I've been trying to write out a post about Genea's overall emotional growth for a while now and I'm finding it difficult to express. It's the absence of negatives that defines much of her progress and that's hard to write in a readable way.
Like this... "Genea USED to pick paint off the walls and draw on stuff everywhere wherever she wanted too, BUT she stopped!". Or, "after six straight years of having the table manners of a buffalo, she told me yesterday she is practicing all the things I've been telling her so she'll have nice manners at Thanksgiving".
See? Those are two really awesome things, but to share them I almost have to include negative information for context. Otherwise? A ten year old who doesn't draw on the walls in crayon? Not impressive. I'm going to try to present things in a positive way, but if it reads awkwardly, well, hopefully the point will still get across.
So, here are some that *seem to be* sticking!
(I say that with a disclaimer so as to not incur the wrath of any Blog Gods or Goddesses who think I am getting uppity, or confident, or flippant, etc)
Genea goes to her performance classes every Monday until 7 at night. When she comes home, she has to get everything done in an hour. Her bedtime is 8, but even if we let her stay up late she asks to go to bed by 8:05. She finishes it ALL, without even a sigh of complaint. She sits at the table with her dinner doing her homework at the same time. She does homework on the bus and during class breaks to get it all done. I would say she does as well as "the average child" but honestly, I think most kids would whine about it. She does better than most kids.
On schoolwork, she is consistently just a bit behind her class academically. Just a bit! Even though it takes her 2 or even 3 times longer than other kids to get homework done, she just damn good and well does it. Any fuss is well within the range of "normal" annoying kid behavior.
She pretty much does all of her own personal tasks. In the past, every little thing required my constant attention and fits could be thrown for hours over any part. Now, she gets dressed, does her hair, picks out her clothes, cleans the room, changes her bedding, showers, all those things without any pleas for unneeded help.
I can hug Genea and she does not lurch away, recoil, or rub the spot I touched as if I'd hugged her with a plumbing wrench. I can hug her first.
She really remembers what she's been taught at school. She especially has a talent for retaining obscure bits of minutiae. Why is that such a great thing? Because The Husband has an intense love for the most tedious facts ever invented. Typically he has had only me to share with. The GNP of Nepal? Gosh.... I used to know.... hmmm. Now he and Genea can trade details!
Again, it's difficult to express what is so great about a kid who seems to be just meeting basic expectations. So I'll say this- for Genea, it has taken massive effort. I've never done heroin but I hear quitting is really hard. To turn around hard core habits- really hard.