Sunday, November 23, 2014

Adventures In Teenagerhood

Life is always moving on and changing.  Since I last posted here, Safety Guy earned his long-anticipated NY learner's permit for driving.  Oh, the joy!  He's just as I expected behind the wheel - cautious, and slightly obsessive about it.  But he's doing really, really well.  He's happy to practice as much as possible, with both myself and his father.  Two different vehicles, two different teachers, but he's doing great.  We're being careful to get him solid on foundation skills before letting him move on to more advanced stuff, and he's been fairly patient about that.  He understands the need to be careful - he's not driving a bike, he's driving a ballistic missile.  It's not just his own safety at stake when he's behind the wheel.  Thank goodness he's watched all of those safe driving PSAs and automobile crash tests - a very good application of Aspergers obsessions.

Safety Guy is also finally free of the restrictions of the ortho boot, crutches, and a later ankle brace, after breaking his fibula during JV football practice at the end of August.  He's thinking of joining the high school weight lifting team, or at least going to work out in the weight room after school several days a week.

The Princess is quick to remind everyone that she's almost thirteen (and in fact refers to herself as thirteen, even though her birthday isn't for another three months).  In maturity, she's ahead of 95% of her peers, a fact which has made seventh grade a real trial for her at times.  Seventh grade isn't much fun for anyone, I think.  It's just a tough age.  Junior high is really something I think most of us endure more than enjoy.  Anyhow, she's handling it better now than at the beginning of the year, when the learning curve (new school, new classmates, new EVERYTHING) was quite overwhelming.

Something that has been a huge blessing to her is the high school marching band (which also takes some students from 6th-8th grade, but is very selective).  It's a competitive field band, and they took the Princess into their pit crew, where she became a jack of all trades on various percussion instruments.  She made some great new friends at all grade levels, and one older student took her under his wing as a younger sister.  The band did fantastic this year, traveling to Ohio for a major competition at OSU (winning two awards and essentially placing second in their category), and coming in third in their division at the NY State Field Band Competition.  The Princess has now joined the competitive winter percussion ensemble, and is looking forward to learning some new skills.

She's also getting along great with a new horse at her riding stable, a 17 year old retired jumper named Henry.  (Well, that's his stable name - he has a fancy French name I've forgotten.)  Her riding instructor purchased him with the Princess in mind, since her mount from this past summer is no longer available for her to ride.  She and Henry look like they'll be a great team for showing next year.

It hasn't been completely smooth sailing the past couple months - but that's another post.  Today, I'm thankful for my kids' new schools, new teachers, new friends, new activities, and the fun they've had.  I'm very proud of how they've handled this transition.