Half Way

We've got to hold on to what we've got 
Cause it doesn't make a difference 
If we make it or not 
We've got each other and that's a lot 
For love - well give it a shot 

Whooah, we're half way there 
Livin on a prayer 
Take my hand and we'll make it - I swear 
Livin on a prayer 

We've got to hold on ready or not 
You live for the fight when it's all that you've got 

                                           Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, and Desmond Child

Ok, it’s pretty close to half way, another few days. It seems like I have been here for three months, and it seems like I should be coming home soon. 
I have planned my big trip. A little adventurous of course, but what do I ever do that is not? 
Aodhan has been in a really good mood these past couple of days. We had a big disagreement the other day, because one of the straps was ripping off his backpack. I was really feeling stressed over taking a falling apart backpack on this long trip. He refused to have it repaired by me or by a professional backpack repair guy - (these are plentiful here). He also refused to get a new one. He did agree to fix it himself with some string, but I was sure this was not going to be a great solution. I never understand how to come to a compromise with someone who is not willing to shift a millimeter. He is worried because to him everything has life. His backpack has life, and he does not want to see it poked with a needle, or gotten rid of. I tried explaining to him that if a person was ripped open, we would have to poke them with a needle too, and stitch them back together. That did not go over well. It just made him begin to get very angry. I dropped the whole topic.
This morning, I asked him to have a shower. He, with a bit of argument, agreed to. While he showered, I borrowed sewing stuff from my landlord and quickly stitched his backpack. I preemptively stitched the other strap too! I hope it holds. He has not complained, and he has had the backpack all day. It is not the way I like to do things, behind someone’s back, but it is the only choice Aodhan gives me. 
I also bought Aodhan shoes today. The ones he has are quite literally falling apart, and falling off his feet. They will not last through the trip. There are six inch rips on both sides of each shoe, and the heel is not attached to the base of the shoe. I have been trying since before I left Canada, to get him to pick out new shoes. He will not. He can choose any shoes in any store, but he only wants his old ones. Again, an unresolvable dilemma. Again, I must choose to go behind his back. The shoes I bought him are almost identical to the ones he has. Grey, converse style runners. I tossed the old ones in the bin after he went to bed tonight, and we will see what happens in the morning. In the morning, the easiest path will be to lie to him, and tell him his old shoes are at Yesenia’s for safekeeping. It’s not exactly a lie, his other old shoes are there. They too are full of holes and will be tossed before we return to Canada. 
I never understand why Aodhan wants to live in a make believe world. I know there are things in this world that are hard to deal with, but we have to. I have always tried to help my children see everything in this world, the good, the bad and the ugly. Aodhan just does not want to deal with anything that causes him even slight discomfort. Any isight on any of this? Any ideas about dealing with this? Do I just go behind the curtain and rearrange the props so that his act runs smoothly? I let him know that I am doing it. He just refuses to admit he sees it, and that is the way he wants it. At least for this trip, I am not going to make him face facts. 
So off we go tomorrow. It is hard to believe that this is the last night in our apartment. The jackhammers are silent right now, so I think it is a good time to go to bed. I won’t miss the mall construction when I leave:)
Well, morning came, and Aodhan complained a little about the change in footwear, but said “well, at least my other shoes are safe”. And sat down. He has not put the new shoes on, but I think the transition is done. 

Misti from the golf course

Pichu Pichu from the golf course

The stuffed animal ride. Sorry the pic is so bad, I only had my i-phone and the ride was moving and it was dark. The seats for the kids are giant plush animals.

Aodhan walking down a road on the outskirts of Arequipa

Hey look, a photo of me!

A little restaurant on the outskirts of Arequipa. I really like that it's tin roof is held on with rocks.

Arequipa's dogs. Most people have one, or several! They are all extremely sociable, and friendly. However, cross their boundaries that they protect, and they will suddenly become ferocious guard dogs.

I thought this looked like the loneliest playground in the world.

Aodhan drawing (of course). I wish he was drawing pictures of his surroundings, but no, right now he draws pictures of car and truck steering systems. He wants to stop at every truck and look under it to see how it's steering system works. He also wants to climb in and see their sleeping compartments. Oh how to explain that you want to see a trucker's bed without giving him the wrong idea. Needless to say, Aodhan has not seen one yet. There is a big trucking show in Toronto in the spring, like the boat show, or car show, but for trucks. They will have many rigs there that Aodhan can climb through. I have promised to take him there.


Kathy Kamaras said…
Elaine, you may not understand why Aodhan is the way he is but I think you are doing a great job dealing with his concerns and yours and keeping in mind what is important to him and being mindful of it.

It would probably have been traumatic for him to see the backpack being repaired, since he thinks of it as a living thing, but doing it "behind his back" was one solution. His "denial" of the change is his way of dealing with it. Had he seen it, he couldn't have denied it. Same with the shoes.

The fact that you see his need for knowing about what interests him and finding ways to get him to see what he "needs" to see is great. I am sure he will love the truck show.

Motherhood, while rewarding, can be trying with any child and I think you are giving your kids great opportunities and dealing with what has to be dealt with as you go along.

If you can, and Aodhan allows it, could you post some of his drawings. I remember seeing some "maps" that he drew of Toronto years ago and being blown away by them. I always think of the book "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" by Brian Selznick when I think of his drawings. He has such talent!