Well, here it is the end of June and it feels more like November...we've had two weeks of rain, drizzle, grey skies, and high humidity...gotta love New England weather. Of course, we refuse to let the crummy weather stop us so we slog along to our various events and activities which range from doctor visits to summer camps to the last few days of the school year for two of the kids. Poor Kate and Madiyar don't finish school until July 2 but at least this week, they're having fun activities like field day and beach day...if it doesn't rain.
Aniyar has been home almost 2 weeks now and we're all doing better than we had actually expected. He is responding well to the medications he's on and he's much less impulsive. I like the new psychiatrist who is monitoring his meds and supporting us as a family. Aniyar has also returned to therapy with our Russian child psychologist and she says he's responding well in her sessions with him. Aniyar is starting to test the boundaries a bit at home but no more than our other kids and he responds well to redirection now. He still has more energy than any kid I've ever met so he started a specialized therapeutic YMCA camp today which should give him a physical outlet. He'll be swimming twice a day, playing in the woods, doing outdoor adventure activities, and playing sports until 4:30 each day...and he's been assigned his own counselor to keep an eye on his behavior and redirect him as needed. Next week, he'll start summer school in the mornings, then go to the YMCA camp in the afternoons...our goal is to provide him the structure and support he needs while also letting him make friends and have fun in a safe setting.
Madiyar has been a bit conflicted about his brother's return. He was delighted to have him home but also a bit jealous of the attention Aniyar got at first. I think Madiyar was also worried about how Aniyar would behave with the other kids...and for the first few days, Madiyar took it upon himself to act as Aniyar's cultural guide in regard to our family dynamic, often whispering in Aniyar's ear to remind him to be polite to his sisters or to be kind to Max. It has been touching to see Madiyar trying to pull all of his siblings together. I can see him attempting to weave the threads of his relationship with Aniyar and then his relationships with all of us together into a new fabric...our family tapestry. Of course, don't get me wrong...Madiyar is also a 13 year old boy who can be as difficult as they come. Kate has nicknamed him "The Pouty Prince" because he tends to sulk when he doesn't get his way...
Of course, keep in mind that Kate is known as "The Drama Queen" and she comes by it honestly, especially now that she's a teen who will begin High School in the Fall. She now has an opinion on almost everything including the state of the economy, the environment, and world peace. She likes to stay up late and sleep until 10am on the weekends. She often finds her siblings immature and seeks "privacy", and her "own space" where she can read, dance, and write dark, angst-filled poetry. I can hear my mother laughing from the pearly gates...Kate is just like I was at this age, all dramatics and poetry, with her grandmother's love of dance and the Night Owl gene thrown in to boot.
Tanya completed 5th grade and is now officially a middle schooler. She's going to a YMCA summer camp each day, riding a boat to Children's Island in the middle of Salem Harbor where she spends the day swimming, sailing, kayaking, and playing games. She had her first overnight camping trip on the island last week and she loved it. It was family night so I took Kate, Madiyar and Aniyar out to the island for a picnic dinner; Tanya loved showing everyone around and taking the boys swimming in the saltwater pool...but I think she liked waving goodbye to us as we returned to the mainland and being allowed to stay overnight even better!
Max is in a summer playground camp; he spends each day at a nearby park where he plays tennis, kickball, dodgeball, baseball, and goes swimming under the watchful eye of his city recreation program counselors. He comes home every afternoon dirty, wet and tired...fine with me, it beats videogames and TV any day. Max also had a great thrill yesterday...his flag football team made it to the division tournament and he was able to play in the championship rounds. His team won 2 games and made it to the finals but were eliminated in the 3rd game....since it was drizzling the whole time, I don't think Max was too disappointed that he didn't have to continue to play in the rain...and Dad was proud of Max and glad to cheer him on but soaked to the skin and chilled to the bone by the time they got home.
We're all headed to New Hampshire for the July 4th weekend. We'll only be able to stay 3 nights but we'll make the most of it by leaving early on Friday since all the kids will be out of school, then returning on Monday...there's a cookout planned for Saturday and Aniyar wants to go fishing. The kids all want to take the inflatable boat out on the lake...now that we have 5 kids, Craig and I decided one rubber boat that seats 2 kids wasn't enough so we popped for a second one at Big Lots. ($20.00, we're such big spenders!) We can now seat 4 kids in boats and let the 5th wheel use a raft or inner tube. (This plan has already resulted in squabbling about who gets the first turn in the boats...there's nothing like sibling rivalry and bickering to make a Mom crazy...can't wait for the 3 hour drive in the van with all five kids!) There are also plans to celebrate Max's birthday in NH with a movie and ribs from his favorite BBQ place. We have friends who will also be there to help us keep an eye on the kids so it should be fun for all of us.
Now if it will just stop raining...