We brought Damian home on Saturday morning and he stayed until Sunday afternoon. This was his second home visit since he began at Hillside.
This visit was a little easier than the first. Everyone was more relaxed and that lead to good and bad moments with Damian. He wanted us all to be as we were when he left and was angry when confronted with things that had changed.
Ella had earned a later bedtime by doing 5 weeks of extra chores (Damian, “when can I earn a later bedtime, that’s not fair?). Emma had learned how to in-line skate in the last couple of weeks (Damian, “Emma is cheating because she can go faster than me, that’s not fair!”). Noah earned the privilege of walking to a neighbors house and around the neighbor hood (Damian, why can’t I go with Noah. That’s not fair!”). Jaia had a birthday while Damian has been gone and she got a new iPod (Damian, “when can I get a new iPod, mine is broken, that’s not fair?”).
Life for our broken little man has been suspended while at Hillside. This weekend he began to face the facts that life moved on without him and it was a hard reality.
When we sat down to discuss this with him on Sunday afternoon, he fell back into the old habit of shutting down and becoming angry. We talked anyway. Calmly telling him that each day brings new challenges but we would face them together. Replying to his pleas to set up rewards for good behavior with a firm statement , “There are no rewards for doing what is expected, there are only rewards for doing more than what is expected. For now you will need to concentrate on doing what is expected.”.
He went back to Hillside angry and refused to speak with us but we stood firm.
As we drove home without our son, again, I felt numb and emotionless. The small sliver of coldness in my heart expanding ever so slightly. I have prayed everyday for Damian’s heart to open and heal for the last seven months. Tonight I have to pray for my own to do the same.