During this COVID-19 Pandemic, Jake is back home with us. After 6 months at residential school, our emotions were thrown back into "alert" mode, when he had to return home for the duration of the quarantine.
We have learned that in order to keep the peace, we need to keep Jake moving and engaged all the time. Idle time risks an overload of screens and overstimulating videos. The switch back into our pre-residential school schedule was swift: work half day, teach Jake half day via adventures/experiences and have my evenings for what Chris and I want to do.
So needless to say, two weeks into the extended stay at home, we are full on home school adventure mode. I find that he is much more "available" when we are walking or moving in some way. Our trips through unknown woods and parks lead to great conversations.
While walking today we trudged through a creek (which Jake fixed for me with logs on the way back), climbed stairs made by roots in the dirt and man made into a hill, and tacked many stairs that led to a bridge over the highway, as well as an arched steel bridge over a river where Jake attempted to climb across on a log in the middle of raging waters! Many of these connections were breathtaking in different ways.
The log in the creek was Jake's idea to help me: Pride.
The stairs made by roots: Gladness and Gratitude, as the nature-made stabilizers helped me climb a muddy hill.
The stairs in the hill: Happiness that someone was smart enough to build them there. Wonder, about whose feet may have been here before us... hundreds of years ago.
The stairs to the highway bridge: Joy as we got to stand above racing semi trucks and cars (one of Jake's favorite things to do for many years) and Joy that it connected us to more trails to explore along the river.
The log across the river: Panic as Jake climbed out a bit, then plopped onto his bottom for some time, then decided it was too risky. Whew!
When walking on the flatter surfaces, Jake's nonstop chatter is about how he is going to be the President, work for Boeing, become a welder and build things, construction worker to make his own 6 bedroom house, science guy bc he loves tech/science and be like Martin Luther King Jr. and St. Francis.
As we were headed out of the woods today, I took a chance and started talking rather abstractly about "connectors". We discussed how some connectors are a "sure thing" and "safe" like the concrete bridges and stairwells made of cold earth. Then I compared them to "connectors" like the logs across the creek and fallen tree across the river are a little more risky and "less safe". He was with me the entire time. He "got it" because he "did it"!
"So my police ambassador speeches were connectors for me to launch a bigger and more helpful career to help even more people."
I added that some times we don't know where all the connectors lead (more risk) and there could be many different ways to get on to the next opportunity.... like the bridge over the highway led to 3 trail options.
When clear and focused, Jake has the ability to think, plan, and reflect. These clear moments come almost always during (right after) exercise or first thing in the morning.
Take a walk. Clear your head. Refocus.
Thanks for reading, it was an exciting morning.
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