Monday, July 16, 2012

26/366 Gotta love summer. This week was all about Independence Day at the Calistoga County Fair.  Z had a very nice time. He continues to try out things that were not so long ago out of his comfort zone, which is huge for him. I tried bribing and bullying him into trying out the yo-yo (the swings that turn above the heads of passersby) but they were still a step beyond what he is willing to try. Which is fine, he went on a number of rides that I thought were much "scarier," but a mom is free to be greedy when it comes to milestones right?

On the first ride Z went on he met a boy roughly his own age whom was there with his parents. He wanted someone to go on the rides with and invited Z to hang out with him. I told Z it was fine and started to follow the boy to the attraction he was headed to, the ride that is a jungle of foam and bridges ending in a slide, but Z zipped ahead of him and ran through the entire thing almost before the boy had even entered. This continued in the fun house and every other thing the boy asked Z to join him on. The boy was patient and continued to go on things with Z, despite the fact that Z wasn't actually doing any of it with him. Eventually we broke away to do other things, but I wish I had realized there were a couple of rides that required groups of two because of course Z ended up wanting to go on them. He had the good idea of approaching kids his age whom had wristbands to ask them if they wanted to go on any of the rides with him, but none of them did.
When Z was standing in line for the bumper cars he was behind two boys around his age, and in front of them was a boy who appeared to be maybe seven or eight. Z was his usual outgoing self, talking away at them and trying to get them to laugh, all the while standing much too close to them. He got them to laugh all right, but they were clearly laughing at him. Even the boy who was much younger than Z was joining in on making fun of him, which bothered me much more than the older boys for some reason. I guess I feel like younger boys are supposed to look up to the older boys.  They're supposed to be the ones trying to do the impressing.

I wanted to just stand back and let the scene play out because I can't hover over Z his entire life but he was getting more and more wild, spinning, flapping, jumping, and making loud noises in an attempt to get the boys to laugh. I think Z could sense he was being rejected, and when he feels like he isn't being accepted he starts to get more frantic, and "spin" in an attempt to get his audience back. When Miguel came back from the bathroom I sent him over to discreetly tell Z to cool it a little. Z replied, "They think I'm funny." Miguel told him that they weren't laughing with him, and Z did tone it down a little but it's just not in his nature to just stand there and try to look cool. Z could care less about looking cool.

The encounter was a good reminder of how lucky we are to have found the school Z is currently in. Z would be eaten alive at most junior high schools but at the school he's at he's free to (mostly) be himself. He's not the weird kid, and most of the time when the kids are laughing at him it's because they genuinely think he's funny. I think life would be a lot different (and more difficult) if we hadn't been welcomed into his school community.
 This week we also headed to Fort Ross and the ocean. I love that my children love nature as much as I do, and that they are both willing to follow me on my half-cocked adventures.
And finally, we ended the week swimming in my aunt Denise's pool. Z loves his great-aunt so much.
This week was the perfect reminder of why summer is my favorite season.

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