Thursday, October 25, 2012

October 24 A Week of Firsts

We have had a wonderful week of firsts around here!

I got this note from Theo's teacher yesterday, "Theo ate lunch in the lunchroom with the gen today. He did such a great job. We will start having him eat in there unless we are really working on a skill."

So what, right? He ate in the lunchroom, big deal. You cannot even fathom what a big deal this is unless you have spent time with Theo. For as long as I have known him, he has been OBSESSED with food and water. He has a history of grabbing food from anywhere he can on impulse. He hangs around the stove, he has grabbed fistfulls of food off of other people's plates to many times to count. Grabbing food, throwing dishes, dumping drinks is all typical behavior for him...driven by obsession and lack of self control. 

I actually wept when I read that note from Theo's teacher. For him to have developed enough self control to eat in the lunchroom with other children is a miracle. 

Zhen had a big first this week, too! He went on a field trip with his kindergarten class!!

This one got me a little choked up, too. Zhen went to the pumpkin patch with his regular ed kindy class at school. He got to eat a sack lunch, play in the dirt and brought home two cute little pumpkins! This is just so far removed from his former life that it blows my mind. I'm so thankful that he has the opportunity to go to school and participate in these events alongside the typical children at school. 

I wanted to share this story before, but I'll do it here. I was helping Zhen participate appropriately in Sunday school a few weeks ago. He had been in an unstructured play room at church for too many months, and it did him no good. Taking the boys to church is really stressful, but I'll talk about that another time. Just know that I was feeling pretty blue that first day back in the classroom with him. I was helping Zhen with his coloring and making sure that none of the crayons got eaten, when the last girl to arrive sat down to color her lesson page. Zhen was grumpy and noisy. The girl looked up from her work, and noticed him, and very matter of factly said to the whole group, "hey, I know you, Zhen. He's in my class at school."

She didn't say anything else. She didn't have to. Those simple and pure words of acceptance healed my hurting heart that day. 

And finally, my little Boo had a great big first this week, too!!

Out of concern for my nine year old daughter's rapid development, I signed her up for Girls on the Run this fall. This is a confidence-building program for young girls that incorporates running. The program culminates with a 5k run in November. Daddy has signed up to be her running buddy, an encouraging runner to stay on pace with her throughout her 5k on race day. Since he couldn't be with her for the practice group run, he took her out for a 5k run last night.

I was so proud to hear that she completed the 3.1 miles with her daddy without stopping to walk one single time! She was so bubbly and cute when she tole me, "daddy encouraged me the whole time. He told me I could do it!" 

So now I'm crying again, thinking how special it is for Boo and daddy to have each other. What I wouldn't give to have had a daddy like that for my very own! What a difference a daddy can make.