This time last year we were gearing up for the start of J’s last-school-year-EVER. We were hoping to get him back in the groove of going to bed early enough to be ready to get up bright and early on school days. Suffice it to say we’re no longer facing that problem. Getting up at 6:15 is a tremendous luxury we will not be able to afford much longer (other people still will generate school day traffic, of course,) but right now we’re positively loving the prospect of not being OUTSIDE at 6:15 waiting for the school bus.
J seems to have figured out that he can get up later, and still get a full day’s worth of activities. Today, ladies and gentlemen, he came downstairs bleary eyed and stretching at 8:20. He was happy. He was, quite obviously, pleased that he had stayed in his room, curled up in bed, THAT long.
The young man, I will clarify, is not lazy. Once he is up, he is a very active person. He does chores, exercises, goes for walks…he is helpful and proactive. He also knows that staying in bed is totally ok.
Yes, J used to be the person that was up before we were (especially on holidays, weekends, and days when Dada had taken the day off from work,) and we used to think “will this ever end????” It has. It is over. Sometime ago, after the first few weeks of not going to school for the rest of his life, J figured out that it was ok to linger in bed. He knows we’re up. We’re not quiet or even discreet about grinding coffee and setting about the morning routine, but J KNOWS he doesn’t have to get up.
The person who used to consider Ramen noodle his equivalent of a breakfast of champions has evolved. Not only does he THINK about what he wants for breakfast, he actually doesn’t mind if it’s something that will take a little longer than usual.
This morning J emerged from his room at 8:20, and he went about the business of his morning: getting his snacks from the garage, emptying the trash, replacing the bag that lines the kitchen trash can, setting the table for his meal, and THEN looking for his food. Sweet potato pancakes. J asked for sweet potato pancakes for his breakfast. And, you know what, it took me a bit to make them because I was in slo-mo this morning, but J was absolutely cool with waiting.
After breakfast, J helped me load the dishwasher, and then he went downstairs to set his TV and iPad up. When I called him up to help me again, he did so with a smile. I didn’t really have to tell him much, I just said we’re doing upstairs today. Off he went to empty all the trash cans, and then he disappeared and (I confess) I thought he had ditched me, but he suddenly returned with the trash bag in his hand, and I realized he’d been emptying the trash in the basement level. He cleaned his bathroom, he brought water bottles from the garage, and then he waited to see if there was anything else I needed from him.
We have done several things together, but we’ve also kept busy on our own. We go for walks to take trash, check the mail, or just to walk. We check in on each other. We have lunch together. We have adjusted the schedule so times are not set in stone, but they are pretty predictable: after exercising, we go for a walk to the mailbox, and then we make lunch. We no longer have to eat at noon because the world no longer falls into chaos if we eat at one, or one-thirty. We have relaxed our requirements, and now J decides when he wants his bath. In fact, I can now take a bath without him going all Droopy Dog on me. I just tell him “hey, I’m going to take a shower, and I’ll be back in ten minutes.” That’s fine with him.
We are adjusting. We are negotiating. We are finding our footing, we are sleeping in a little, and we are doing fine.