What the Helen of Troy is that?

I love that righteous feeling of cranking the Beastie Boys in my car on the way to work. The lyrics are “brilliant”; a mix of pop culture, puns, and almost rhyming words that always make me laugh. Each time I listen to a song I catch a little more and realize just how clever those guys were. There voices are so distinct and I’m sure they are forever saddened by the passing of Adam Yauch at such a young age.
This has been a very weird summer, I had a big birthday and that somehow forces a temperature gauge on where your life is and where you want it to go. Having the kids away at this time of reflection definitely skewed the landscape but now that they are back and starting school, I plan to look to them as my yardstick.
Jason has started 5th grade and will be turning 11 next month. He is on the Safety Patrol at school and is planning to run for Student Council President. He is also going to be a Parkland Sports Buddy for the first time this year. He will volunteer his time on Saturdays to pair up with a special needs kid, not his brother, to guide them in playing Flag Football. He had to be at least 10 to do this, so this is the first year he’s really been eligible to sign up. When I asked him if he wanted to be a buddy, he said “of course”. I’m very proud of that, he likes to be a helper so I’m confident he will embrace it well. I told him he needed to go early on Saturday for training. He said “training?, I’m like a buddy every day to Bryan”. Ha!!! He has a great sense of confidence now as a result of camp and the relationships he formed there. Prior to camp departure it seemed he really needed a break from Bryan and I think we were right about that. He needed to “spread his wings” a bit and develop some deeper friendships. One thing about Jason, he literally does not have one drop of self-consciousness about Bryan. Literally, none! A friend of his from camp that lives in NJ came down with his sister after camp to visit their grandfather. The grandfather became ill and the kids came and slept over night. The sister is Bryan’s age and Jason’s friend and bunkmate is his age. Bryan displayed his typical self, sometimes yelling, often impatient, and definitely perseverating. Bryan and the other kids ate dinner outside and he was clearly agitated. I do not know what the other kids thought, but Jason expressed nothing in terms of us removing Bryan from the situation or asking Bryan to quiet down. I was seriously impressed with this; I think I was more self-conscious on his behalf. He accepts his brother totally and completely; the true definition of unconditional love. The great part is when I talked to him about it he looked at my like I was nuts.
Bryan has started 7th grade. In true Bryan form, we went to open house last week. A woman was at a table with some PTA/SAC info and he walked up to her and said “Hi, Miss ____, it’s me Bryan, I’m back!”. He loves his environment at school and was literally thrilled to be going back. He woke up at 4am and was seriously ready to go, showered, ate breakfast, etc. by 6:15 and school doesn’t start until 9:30. He is tall and slim (as a result of camp) and although his nonstop perseveration (is that an oxymoron?) can be extremely frustrating, his eyes reveal a deeper understanding of what is going on around him. For this year the shift will be away from the basics and onto mature things. His OT contacted us to say we are going to finish up cursive writing practice and move on to more practical things; hygiene, cooking a meal in the microwave, making a sandwich, holding silverware better. For speech there will always be reading comprehension, inferences, speaking in complete sentences, and retelling a story. We focus on the improvements, not the results.

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