We had a fabulous summer! The 5 of us left TX mid June and took a leisurely road trip back to MA. We hadn't done this trip in 3 years because traveling with Tortuga was just too hard. He wasn't the source of all the challenges but he was the most difficult. We saw so many friends along the way including some former bloggers (Lisa @ Grateful House) and member of the BETA moms' gathering in Orlando. We drove to Washington DC and NYC where we spent time with friends and simply sight-seeing. We arrived in MA just before the 4th of July and stayed through the second week of August. We had missed so much of our community in MA. I don't miss the crowds, traffic, and even parts of the culture but I do miss the progressiveness of the politics and of course our family/friends.
Much of our time was spent at the beach and visiting with people. We realized there were many people and places that Milagro simply didn't remember (she was 6 years old the last time we were home) so we had to revisit some places to try and bring back some memories. The kids all rekindled old friendships and spend a good deal of time simply enjoying being away from home and being themselves. We also spent a bit of time cleaning and clearing things out of our MA home as we prepare for some maintenance, painting and potentially a new tenant.
Milagro continues to be an easy kid (hopefully I won't jinx this for the teen years.) She is obsessed with marine biology (since she was 3), Star Wars (would win most trivia contests) and Wonder Woman. She has finally decided she will not be marrying an Orca ("inter-species relationships can be too difficult") but will still live near them (preferably on a houseboat) and study them. She loves to read, sword/lightsaber fight, make clay art, swim, write stories, learning and spend time with her family. She no longer "misses" Tortuga and has intellectualized his distance from us by noting that she doesn't like who he has become anyone. To her, he will always be the "nice" brother with issues who became a "jerk" when he left home. She used to pine for him and cry about missing him but that hasn't happened since he left for boot camp.
Pollito did well this summer and had a great time. He still has his ODD to battle and we still get frustrated that he doesn't communicate in the ways we would like him to. We have concerns about depression or mood disorder with him but it is hard to tell what is simple frustration with his learning disabilities, growing pains and just plain teen stuff. We know it is more that the teen stuff because we have him on a combination of supplements and vitamins that seem to make a difference when he doesn't take them. He still has a hard time developing "passions" and "hobbies" for himself and usually he seems to choose things his siblings like. For example, he has been a Boy Scout for about a year in a troop that meets weekly and camps monthly. He goes to most meetings and pretty much all the camping trips. We started making him go to camping outings simply because we needed to get a great from his temper and his moods. He wasn't as violent as Tortuga but he would break and destroy things (his property only though) and say ugly/mean things. Over the course of the year he claimed to enjoy himself but it didn't seem to make much difference if he missed it. However, that is also his personality. He punishes himself harder than anyone. In the year of being in BS he did not earn a single rank. He has seen much success in swimming and got moved up to a more competitive group about 6 months after he joined the team. He swims daily and seems to enjoy it but again, he behaves as though he could take it or leave it even though we think he cares more than he lets on.
As for Corazon, she deserves several posts of her own which I can never seem to get to. She did well except for food stealing and sneaking. We know she has a food addiction and a sugar addition and her sport mediates it to some degree. However we are seeing her engage in more addictive behavior than we were willing to admit before. I admit, I do not know exactly what to do here. Everything I know about addiction says that the more family tries to help and mediate, the harder it is for them to admit the problem and work to change it. I name it for her, she gets mad and we continue moving along. Other than that, she is firmly attached, signs of RAD are few and farther between and mostly she is a joy at 17 (yes, she turned 17 this summer!)