Now that the weather is finally, blessedly, changing, the boys and I are able to spend more time outside. We have more daylight to work with and we have shed our heavy jackets and we LOVE it. Yes, we do go out even in cold and snow but we’d much prefer to be out when it’s warm and we definitely have been taking advantage. Last week I went for a bike ride and dusted off my tennis racket. I was a little sore but even that felt good. It was a nice reminder that I’m not stuck inside due to gloomy weather anymore.
There’s a park across the street from Jay’s school so it’s really convenient to go there after picking the kids up in the evenings. 3 days last week I let the boys get some evening park time. Ace always finds new friends to play with; and last year Jay just followed Ace’s lead. This year I’m noticing a little difference though. Since the park is right by Jay’s school, most of the kids who are there, go to his school so they know him. It’s really nice to watch how they interact with him and how he interacts with them. The kids are not at all phased by Jay’s oddities. They couldn’t care less that he doesn’t always play with them the way most people would expect him to. When they, without warning, start to play zombie and he yells out “I’m brown. I’m a boy. I’m not a zombie. Look!” They calmly tell him that it’s just pretend and ask him if he wants to play. Then they wait for his response. There are no expectations. Just acceptance. When another boy with his same name asked him to come say hi to his mom so she could see another Jay, he went over, waved hi and then went back to the play structure. Jay seamlessly goes back and forth between chasing birds and playing tag. The other kids let him. He seamlessly goes back and forth between picking grass by himself to climbing and sliding with the other kids. They let him. No-one bats an eye. No-one makes fun or tries to force him to do things their way.
I used to talk about how clumsy and uncoordinated Ace is but I’ve seen a difference in him where that is concerned too. I watch him climb and run and he’s not the same kid he was last year. The same kid who had earned the nick-name “wrong move” because he was always falling over some invisible obstacle or tripping over his own feet or bumping into stationary objects. He’s more sure-footed; stronger; less gangly. He is more aware of his surroundings and seems more comfortable in his own skin and with his own limbs. He’s less scared of being unbalanced. I think this may be the year that he finally – and properly – learns to ride a 2 wheeler bicycle. As he says, he can ride now but only to go straight; he can’t turn corners. Ahm … Yeah. Socially he’s less awkward too. He is willing to do things that other kids are doing and he’s picking up new interests – which is good – but he’s still true to himself. He’s not easily embarrassed and he’s not trying to be anyone else; even if he has some characteristics that are not typical of an 8 year old.
Overall, I’ve been feeling good lately. Not too stressed out or too worried. Sure there are every day worries but nothing too bad.
It could be partly the weather and partly that I’m not struggling to pay my bills and partly that the kids are thriving and partly that I have some semblance of a social life and partly that my Em had what the doctors are calling a successful operation and partly that when the kids are with their Dad I get a chance to sleep or clean without interruption and partly because I’m feeling loved and partly because as I get older the more I realize what’s important and the less I sweat the little things and partly because it feels so much better to spread love and positivity than negative energy.
I don’t expect this to last forever. I mean life is always a roller coaster. I can only fully appreciate this mental space I’m in because I’ve been in some really rough ones. But for now, I’m unapologetically enjoying life.