Wednesday, July 05, 2006

First day of summer camp...

I've been a bit blue this morning- as I always am the first day B is away after having been home for a bit. B started computer camp today. It's the same camp he attended last summer, which is a plus, since the only unknown variables were the kids & his group leader/teacher. I woke up worrying about Rufus- how would B keep track of him in all the distraction? They start out in one place, then move to the computer labs, then have lunch (in a cafeteria), then go swimming, then back to the computer lab for the afternoon session. Last summer B was carrying Rufus around in a belt pack but that went by the wayside sometime last fall, so I was really worried that Rufus would- horror of horrors, get lost. B was pretty amenable to leaving him home, actually. We imagined Rufus attending "camp mommy" & the activities he'd be doing at home with me & dad (C's day off today), & somehow it was ok... relief. Rufus is at this moment up on B's bed having fun with the pokemon stuffies & Genki, so I'm sure B will be happy to see him so happy :)

B went off to camp quite blithely with dad, looking forward to seeing his best buddy, E, who is coming home with B after camp to play. At the time, I was more concerned about who would be home when the roofers arrived this morning (to replace the shingles on a small porch roof -as it turns out, they didn't get here 'till afternoon), since I had a chiropracter's appointment that overlapped with the time C would be away taking B to camp... It didn't hit me that B was gone for the day until I was leaving the chiropracter & had an uncontrollable urge to go to the bookstore. This is what I always do when I miss B- go buy something distracting (JoAnn Fabrics is also high on the list). I was in tears by the time I got home. C told me B had gotten to camp in fine spirits & gave me a hug. He saw his teacher from last year to say hi, the new ones seemed nice, & the folks at the sign-in remembered him from last year (in a friendly way...). B really enjoyed this teacher last year & I'm sure he was psyched to see him again. So, that variable seems covered... but I always worry about how the other kids will treat B, too. Last year B had a not-so-friendly interaction with a boy he'd known from another camp 3 or 4 years ago. This kid actually came over to play way back when, but it was clear that he was still in parallel-play, developmentally (at the age of 7) & hardly interacted with B at all, so we never invited him back. B was never invited to his home, either... it was kind of a relief, actually. This boy is obviously on the spectrum & was not getting any needs met at that time that were going to help him to progress, at least socially, & I was hard-pressed to figure out how to interact with his mother on the subject- there was a lot of denial going on & a lot of "oh, he's so bright" being used to compensate for the poor kids real difficulties. Sigh. This same kid singled-out B for major picking-on last summer & we spent a lot of time problem-solving, until one day B just said to him "if I have done anything to offend you, I'm sorry" &, like magic, it was all ok. I was so proud of my kid...

OK, so being confronted with difficult situations like this are probably a really good thing for B. I admit it. And as B gets older & more independant, he's going to face even bigger challenges, & I've just got to get used to it. I said to C today that I worry about B more as he gets older- I always thought it was suppsed to be the opposite, that you worry less as they get older... My friend Paula, whose son has AS & is B's favourite sitter, & is heading for college, has had the same experience, so I know I'm not crazy. C says that he thinks it's natural, since the older B gets, the more he explores the world, & the more potential trouble he finds... the only comfort is that B is getting more sophisticated as he gets older, & he still talks to us & will let us problem-solve with him. A great blessing...

So, it turns out to have been a good thing that C & I had decided to use this first day of camp to catch a matinee of the Prairie Home Companion movie today- it helped to keep my mind off my blues & was fun to see, as we are great fans of Prairie Home. C is picking B & E up as I write & I'm looking forward to seeing how the day went. The dumpster just arrived, for the roof, I think (judging by the noise- I am so glad this is a small job... I just can't stand this sort of noise for very long).

Yesterday, the 4 of July holiday, was quiet for most of the day, but we had a fun indoor picnic for dinner. One of my cousins from Canada drove down & she & my mom joined us, plus our Japanese teacher, Tomoko, & one of C's partners whose family was out of town & working. Tomoko promised to bring some traditional Japanese summer food (& promised it woud be funky), so I decided to make sushi, too, & so we had a hybrid meal of burgers & white hots, potato salad, cheetos (B's request), salad, futomaki, donburi (sort of a casserole, with fish cake because I don't eat meat), & some funky noodles made of agar-agar. We broached a couple of bottles of mead C & I had made the year before B was born- it was very nice, too :) Enough to make us decide to brew some summer ale during these couple weeks that B is in camp, something we haven't done since he was a toddler.

It was fun to have such an international July 4th :) We talked a bit about politics- US, Japanese, & Canadian- but had the most fun explaining how we're learning Japanese to my cousin, Peggy. B held-forth on the language's gender differences, & how men & boys say some words that women don't & vice-versa. Then B & I shouted-out our usual conversational japanese phrases to each other: "B is annoying!", "mom is annoying!", "drink your milk!", "cut it out!" & B told everyone he was sorry, but he farted (in japanese, of course...). Lots of giggling ensued... Tomoko seemed pleased by B's grasp of the japanese concepts he was explaining :) B had a great time explaining things. We ended the meal with rhubarb crisp, harvested from the garden, first of the season. And lots of leftovers, japanese & american, for dinner today :)


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