Mind readers, balloon animals, and dead fish.

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Day two and we’re having a banner day!

The routine is pretty simple.  We get up, get dressed, and have breakfast in the cafeteria.  Says Gabe, “The only thing around here better than dinner is breakfast!”  After we’ve eaten, we meet up with our respite providers and the kids take off towards their scheduled events.  The parents head for the stadium-seating auditorium where our “classes” happen.

Here’s something we already knew.  Liv’s a slob.  Gabe likes things in order.  Here are pictures of their respective bunks.

Bed "made," iPad in place, stuffed turtle at the ready.

Bed “made,” iPad in place, stuffed turtle at the ready.

Liv's 1/3 of the room.  Looks like a microcosm of her room at home.

Liv’s 1/3 of the room. Looks like a microcosm of her room at home.

The adults spent the morning catching up, sharing stories, and the main presentation was a mentalist, Chris Grace.   I’m pretty skeptical of these sorts of things by nature, but I love letting myself go with the flow.  I don’t want to know how David Copperfield does what he does.  I’m just thrilled to be in the audience.  This Grace guy was fantastic!  He was able to deduce, memorize, or simply divine things that I was amazed by.  Not fortune telling, but mind reading.  Neat.

We met the kids for lunch, and they were full of smiles and bursting with stories.  Jake couldn’t believe how many people know his name.  He climbed the rock wall again.  All the kids made dinosaur/fossil crafts, and the younger ones had had a turn in the pool.  Jake’s turn comes up right after lunch.

Jake's fossil project.  The lady said he worked very hard, and did a really great job!

Jake’s fossil project. The lady said he worked very hard, and did a really great job!

Keith, the head of respite, told me that Jake was having a fantastic day.  He’d heard that he was being extra communicative, and even enjoying some witty back-and-forth with some people.  At lunch, he asked the lady behind the counter for macaroni and cheese.  Beth said she was so proud of him for speaking up on his own.  His reply?  I’m a big boy now.

His favorite part so far was when they went to the lake (Sebago) and he saw a dead fish.  Kelsie said he tried the hard side of the rock wall, but “couldn’t reach” much past half way.  Progress over perfection!

He ate a lunch you couldn’t have jumped over, and they were back at it.

Gabe had the balloonist that visited the children make him a turtle.  It was all he’d hoped for.  image

Ooh!  One more thing.  Jake saw a nun.  We are at St. Joseph’s after all.  He asked Beth who the lady in the black shirt was.  The sister reminded him of that movie with all the ladies in black shirts.  He meant Sister Act.  His Catholic exposure is lacking, apparently.  I’m surprised he didn’t ask why she wasn’t singing Motown.

Everybody’s still hyped up with excitement about what the afternoon will bring.  The theme this year is dinosaurs, so the group activity tonight will be watching The Good Dinosaur, but you can bet we’ll get more family pool time.

I’m having a hard time thinking of how to express in words how “good” Jake looks.  He’s carrying himself well, he’s confident, and he’s in his element.  He’s understood here.  He’s accepted here.  He’s able to let himself be brave here.  He’s having the time of his life.

I want to leave a you with a funny story:

We stopped at Target on the way down to grab Jake some new underwear.  I selected a package of moisture-wicking, performance boxer briefs.  He chose the pack with the funky designs.  I bought the same size as the basketball shorts he was wearing, but when he proudly came out modeling the first pair from the pack, it was clear that they were too small.  He loves compression, but these are ridiculous!  Beth asked him how he felt, instead intending to ask him how THEY felt, and he responded without hesitation, “Sexy!”  That kid.   SMH….

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