Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Gift of Confidence....

I joined the Army in the '80s when the mantra was "Be the Best That You Can Be". I still sing that ditty from time to time. I know it sounds ridiculous, but that mantra really defined the way that I decided to live my life. And this now extends to my dear son. Quinn has always been different. I remember the caregivers at daycare comment when 6 month old Quinn reacted to other baby's cries--he was incredibly empathetic and would cry as well. As he became mobile, he would never take risks. We knew he'd never fall down the stairs, fall off the bed, or find himself in a precarious situation. He was a very cautious toddler and I was always confident that he wouldn't make any risky moves. Of course that's very comforting, right? He was an observer--he thought through crawling. When he decided it was time, he just did it--no army crawl, just full blown crawling. When he decided to walk--he just stood up and took steps. Potty training? 2 days and he got it. His skills at observation allowed him to perfect the skill in his head first, then physically. It's fascinating really.

As he moved into pre-school, it was clear that this perfectionism was crippling to him. He does not practice--if he can't write his name right the first time, it isn't happening. He started calling himself names--dumb, stupid. I have no idea where he got these; he's never been called this in our home--these are words we don't even utter because they are so mean. His Montessori teachers are nurturing and loving and supportive. I began to see the spiraling cycle that would ultimately create a child riddled with anxiety and a lack of confidence. I knew exactly what he felt like. I could see me growing up through him. I get it.

I don't want him to feel this way; I decided it was time for an intervention. So we made an appointment to get an evaluation at Children's Hospital Occupational Therapy. We recently completed that evaluation.

Let me tell you, I was BLOWN AWAY. My little Quinn is an incredibly bright child who suffers from things most 5 year olds don't. Gravitational insecurity (not having at least one foot on the ground), environmental sensitivities, and processing differences. This doesn't make him a freak; it doesn't make him sick, nor does it make him special. There's no label--he's not autistic, he doesn't have ADD, nor does he have "fill-in-the-blank" syndrome. It just makes him Quinn.

We've had 1 occupational therapy session, along with the evaluation.

Here was Quinn on Saturday at Parker Days:

He's BY HIMSELF on a carnival ride. He's 2 stories up. whoa. He went on this ride 6 times.
The slide is huge. He went down this slide without hesitation.

Sunday, as part of his homework, we went to a park. Isn't it awesome to have homework to go to a different park every weekend?! Right now, per Quinn's request, the park has to be empty. Fortunately, this one was.

He actually climbed up this piece of equipment--no prompting....
whoa... This was amazing. I think both Mike and I hid tears in our eyes upon watching Quinn do this.

Quinn even joined hip hop at school--he's declined and even cried before to avoid all organized activities.

I want Quinn to Be All That HE Can Be. And now I feel like he will gain the necessary skills to get one step closer. I'm so excited to see Quinn use his new skills--watch out world!!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

a boy and his dog

Everything happens for a reason,yet sometimes it's tough to figure out the reason.
One afternoon about 4 months ago, Mike stopped at Petsmart and happened upon dog rescuers - they were there with several dogs up for adoption. Long story short, Mike signed us up to foster dogs for them. I didn't mind - I'm always happy to help animal rescue. He signed us up to foster a puppy, but when we went to pick up the puppy, he was adopted. So we brought home another dog-a one year old 50 pound mutt. We sucked at fostering as Baylee never returned to the adoption event.
She quickly settled in. And then became a typical 1 year old 50 pound puppy--crazy! We didn't want 4 dogs. Who wants 4 dogs?? But everything happens for a reason--sometimes reasons are realized long after the question is posed. Sometimes the reason never presents itself. In the case of Baylee joining our family, creating mayhem and upheaval, as well as eating a chair, the reason for her did not take long to present itself.
When I was a kid, my best friends were my animals. Quinn, as an only child, is finding friendship in our dogs. Today he was trying to feed worms to Baylee; she wasn't having it. I don't blame her. But her patience is always unflappable. She watches over her boy, so Quinn can play in the back yard with more confidence from me that he is safe.
Four dogs are mayhem to be sure, but it's looking outside today seeing Baylee and Quinn playing that brings a sense of peace--her entry into our life was meant to be and is perfect-despite all the craziness! I look forward to her settling down, to many camping trips with her, to hikes and swims.
And this one has insurance, since every dog we adopt ends up with huge medical issues!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The P word

Penis... Yep, I wrote it. It's a topic of conversation in our house this week, as our child presented his penis to his friends at school. Everyone has laughed this off; I have tried. Then I get a call from his teacher today and another mom has mentioned it. Fortunately (?) Quinn is not the only one who made such a presentation, but I'm mortified. But it's normal. Everything I've read says it's normal. His teacher has said it's normal. Other mom friends have said it's normal. Now that I'm not in the throes of an anxiety attack over it, I can reflect. And smile. Quinn says "I just wanted Lucia to be my best friend, so I showed her my penis". Then he says "But she told the teacher and now she's not going to be my best friend". out of the mouths.... and pants.... of babes.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Picture of the week

Love that Quinn is going outside after school and he has his dogs with him while exploring our yard. He growing so fast....

A year goes by

It's been a year today that I found out my Dad was nearing the end of his journey here on earth. Our house in Littleton just went up for sale and it was a super exciting time for the Henry family. Then I get the phone call. My Dad is in the hospital and the doctor says that he has only days left. I'm so grateful that he was lucid the first day in hospice. Family and friends showed up in droves to wish my Dad well and to show him love and support. It was heart wrenching to see my Dad. But here's the deal--no one gets out of life alive. I'm a realist. And the best a person can do is show love and support to those you love. Show them you care. That's all you can do. I spent the week with my Dad in hospice, along with so many friends and family. He was never alone. He left this world in pure love. It was a tough week. Quinn was with me through it all, which in hindsight was something I wished would have been different. But with no support he had to be with me. Mike's work days are far too long for him to support school drop/pick up so he had to come. But his sensitive little soul was so affected. He still talks about it. I'm sad that he'll never know his Grandpa. But it is what it is. Not a day goes by that I don't think of my Dad and I sure wish we still had our phone calls on Sundays. My Dad was never judgmental to me and I could always count on him to have pride in me. Now he certainly had his opinions, but he loved me even though he may not have agreed with a path or a decision. So here's to my Dad. Missing him every day....

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Oh what the future will hold!

Mike and I have decided to embrace NGA's requirement to move and are planning on moving to St Louis in 2016--if they approve my extension request. It not, we'll be moving in the fall of 2015. I do hope for a summer move, so that Quinn can finish his third and most important year of Montessori and we can be ready for the move (and will have been in our new Parker home for 2 years). I'm excited. I've been needing something new and different for awhile. I'm tired of going to the ADF every day. I've been doing it for 11 years. I'm ready for Quinn to bond with family--Mike's mom, Aunt and Uncle, and cousins are in Kansas City, MO, which is less than 4 hours away. Quinn has little concept of family and I am so looking forward to him being able to play with cousins! and have a loving relationship with his Aunt and Uncle. And go to Grandma's house! This move is very exciting for our little family. Mike will transition to being a SAHD and he is sure looking forward to that--so am I. To have peace of mind that Quinn is going to be taken to school and picked up every day, rather than put on a bus is great. And we are looking at land--5 acres of rural so that we can have our RV with us, not in storage, and have chickens, goats, and anything else we want. So this will be our last year in the West. I love Colorado but I have thoroughly enjoyed all the adventures of living in other parts of the world, and now I have a family to share adventures with--so bring it on!