Just two more weeks remain before Charlie returns full-time to the classroom. So far -- I know, knock on all available wood -- this has been a quite good summer and not only because it's not as deathly hot as it was last summer. There have been behavior storm moments, rather too often in the car while on the road and, well, some property damage. There have been some pleasant moments passed quietly at home and some generally pleasant days. Charlie had a first, successful!!!! camp experience.
He's been showing flexibility in small ways that make a big difference: Thinking we're going to get ice cream, realizing we're not, being ok with it. Calling for amusement park rides, seeing the gate closed due to rain, being okay with it.
Saturday morning we went to a memorial for the daughter of a very good friend of Jim's. She died last September and to say she is missed is more than an understatement. She was a teacher and had just started teaching special education students in Louisiana, where her husband was stationed. Charlie met her briefly years ago, at a party after she had graduated.
The memorial was in a local park. Charlie walked with Jim there and he and I hovered at the edge while Jim went to talk. We would have loved for Charlie to stay for the whole ceremony and release a balloon for Kelly, but Charlie was edgy and it seemed best for me to go with him back to the car. There, he called constantly for Jim so I decided to drive the car and we waited in a no-parking zone, with a good view of the ceremony; indeed, we saw all the balloons go up into the air.
I was really glad Charlie was able to go just for a little of the ceremony. Jim and I had both worried that the disruption to his usual morning routine -- Saturdays typically mean driving out somewhere to ride bikes first thing -- would irk him, not to mention Charlie picking up on the sadness and feelings at the memorial. He was eager to get out to Jersey horse country to ride bikes afterwards then resistant to doing more than a 'standard' ride (10 miles). Plus, he got the hiccups early in the ride and, it being a very lovely, sunny day, the trail was crowded with walkers and riders.
Charlie was very worn out once home and fell asleep for almost two hours in the afternoon. I was thinking, he was also recovering from a very full Friday of camp plus a new direction on the bike trail. He wanted to go for rides in the amusement park on waking then assented, and really got into, a 12 mile ride on the new bike path Jim's found in our town (on the recommendation of his friend).
We offered him the choice of going to the rinky-dink local amusement park or the church carnival with the super-fast slide.
At home, Charlie and I pretty much went running around the neighborhood, with a few moments of 'race-walking.' He wanted to go to bed though we knew he'd have a harder time sleeping, due to his nap. Still, Charlie was glad to be up in his room, listening to his iPad and playing everything from vintage R.E.M. to a bit of a Brandenburg concerto.
Then we heard two really loud JUMPs.
Jim went upstairs; Charlie was ok. He really was jumping, which can be a sign of a stomach ache; I brought him some water. He went back to bed and, as Jim and I whispered that perhaps he was working through everything from the past week, not to mention Saturday morning, we heard Charlie turn on ocean waves on his iPad -- sounds I've been using to help him sleep and that, of late, he's been turning on himself to do the same.