Trying

This truly does deserve it’s own post without all my rambled complaints mixed in. There’s just so much going on right now in life and it tumbles together in my emotional mind.

So, Colt. As we all know, he’s been struggling this year. Out of (seemingly) nowhere, he started cursing like a drunken sailor and picking fights with peers. It seemed counterintuitive at the time but the school was so very persuasive and convinced that these episodes were entirely unprovoked, we ended up having no choice but to believe them, even though there WAS bullying going on that was causing a great deal of his frustration.

For the last two school meetings getting Colt reinstated after suspension for swearing/threatening teachers and students we have brought Colt along, rather than discuss things in private with his teachers and principal. It was always something we kept away from Colt, fearing he would feel even more of an outcast if he heard us agreeing with the people who were making his life so difficult with school work he didn’t want to and rules he didn’t want to follow. I think we actually did him a disservice there because the child never got to see us fight for him….disagree with the things the school said about him in efforts to make his experience more of an enjoyable one. After getting a dose or two of that and talking to him….sharing openly and endlessly how we were on his side, there to fight for him and not for any other reason, he started to trust us a little more. He’s been carefully opening up and telling us little things that are on his mind. It’s making a world of difference in bridging that communication gap between us all.

So this week, as I gave Colt his morning cuddle (I can’t describe how much I love that moment every morning. I went from a son who wouldn’t allow me to touch him to a ten year old who will go out of his way to give his mom hug, just because he knows how much I love it) we talked. I asked him to please try his best not to swear and not to threaten anyone…nothing else was asked of him. I told him we would forgive his mistakes and nothing he EVER does will cause us to stop loving him. I told him I’d do everything and anything to help make his life happy and all I asked in return was that he try, hard, to treat people with respect when he was outside of our walls. He agreed; promised; said he would do his best.

The week went by with no calls from the school. They had promised to stop calling me daily in a separate conversation so I assumed things were the same and not escalating, at the least. Colt came home each night and assured me that his day was “perfect” and I believed him, mostly. I figured he was swearing but not threatening people…which was enough of an improvement for a couple of days for me not to poke the teacher to find out for sure. He was very proud of himself though, and kept telling me how he had kept his word to me no matter how upset he got. I was proud of him just for that alone. Then, yesterday, my son came home bawling. He came to me and could barely get the words out.

“Mm m m mom? I’m so sorry to tell you this…but I’ve FAILED YOU!” and burst into tears anew.

He went on to tell me, with only gentle prodding, that he had broken his word and swore at one of the girls at recess that day. I nearly grinned with relief…I figured he’d been suspended for some horrible incident and all it was, was a single offense. I forgave him enthusiastically, along with Dayne, and we comforted him, thanked him for his very brave honesty and then followed through on the agreed punishment for such offenses. He wrote the girl an apology letter that he really thought about first and we restricted him from Thomas videos for the night. Done deal. He was SO relieved it was viable in his face.

This all led me to actually inquire with the school as to how he’s been doing this week and although there are little things they complained about, from our perspective Colt really, honestly, had a good week with very little swearing or rule breaking. He tried hard to accomplish this and the pride I already felt doubled in size. He’s trying guys. That alone means more to me than anything so far. He’s listened to what we said, he’s understood what we said, he’s understood the reason for the rules AND he has taken steps to correct the behaviour. It matters to him!!! That is freaking amazing….

He decided this week to change his ‘day off’ from Wednesday to Thursday because the school is having a turkey dinner he didn’t want to miss. The school worked with this well, accommodated the change and Colt trotted off to school this morning with his tummy rumbling for turkey and all the fixings. The turn around is…mind boggling. As always.

So my little love has one more day of school before Christmas break, I have the week between Christmas and New Year’s off and Dayne will be home for much of that as well. Colt isn’t grounded, isn’t suspended and has no restrictions. I happened to stumble on that incredible deal for the game system this morning and suddenly we seem like we’re going to have a fantastic Christmas! Dare I believe it? 🙂 It just makes me feel lighter than air.

It’s all just as hard as it’s always been, but now that Colt is trying to understand and we are more successful at making things easier for him, it feels entirely worth it again. I feel very lucky right now. Things almost slipped entirely out of control….

Happy day indeed. I hope he’s having a delicious lunch right now, proud of the choices he’s been making. Even if he blows today and everything goes down the toilet, we’ve still won. You know?

*happy sighs* <—yay!!

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About Grainne

My name is Grainne. This blog has been with me for years now and has served as a journal, a confessional, an outlet and a place for me to create and express my love of life. Thank you for stopping by and for becoming a part of this life long journey of mine. I appreciate every single one of you who takes the time to do so. :)

2 responses to “Trying”

  1. Ain't No Shrinking Violet says :

    I often think the most difficult part of ASD are the wide swings in mood and behavior these kids have…you can go from horrible behavior to fantastic behavior and back again with nothing in between to cushion you. It always leaves me feeling like I’m in the middle of an earthquake and don’t know which way the ground it going to slide. It’s a very disorienting way to live.

    My great moment: I picked my kid up from preschool yesterday and out of the blue, he gave me the first hug he’s ever given me in his life….totally unprompted. I started crying right then and there and the other parents and teachers were giving me weird looks, but they don’t understand how I’ve waited almost 4 years for a hug. I nearly died from happiness…at the same time, I hope I don’t have to wait four more years for another.

    • Grainne says :

      Aww I totally understand how much that moment meant to you! From my experience, once a behavior kicks in, it’s not often lost. Your little guy hasn’t completely figured out that lovin’ mom up brings you happiness yet. Colt wouldn’t even let me touch him without screaming as a little guy but now I get in trouble if I leave too early in the morning and he misses our ‘morning hug’. (Means the world to me too).

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