We haven't had any really big problems with Corey since moving here. Moreover, he has been much more helpful around here than he tended to be at the apartment. Is it a honeymoon phase? I don't know. It's lasted a month. He said he feels safe here, unlike our old place. He loves the house and the neighborhood. I believe he's proud of our home.
Sure, we've had some downs with the ups. For example, Corey nearly garnered a truancy last month for not turning in enough credits. However, as much as Corey is responsible, my mom is also part of that problem. Despite my telling her three different ways in the past month (not to mention countless other times before it was this important) that Corey needs to do schoolwork during school hours, she just doesn't seem to get it. She says she does now. And she's our only solution to the dilemma of what to do with Corey, so we have exceptionally limited options but to try to believe her and otherwise stay on top of things.
One of Corey's major achievements is that he found out on Tuesday that he passed the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE... pronounced like Casey). Am I surprised that he was able to pass both parts on the first try? No. Am I surprised that he did it? A little. This is my guy who, when being tested in seventh grade by someone who'd never met him before, gave such lame answers that he was referred to a speech program and "how did he get this far with pre-kindergarten skills?!" Yeah, right. When he was pre-K, Corey tested at a second grade level (testing in that case was for entry into a private school... he was accepted for skill and then recommended to wait a year for behavior... I wish I could have gotten a better hold of my ego on that one).
Another major success is that (and I'm praying that I don't jinx myself right now), Corey hasn't been hoarding anything. Not food, not weapons, not things that can become weapons. For the first time in about 9 months we had a counseling appointment that was never angry, hostile or sarcastic... on anyone's part.
Things have been going well enough with Corey that Tom called yesterday to see if I wanted to pick up Madelyn and let him get Corey... something he hadn't offered to do since living here. Too bad we were already up the hill. But it really says something about Tom's being able to let go of a little of his anger regarding Corey's past choices. That's been a righteous struggle for Tom over the past several months. I am sure to be one of a few people who shall be crushed if Corey goes astray again.
This morning I had to drop both kids off about much earlier than I usually do. Corey knew this. I got nearly no sleep at all last night, probably from subconscious worries about being late to an important meeting. Ten minutes before I was going to get up, I heard Corey head down the stairs. He made a bottle for Mad and fed her while I dressed. He was ready when it was time to go. I dropped him off 10 minutes ahead of my have-to-do-it-by schedule.
Tonight, despite how hard things went on Tuesday after I complimented him, I told Corey again that I am proud of how he's handled things this week. It's sad to be fearful of praising your kid lest he self-destruct again, but I focus on the fact that it's worse not to do it anyway.
One of the best things I've ever been able to tell Corey... that I knew he would be thrilled with immediately (he was thrilled about Tom and I getting married and especially about my being pregnant, but I wasn't sure he would be) is this: Tomorrow we are getting a puppy. A little girl whose name has not been chosen. We may also acquire one of her brothers, but that is not a given. Corey will be helping to rescue at least this one dog of three who were left in a box on the corner of a dairy owned by a family I know. As good as he is with his sister, I know he will be with this sweet, skittish, darling being. He may also try to get out of the majority of feedings and any excretory cleanups, but he will show her (them?) love and playfulness. Tomorrow evening will be quite busy, as we need to handle shots and a serious flea bath before we can converge at home (here's an unexpected bonus of living up the hill... fleas are not a problem unless one lives near one of the lakes or the aqueduct... we do not). And since we won't know until tomorrow if the brother is coming, too, we'll have to get the doggie bed and whatever other supplies are still needed.
I'm happy to say that Corey's feeling up to the challenge.