Wednesday, June 27, 2012


We've had a bit of a setback recently at the Gates Home. It's hard to say if we expected it or not. After last week's progress with Henry seeming to open up, show his personality and demonstrate comfort with his surroundings, this week has shown a step backwards.

Mondays are have consistently proven difficult for Jenn. Over the weekend, we're both around to divide our attention amongst the kids. Between naps and general kid-busyness, they each get a good amount of one-on-one time. But when Monday rolls around, and I go back to work, there's Jenn and three kids. This week Lincoln has been going to Vacation Bible School at Grandma & Grandpa's church and he loves it! But there's still Lydia and Henry, and while Lydia is okay with playing by herself or at least not having Jenn's undivided attention all of the time, Henry is not yet at that point. When he doesn't get what he wants when he wants it, he goes into "fit-throwing" mode. And it's wearing. Jenn. Out.

Perhaps we overdid it on Sunday, with going to worship in the morning and going to a cook-out with friends in the evening. There were lots of folks who hadn't seen Henry yet that wanted to see him and there was a lot going on right around him.
As good as he did at the park with our community group a while back, we anticipated that he'd be okay with hanging out in the back yard of our friends with Jenn and me. But he was anxious and didn't want to be put down to walk around at all. If these events made him feel uneasy, that was not good preparation for Monday. But it's the reality with which we dealt.

It's been difficult to not want to build quickly on progress that we've seen. Those outside our situation may think to themselves, "Well, duh!" But it's an entirely different thing to be living in the situation, to be tied down to the house and want to get out with friends and have a break from the neediness. Some may also say that it's only been four weeks since we've been home, and that's not a long time in the grand scheme of things, but in the moment, it sure feels long. But doing too much is not helping Henry feel secure, and when he doesn't feel secure, we all pay the price. Hopefully we'll be able to look back on this time and see that it was one step backward amidst several steps forward.

Some things that are funny about Henry and the areas where he is fitting nicely into his routine are that he rolls over on his back for his diaper changes and he now begs (grunts, really) for his stories. Just three weeks ago he didn't want story-time at all.

We enjoy Lincoln's arrival home from VBS because he seems to remember about 60% of the information from the day, and we're never sure which 60% it's going to be. He remembers the songs, and those are fun to sing with him. For instance, "God made me Thumb-body special!" And the inflatables! Oh, the inflatables! He reminds us routinely that he has a lot of fun on the inflatables.

Lydia is starting to say her ABC's. Not consistently, yet, but she wants to be able to say them, so with some coaching and playing along, she'll either start at some point in the middle of the alphabet on her own, or she'll fill in the blanks if we start it for her. Her eczema is also improving with the Aveeno lotion that Jenn started last week. It remains to be seen if this is true, long-term eczema, or if it was something like a lingering heat rash. In any event, her skin is much more calm, and she's not as miserable as she was two weeks ago.

One oasis for Jenn has been a group of ladies that recently started meeting on Thursday evenings. Two of other three are in our community group, so there's good familiarity, and it gives all of them a chance to get away from their homes for a bit and talk and work through their Bible study. Times like this with people like this are invaluable with life circumstances like this.

I'm still in the prepping phase for this year's Men's Retreat: FREQUENCY to be held at the Leesville Lake cabin in August. I've really appreciated having a couple of buddies to help me with the planning this year. The last two years, while I recruited four outstanding speakers for the Saturday lesson times, I planned by myself. Lots of guys gave me lots of positive feedback, but it was a stressful thing to do all of the planning, and without other guys off of whom to bounce ideas, I was never sure how things would be received. This year, Andy & Manny, the two guys in my Bible study group, have provided great feedback, ideas and guidance over the past seven months for the upcoming retreat and we're really looking forward to it.

1 comment:

Emily said...

Still praying for you all and the adjustments you are going through. We love you guys!