schedule set out for myself for the month, and I think I’ll stick with it, at least for the time being. Well, starting this weekend anyway, as I think I’ll just give myself this week offline. But I remembered this draft I had started (that according to my schedule should have gone up yesterday…but you know, I’m trying to get rid of superfluous “shoulds”).

*****

*As much as I love open windows at night, there’s a new sort of giddiness inside me these last few weeks over the fact that we occasionally need to close them because of the temperatures are sometimes getting down into the lowers 40s.

*Oatmeal with dried cranberries for brunch.

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*Wow. I’m now a parent to three pretty damn awesome teenagers! (Happy Birthday, Max!!!) How lucky I am to get to be a part of all of their lives?!! Yep, very blessed indeed.

*Jean. Her generosity and kindness. I got an email from her that utterly left me in tears. Tears of utter gratitude for having her in our lives. It matters less than zero that we didn’t take her up on her unbelievably generous offer.

*Wow. And now another email that made me cry. Ecstatically happy tears. One of the many wonderful things about loving people is getting to share their joys. Even if it’s not in person, but across an ocean and through an email. I feel I was witness, if after the fact, to one of the best moments of Ana’s life to date. The ineffable happiness it brought me feels almost criminal.

*Dmitri. He finally got his clean bill of health and was able to come home with us. And you’d swear he’s always been a part of our family. He’s such a lovable kitty, all 20 pounds of him. Nothing makes him happier than being pampered with endless attention; his purr-er works overtime for sure. Five humans completely smitten with this beautiful nine-year-old cat.

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in the land of parenthood: on the eve of a new school year…

What I wish for my children: that they be happy, that they be kind, that they be responsible, that they be who they want to be.

I know education plays a part, in ways direct and indirect, in ensuring that my wishes for them come true. Or not.

We’ve gotten a bit of flack over the years for our education choices. From family, from friends, from strangers. From those who are adamantly opposed to public schooling. From those who are adamantly opposed to homeschooling.

Whatever.

We’ve always done our best to give each of the kids as individuals the education that meets their own needs best. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy, or that I don’t worry all the time.

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As we start this new school year…

I worry that instituting a more rigid schedule for our homeschool day is going to lead to a good bit of butting of heads with Gray. It didn’t used to be a big problem when much of our school day was spent together, but now that he’s older and works on his own much of the time, it’s really become an issue. This is SO HARD for him. Asperger’s and time perception/time management–yeah, they generally don’t play well together. How do you manage your time when you can’t even perceive time?!! So yeah, this is going to be big on our agenda this year…and I know he’s just not going to like it.

I worry that Gray, despite his intelligence and his creativity, may never be able to function in the social world. And yet Rich and I and even Gray’s psychologist know public school is not the place for him. His social anxiety is just so overwhelming, despite meds and despite years with his amazing psychologist. It’s not that there hasn’t been improvement. But the improvement is slow and spotty and fickle. And I just worry so much…

I worry that Annie’s got too much on her plate with her very full schedule of courses and what I fear may be too many hours at her job. And I worry about how that might affect her health. That the stress will throw her OCD into a tailspin again. I just can’t bear to think of her going through everything she went through last fall all over again.

I worry that she’ll never focus in on that one thing she most wants to do. I get it (I’m so much like her in this); there’s so many damn options for paths that sound intriguing.

I worry that Max will fall back into his “do as little as I can to get by” attitude when it comes to schoolwork/homework. But things have been getting exponentially harder each grade and he’s not going to be able to keep up his excellent grades if he doesn’t start putting in more effort. And they’ve put him in the advanced math class again, and frankly, that makes me nervous. He struggled so much last year being in the advanced class, but his teacher thinks he’s ready for it, so here’s hoping…

I worry that I will spend too much time frustrated over Max’s lack of organizational skills. I can’t even count how many different strategies we’ve tried; his brain just doesn’t seem wired that way. He lost two lunchbags last year, forgot something at school that he needed for his homework countless times, lost a jacket…yeah, frustration.

I worry about little things. And big things.

I worry too much–I know this.

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