Best and Worst of Scout Camp

Sam was away at Boy Scout camp since Sunday and I picked him up last night.  When I got there he was in meltdown mode complaining about water in his ear.  He cried and lashed out at Isaac a few times.  Generally, not himself at all.  After about an hour, I finally got him settled down after we loaded the car and went to the Trading Post for ice cream sandwiches.  He never complained about anything but his ear, no matter how many times I asked him.

Tonight Sam and I got back into our swing of walking the dog.  I love our walks.  Sam is in charge of the dog.  Since he has had a life long fear of dogs and still dislikes it when Ghost barks (very loudly) and when Ghost blocks the tv by walking in front of it, the fact that he loves this task is quite amazing. 

We talked about what was best about camp, and what was difficult.  I asked him why he was melting down at camp.

"Oh, you mean because of my dad?" 

He hadn't said that at camp.  He had been complaining about his ear.  But his dad wasn't able to come because of Nathan's troubles.  While we had planned for Nathan to stay with my mom and the rest of the family pick up Sam, the aggression and acting out precluded one of us coming.  Paul is better at staying in control of himself.  So I grabbed the chance to go.  And was unsettled to find that I walked out of the frying pan of Nathan's aggression and into the coals of Sam's meltdown.

And Sam was able to tell me why tonight.  I was so proud of him.

And so sad, because of all the things we miss because of Nathan's troubles.  And how much the other two have to give up and give in.

We talked about how Sam can't fix his autism, and how Nathan's autism is a lot worse.  How Nathan can't talk about his problems, and so that makes it hard to fix them.  How Nathan has bipolar, and that is a sickness of the brain that can't be cured.  It can only be treated with medicine.  And how sometimes Nathan is sicker than others.

And we talked about how his dad had wanted to come, but had to keep Nathan safe from himself.

I'm so proud of Sam.   He is gaining so many skills.  I see how so many see him--so far behind in development and sometimes looking and acting so weird.  But if they could see what I see.  How far he has come.  How different this boy is who can look inside and start seeing the cause behind the reaction.  Sure, it was a day later.  But he saw it, which is light years ahead of where he was even last year.  He is growing, and while he is about 5 years behind in some ways, he will keep growing after many of his peers stagnate.  And while he will always be different, if people are willing to look beyond those differences, they will be as amazed as I am.

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