December is here, our favorite month of the year.
Thanksgiving came and went. We had 5 full days off together, a welcome break for all of us, but it went quickly and I can't exactly say we were rested afterward.
But it was fun.
JT'S brother and family came in town to visit, and we spent 2 nights, courtesy of JT's parents, at the Floridays resort in Orlando.
We had Thanksgiving dinner by the pool, and my parents were able to join us.
The next day, we spent the day at Typhoon Lagoon water park. It was the first time we have gone to a water park with our family and it was a definite hit. It was a bit colder than I would have preferred, and after teeth chattering and shivering in the lazy river, lying limp in my arms and appearing to be patiently awaiting the sweet release of death, I put Greystoke in dry clothes and kept him out of the water for good.
Aquaman was, predictibly, initially outspokenly freezing and upset about the whole thing...especially our experience on the lazy river in which we passed under much too shady trees and got sprayed with ice cold fountains.
But he quickly recovered after bundling up in his Lego hoodie and hanging out by the wave pool with me,
and then heading down some thrilling waterslides with JT.
The Dude was just stoked about the whole thing. He went down the kid-sized lazy river, while his grandmother watched, probably 900 times. His lips stayed blue, and his smile stayed big.
As much as The Dude can really wear me out with his boundless impulsivity and quick flaring temper, his ability to right-side up within a few minutes is something I am coming to really appreciate.
We came back to the hotel to take a quick breather before we planned to return to the park where JT and his brother and friends would be surfing in the privately rented wave pool, but alas it wasn't to be. The traffic was horrendous and it took forever to get back, and then I didn't have the energy to fight the exhausted and warring brothers back into the car almost as soon as we got there, and all by myself. So we stayed. We ate dinner in our room and then jumped back and forth between the hot tub and the pool and probably had a better time than if we had stayed, shivering by the wave pool all night.
The kids had a great trip with their cousins. Aquaman even got to spend one night in Aunt J's room, and I even got my toenails painted by my sister-in-law for the first time in like 7-8 years. JT swears he has never seen them painted, but I think he just has no recollection of our pre-child years back when I used to have 5 minutes to use the bathroom by myself.
The Dude got a clear coat on his toenails, and spent the rest of the evening worrying about chips.
And today, my sister K is on her way into town. The Dude asked me 37 times last night and the night before when Aunt K would be here. He informed me, quite piously, that he likes Aunt K more than her presents.
Then wondered if I thought she might be bringing him some walkie talkies.
Aquaman is going through some hard times right now, and I've been hurting for him. He has always had so many strong feelings, so much to deal with for one so small, and he has always struggled to manage it, but lately his struggles have been more ragged.
He is so sensitive to everything that sometimes he can't seem to stand it. Reading makes him dizzy, so does "the light being half on or half off...I need it to be either on or off.". The gentle motion of the lazy river made him feel sick. Vacations are hard for him. He longs for excitement and stimulation and frequently wanders the house declaring "I'm bored", but when placed in an unfamiliar environment he struggles to catch his breath. When we returned and he got out his legos, I asked him if it felt good to be home, and he said "I am still just trying to figure out where I am."
"Many gifted kids experience the world with heightened and vivid intensities and sensitivities that may be a big plus but also can be a big minus (subjecting them to sometimes overwhelming emotions and worrisome and unacceptable behaviors).
Normal giftedness can be easily confused with a diagnosable mental disorder. Gifted kids may talk a lot, have high levels of energy, and be impulsive or inattentive or distractible in some settings -- similar to symptoms of ADHD. It's not unusual for gifted kids to struggle socially, have meltdowns over minor issues, or have unusual all-consuming interests."
I feel like I have looked in books for someone to describe my child for years, and I finally got a description. Not that it helps all that much, but there is something reassuring about being able to categorize his quirkiness under a positive label.
I don't want him to be like other people, want him to be just the way God made him to be. I just want him to be comfortable in his own skin.
At night we are reading another Advent story, Jotham's Journey.
One more run through of our sight word cards, 3 sets of teeth brushed, [some of the] cereal cleaned off the floor.
And we're off to enjoy December.