The Dawkter's Wife - It's all champagne and caviar now … dahling

The Loony Bin

July 14, 2012

Countdown to a full house

This has been the summer of camps … the summer of quiet … and to a degree, the summer of crazy.

Alex kicked off the camp run with his trip to Dorian camp for violin.  My favorite picture of him (possibly ever?):

I am planning on printing this out as an 8 x 10 and framing it.  We were waiting for his audition and he lifted up his bow as I tried to snap a picture.

Alex completed a week at Dorian, came home and went on a canoe trip for a week, and then was off to German camp for another week.

Our camping adventure this summer still hasn’t happened.


I dropped off Amanda in Iowa for what turned into a 5 week camp adventure.  At first, I was only planning on sending her for the week long camp.  Once she was there, we found out that she was accepted to a month long music camp for voice and choir.  It was definitely a boost for me (and I hope for her).  I know I’ve talked about it before, but this year has been a clustermunch for her (and me).  I feel like she really needed this time to spend in a nurturing, supportive environment and … I needed the space to get my head on straight again.

The few times I’ve been able to engage with her since she left, her attitude has been increasingly more positive. I’m hopeful that even though I know this time wasn’t the miracle that I sort of secretly prayed it would be, that it will be enough to jump start her self-esteem and put her on a different path. I imagine that is sort of pie-in-the-sky of me too.  I just  need … hope.  I do.

In the midst of getting kids off to camp, Andrew set off for Texas with his best friend to visit my dad.  He was given special permission to miss one of the social skills training groups that he has been doing with Fraser.  I’ll be honest.  This was respite for me.  Having both Amanda and Andrew off doing supervised activities in safe environments gave me the freedom to relax a little.

This year has been my most stressful as a mom. Getting the definitive diagnoses for each of the children and working hard to find adequate resources has been harder than I can ever convey.  My grief over their struggles extends beyond my own personal sadness and loss.  I watch them grapple with the frustration of not being who they want to be … not living life on the terms defined by social and cultural norms, and my heart feels heavier than I ever thought possible.

I find myself caught between waves of grief that feels insurmountable and hope that I can make a difference in their lives … sometimes on an hourly basis.  I find myself planning new ways to help them (sometimes for hours at a time) before being pulled back down by the reality of how difficult this really is. I haven’t escaped this yet.  I don’t know if I will anytime soon. My job as a mom though is to continue to fight for them and to be the best advocate that I can…and I will keep trying.

Aidan just got home from his time at German Camp where he rocked out as Falco in the final presentation.  Beyond German Camp, he has just had a relaxed summer hanging out with friends.  This has been a low-key summer with no soccer teams or scheduled activities.  Summer as it should be.

As far as Zoe is concerned …. this has been her summer of playing with friends and enjoying new freedoms.  She had a BFF visit her from Florida for a week of sleepovers, swimming and all around fun.

She is mostly oblivious to the struggles that we have been having with the older two children.  She is happy, playful and still has maintained her innocent desire to play Pet Shops and American Girl Dolls in the face of her peers ever-increasing sophisticated games of “ditching” each other.

This next week will be the final countdown to having a full house again.  I will be picking Amanda up from her choral festival at the end of the week. My mom will be meeting us there.

In the meantime, I am planning our camping adventure for after I pick her up.  It will be short again this year, but we will do it (updates to come).

I can’t believe that summer is already half over.  We are already counting down to Fall….our trip to Warrens is planned … our camps are nearly done … time to plan the fun for the rest of the season before the school year starts!

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