Progress Avenue


July 11, 2011 by Marj Hatzell

When we go to our family cabin we have to drive from Philly to Harrisburg and then head north to the middle of the woods on a dirt road with no cell tower, phone or tv to our little slice of heaven. Harrisburg is more confusing than Philly to me and I’ve lived her my whole flipping life.  State Capital and what not.  It’s a pretty state capital, just confusing. Anyway, what was my point again?

My point is that the first thing that popped in my head when I sat here to update my humble little blog was Progress Avenue. It’s an exit off of one of the highways we frequent to get to little cabin in the woods.  I’m using it as a metaphor of life, because I’m awesome like that. Life is a confusing series of highways. Sometimes you know the exact route sometimes you take the wrong exit, sometimes you are faced with a fork in the road and have to choose which direction you will go. Sometimes you will encounter traffic or get into an accident. Sometimes your trip is smooth sailing and when you arrive at that particular destination, you’re all, “WHEW. Glad that was a breeze!”  One thing I have learned about travel? Never, ever take it for granted when you arrive at your destination unscathed.  Some people never get there, you know?

So. Progress Avenue. Right now, we’re kinda smooth sailing. Things are going just about as well as they can go. The boys are in summer mode and that can be a scary, scary thing. Sometimes they adjust and sometimes they don’t. Bugaboo, for the most part, is back into the swing of things. It’s a little harder to get Bug Boy there. He just doesn’t want to communicate, does not want to go on playdates, doesn’t want to leave the house. I’d say that he feels safer at home than doing something unknown, unplanned, uncomfortable.  We did sign him up for summer music camp so he can play screeching cats his violin. They have a cute little concert next week and everything. He is very much looking forward to it. Problem is, music camp has a wonky schedule that IS NOT best for Bug Boy.  Too much time in between things, too much downtime. Signing up for much else isn’t possible, since most day camps around here would conflict with music camp and, well, music camp is way better. So we spend tons of time at the pool to make up for it.

Have I mentioned before how delightful swimming is for my boys? No?  IT IS DELIGHTFUL.

Bug Boy also joined the diving team for our little swim club this year. He started out barely able to do a front dive. This child has learned to do a back dive, a front flip, a front twist and is learning an inward dive. He has no fear up there. He is confident (and is sometimes downright cheeky) in his abilities. He tries harder than any kid on that team, even if he isn’t the most talented. Seriously, despite some rough practices when he couldn’t focus well and argued with some of his team mates (bad mommy, forgot meds!), he is dedicated and loving it. And I’m loving it.  We have been trying for a while to keep him physically active, involved with his peers and following a set routine for a while. Local intramural sports are PERFECT for this and we have plenty to choose from in our area. The problem? Baseball is an ADHD kid’s worst night mare. He cannot play hockey or football or basketball due to his little skull malformation in the back of his head. He technically shouldn’t do soccer, either, but as long as he doesn’t hit balls with his head, we’re golden. Problem is he is aging out of intramurals. And, the issue is chaos. Swim team?  He is a good swimmer. The meets are just too darn chaotic, loud, pressured. He’d melt. So we have to find sports where he is still with peers and still gets socialization.

Enter diving. And tennis. And golf (in middle school). And bowling (not sure if they have a team near us, but we’re gonna try).

What I’ve realized? Having something to do, something that is JUST HIS gives him a sense of purpose. It’s not for Mom and Dad, not for Bugaboo, just for Bug Boy. He looks forward to it. It builds his confidence. He learns important lessons (like, coming in 9 out of ten in his age division stinks, but he wasn’t last and he did his best). He is with his peers and socializing.  He is giving it his all and is 100% successful.  And a few years ago?  When this child could barely make it across the width of the pool? I never imagined he’d be taking third place in a dive meet in his age group. I never imagined he’d tell his fellow divers they were doing a great job, or pat someone on the back when they didn’t perform they way they wanted. Bug Boy today is NOT Bug Boy from a few years ago. Yes, we’re still having some issues with him being grumpy and withdrawn this summer. But I’ll take what we have right now because I know how to deal with it.

Bugaboo. Oh, Bugaboo. You are a delightful, happy child. You make my life exciting (read: never boring). I know you’ve made progress lately and I can tell you’ve grown by leaps and bounds, and not just because you and your brother are eating me out of house and home (side effect of the pool). But my proudest moment came this weekend when we dropped Bug Boy off/picked him up for a sleepover with our dear friends/former neighbors. Bugaboo behaved when we were in the house chatting. He tried to take a bath once ( he bathes at everyone’s house. We’re working on it) but otherwise was compliant and didn’t break or destroy anything. The best part? Dear former neighbor noticing and commenting on how well he was listening and how well he behaved himself. Folks, we’ve been working on this. REALLY WORKING ON IT. Like, every morning, noon and night. He’s getting it.  And!  I apparently haven’t been paying attention because you know how he bites himself? ZERO. As in, the past two weeks he hasn’t done it ONCE. I know I’m jinxing myself and I should just shut up but I’m so proud. This boy once had bruises and scars and callouses all over his tiny hands from upwards of ninety-six (no, that’s not a typo) bites A DAY. Zero is my favorite number now, my friends. Although I can hear Bug Boy in the back of my head arguing that it isn’t a number at all…

So. Progress Avenue. We’re on the right road. Here’s hoping it’s smooth sailing for a while now.

4 thoughts on “Progress Avenue

  1. MemeGRL says:

    Have you tried the Kids Bowl Free site? They make their money on the shoe rentals but they get two free games a DAY for the summer. Totally worth it, esp. if you sign up in your junk email box.

  2. Stimey says:

    Hooray for Progress Avenue! So glad it’s going well.

  3. Heather says:

    Love Progress Avenue! Sports are a great help when you find the right one for the child. It builds confidence and helps them get their energy out in a positive way. I’ll be thinking good thoughts for you that Progress Avenue will continue going for a long trip.

  4. First, the actual Progress Ave. is one of THE most confusing roads and exits off the interstate ever. I can navigate just about every other road in Harrisburg, but that one eludes me.

    Second, progress in the more figurative sense and applied to the kids is sheer awesome! It’s amazing how we don’t always notice their growth, but if we take a minute and think, it’s there.

    Third, if you have a local bowling alley, check for Saturday morning kid leagues. Most out this way and in the NW part of the state have them, so I would guess Philly would be similar. They usually have sign ups around this time and start about the time school starts. It just depends on the place when they start. I did bowling league as a kid, so I’m not so eager to give up my Saturday mornings as an adult. Plus, 10yo would melt down if we missed the Star Wars cartoon.

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