New family members

NEW ARRIVALS.

You may think that it’s a bit dramatic to consider them new family members, but meh… we don’t care. The children have been begging for pets for ages, and knowing that we were told we weren’t allowed anything at our old house (not even fish) meant we hadn’t got any. Now though, have 2 Russian Dwarf Hamsters (one for each child).

They have been here for a little while now, and the children are very responsible for ensuring they are cared for and clean and fed. Logan wants a dog, Caitlin wants a cat… we lost our cat (Moozer) to the frost and ice 2 years ago. And they have been begging for a pet since. However, we have decided for now that this is the limit to fit our lifestyle.

So please meet our newest bundles of chaos:

Dynamite
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and

Fire

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Real empathy… where did it come from???

So today, I was floored.

A close family member’s leopard gecko died. The children love it – they go straight to the room where the gecko lives every visit and are very excited to handle her. So I knew they’d probably feel sad about it.

Logan is someone who feels his own sadness, usually more centred around what he won’t get to have/do any longer, rather than the actual grieving of it (I’m sure he feels loss but doesn’t understand it as sadness).

However, when I told him today, he broke his heart and said how sad it felt, then just went silent. A look of realisation came over his face, followed by a deeper wave of sadness. Then words came out of his mouth that I was not expecting. “I can’t imagine how Peter must be feeling, he must be very very upset” or words to that affect.

I am so glad I was sat down. I was definitely overcome. The boy who cannot regulate, doesn’t understand physical feelings, let alone emotional ones, and even when it’s pointed out will often chose the self-focused thought over empathy… did he just empathise with someone in the middle of expressing his own sadness? Did he feel and understand sadness enough to realise someone else may be feeling worse than him? I think he did.

So utterly motivated. He still can’t regulate, he still has moments where he’s wetting himself, making himself sweat unecessarily, still not letting himself express illness, respond to thirst. BUT – He just showed real empathy. This is massive. There is hope that we can help him understand emotion, consequences and selflessness. We have seen the first signs. It may not be a regular occurance for a while, but the door is open; we previously didn’t know if the door had been locked, and the key destroyed.

This is massive.