J-Bear and Me

learning to navigate the world, j-bear style

Month: October 2015

Fall 2015 (Picture Heavy)

Two years ago this past August we had the pleasure of meeting Laura of Family Tree Photography for the first time.  She has become a tremendous friend and support as we have watched both of our boys go through the highs and lows of starting out lives with service dogs of their own. You might remember the wonderful beach photos at the top of the blog, featured in this post, and now we have some new pictures to show how much J has grown. I was sad to do these without his partner by his side but there was nothing I could do. Thankfully, Laura is gifted with children of all abilities and brought out his best even when he didn’t want to give it at first.

So, without further adieu, here are the results of her amazing work! I could not be happier!

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This and That

Lots of odds and ends on my mind, lately.

I keep thinking “nope, I can’t write about Brooklyn”. That’s more painful to put into practice than I believed. I lied to myself in thinking I could do it and I genuinely feel I was unfair. Her paw prints are on all our hearts. It is a mark that will never be erased. There is nothing anyone can say or do to change that and to not mourn the hole left in our lives is just plain impossible. Everyone mourns differently. I write. I work through things slowly, piece by piece, because it takes me a very long time to look at each part and work my way into managing it.

The nose prints are still on the rear driver’s side window of the car. There are still a couple of dog toys bumbling about the living room. There still is a big container of dog food that she will never eat sitting in our kitchen. Her multivitamins and cranberry supplements sit sealed waiting for a girl who is not coming home. I can’t touch them just yet.

Her bed is put away. Many of her toys are set aside, awaiting J’s future partner. Her insurance is cancelled, a lot of the canned food was given away to a local shelter in need. Her collar and tags are tucked in my Nana’s hope chest with all my other most precious mementos. It’s all I can do.

We miss her.

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J’s anxiety is on a level I have not seen it. We cannot exit the house without coaxing.

“Loud truck,” he repeats, looking up and down the street fearfully.

“No J, no loud truck. It’s okay. It’s safe,” I coax while he hems and haws.

Several times this will go back and forth until he finally comes out. He then glues himself to my side, one ear pressed against my hip and my hand-held over the other ear so we look like we are doing some kind of broken 3-legged-man race. He will not walk to the car unless I do this.

I cannot leave a room in our rather cozy apartment without him being anxious to follow. We cannot be in separate rooms. He cannot be alone in a room, at all, unless deeply asleep.

This is not my son. This is above and beyond all I have ever seen of him. We are awaiting contact from a new doctor’s office to get in to talk about all of this and his autism specific care going forward. I imagine I would be so anxious too if the carpet had been ripped out from under me but we need help to get a handle on this and soon. No one should live this scared.

It’s strange to frame him responding to my praise at reaching the car one morning with “I always brave”… but I will never leave his efforts unrecognized. He is the bravest boy he can manage.

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There are new pictures of J coming, both from our friend Laura at Family Tree Photography and from his school. The moment I have them I will happily share them all. I know he is a photogenic little mite, he just rarely wants to stand still long enough to let himself be well captured. Thankfully Laura is the J-Bear whisperer (and baby whisperer, and just plain kid whisperer) and always manages to create something tremendous with her subjects. I look forward to sharing them when they come in.

That’s honestly all the news that is fit to print right now, so they say. I want to write more and yet, I struggle for what to write. I have a couple of items to review upcoming.  Exciting, right? As always I am open to requests or ideas. Just leave them here or on Facebook. Thank you all for reading and being here.

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