Sensing that it is "that time of the year," Charlie started calling for the ferris wheel last Monday evening. Jim found a promising-looking one -- Fiesta Days in Vacaville -- that featured a picture of a ferris wheel prominently in its advertising and would be open through Memorial Day. And so on Thursday at 4.40pm, I rushed to catch the shuttle and take three trains and met Charlie and Jim in north Berkeley and we drove for about an hour and made our way to downtown Vacaville, found the fiesta, bought tickets, waited in line for what would be a swell ferris ride then over to a swing ride and Charlie got on and hten off, asked for the car and ran in distress at top speed, rolled over and over and over and over on a grassy knoll, ran again with Jim and me behind him as fiesta security hovered near-- and, holding Jim's hand, made it back to the refuge of the silver car where Charlie cried for at least a half hour as we stood outside.
We drove home and as we got closer and closer to the parts of the highway that are near the exit Jim takes to drive Charlie to school, there was smiling in the backseat.
It was Charlie's first really tough episode since January, just after we had moved here and when he was starting his new school, and after a week that has historically been tough for him (the week of his birthday) and before a time (the end of the regular school year) that has also been historically fraught with much gnashing of teeth.
On Thursday night, he didn't bang his head on the grass or the tree trunks I had my eye on, nor did he try.
Charlie went to school on Friday and it was another good week.