The More Things Change. Sam is 16.

Sam turned 16 this month.  I feel like I should have something profound and deep to say about the progress he's made, my fears for the future, blah, blah blah.

What I have is a series of vignettes.

1.  Back when he was about 9, Sam asked when he could drive.  Thinking it was so far in the future I couldn't imagine it, I said "16."  He never forgot.  And brought it up over and over.  As 16 loomed closer and closer, I started telling Sam that it was not likely he would drive.  His attention cannot stay focused outside the thoughts in his head.  He may drive someday.  But someday wasn't coming fast enough.

On his birthday I told him "Happy Birthday!"  He smiled, and then it faded.  "My brain has not developed enough for me to drive."  I see his classmates going for their learner's permits.  And it is a small knife in my gut.

2.  Sam had a paper due for history.  I've been at a meeting and very busy with work.  His dad and TSS had told me about the paper being due.  His TSS had said "I've told him several times to do it, but he keeps goofing off."  It was due Monday.  On Sunday, I sat down with him and realized he had no clue how to get started.  I had a major meltdown as I screamed at my husband (and texted his TSS) that he has DEFICITS and it's not enough to TELL him to do stuff.  He has to be helped to develop the skills. Shown how he needs to organize.  Have a checklist of getting a project done.

Even grownups fuck this shit up, sometimes.  We have to stay on top of our game.

3.  While we were doing the paper, Nathan decided to whack Sam over the head for shits and giggles.  Being uptight already, Sam cowered and started crying.  Because the first time elicited such an excellent response, Nathan did it again about 30 min later.

We talked again about not just letting Nathan hit him and how he has to stand up and take charge.

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With all of this I realize how much I am needing to spend more time with Sam and Isaac.  Nathan takes all of Paul's time and energy.  It is never-ending with him, especially since we homeschool him.  It is not enough that I take them on the weekend.  Sam is escaping every weekday afternoon upstairs.  And I can't say I blame him, when his time downstairs with Nathan is not rewarding.

It seems that, as time goes by, so many of the same problems remain.

How do I help all of my boys?  How do we actually help, and not just put out fires?

How do I balance work and family needs?  I love that we are more financially secure.  Back in the day I had lots of time and very little money.  Now we have more money.  And very little time.

How do I monitor Sam's school, teachers, aides when I am rarely here?  I really want to keep my hand in so I know what's going on.  Paul can't do it all, when 90% of his time is taken up making sure Nathan is safe.  And everything and everyone is safe from Nathan.

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