Is this what breathing feels like?

I've been remiss in posting for the last few weeks; I've generally been too exhausted to form coherent paragraphs, so I decided to step back and focus on the important part: parenting.

It has been a challenging month.  Our son is testing every possible limit he can test, he has been rude and disrespectful to pretty much everyone, and will find any excuse he can to start an argument.  He is clearly hurting and lashing out because of that hurt, and all we can do for now is just be there and get the job done.  He needs to know he can't push us away.

That said, he can also be wonderful.  His big sister was in town for a few weeks, and I sent them to Elitch Gardens together;  they had a lot of fun until his attitude issues kicked in.  Yesterday, we went as a trio to Bandimere Speedway to watch fast cars burn a lot of petroleum products; he lit up when the (mostly upgraded street) cars started to break 100, and positively beamed when one of the special cars broke 210.

There was a minor victory last night: He had been procrastinating on a summer school reading assignment until I finally put my foot down and insisted it get done.  After his tantrum, he did the reading: I had a brief Q&A with him to ensure he got not only the plot but the message of the piece, and it felt amazing to see the lightbulb click on when he realized how that story related directly to his own experiences.

Tomorrow he starts 7th grade.  All hatches are battened down.