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June 10, 2002
a year ago
three years ago
four years ago

Heroic Jet

Jet was great today. He did heroic duty by having a great morning, a long nap, sitting in his car seat for four hours straight, and then went to an adult party and had a good time with just about everything other than the super long drive.

He was up a couple of times last night, but he had a good morning. John stayed home to take care of him, but he pretty much took care of himself, playing with his toys and getting interested in various things. I worked upstairs while John worked downstairs with him. Then around 11, I went downstairs and nursed him and he went right to sleep. Yay! So John and I cleaned out some leftovers.

John headed into work as he had some meetings, and I went back to work and realized it was nearly two and Jet still hadn't woken up. Oops. I stocked up the car, put in it everything I might need to get to the airport, and then woke Jet up to change him, tuck him back into his car seat and slung him into the car. He was happy with that. Especially after he got a bottle of milk and a snack bar. He munched away and watched the world whirl by the windows.

We were late to the airport, partially because of a train that stopped us just as we got to the tracks. There was also some pretty thick traffic, and slow trucks on the two lane roads that we had to go through. So we got a call on the cel phone just as we got on the airport grounds. I pulled over and answered and it was, sure enough, Isabel, who had gotten her bags. I asked her to meet us at the passenger pickup and hung up. That's when I realized that I made a mistake as the original plan had built in the time for Jet to walk around while getting Isabel from the baggage claim.

We picked up Isabel, and with the novelty of his other grandmother, Jet seemed to be okay. So we headed home. And ran into a lot more traffic the whole way home.

For the last ten minutes of going home, which was mostly on the freeway or country roads, so there wasn't any good place to stop, Jet cried. Poor guy. I'll have to remember this for next time we go to the airport, Jet has to stretch his legs. The moment he got home, got a bit of nursing in, he was fine and played happily with both of us until John came home.

John made a salad and then we all piled into the car again. Jet didn't protest, to my surprise. We then headed north to the north end of Longmont.

The sky was weird. It was all dark with clouds to the south, but clear to the north. We got the splatter of a few raindrops just as we were leaving, but then hit sunshine when we were in Longmont. We got to Pastor Michael's house soon thereafter, and Jet got to get out and run up the driveway to the front door. We were having dinner there, as part of an adult get together. It's supposed to be for anyone too old for the youth group and too young for the seniors group.

We were the only ones there. It loses steam over the summer as everyone is so busy. But it was fun anyway, as we had burgers and brats and lots of good conversation. Jet had a blast as they have a 'perfect' backyard. It's got really soft grass, boundaries for all the plants they wanted to protect, and a nice little deck and concrete patio. Jet got to practice stepping down from the concrete to the grass several times. He fell the first four times, but it was a soft landing and by the end of the evening he was taking it no problem.

He's really trying, hard, to figure out how to walk up and down stairs and he's getting just tall enough, now that he can do it more often. Jet's hanging onto anything he can and using it for balance as he goes up and down. Again, it's a physical thing he's practicing and there's going to be a few falls before he gets it, but he'll get it.

Physical memory is an amazing thing, I think. Having used it so much with fencing, soccer, and watching Jet start to learn how to use it, it just amazes me how quickly it allows human beings to adapt to situations where they can't think everything through. It's the one thing about The Matrix that still keeps me thinking about how it does things. How does it actually program physical memory, which is physically formed when the neurons involved in the activity over and over again, into someone's head? The brain has so little to do with the reality of simply doing what the body has been trained to do, it was both plausible if their simulacrum in the Matrix was what was reprogrammed to simply have the instincts that fired from their will.

Jet does it the hard way every day and makes such huge strides as he tries it over and over. It's why I let him climb in an unsafe place, and caught him when he fell. No harm done and he got to try it out. Far better for him to try and fail than to never try at all, or else there's no way for him to learn it.

The more he grows the more himself Jet is. I like that. I'm getting that we're heading down the right path as Jet gets to be more and more independent, more willing to express the times when he disagrees even without words, and it's just cool learning from him about life, learning, and how to approach new things, people, and experiences. He is, already, friendly with everyone, capable of defending himself in situations where he can, and very willing to decide to do what he wants to do. It's the beginnings of what I've always wanted him to have available to him. I'm glad.

So he had a great time at the little party and everyone had a good time watching out for him. Both in the sense of making sure he was safe and in the sense of making sure he didn't steal their food or step on their toes too hard. There was one moment when their teenage daughter came out for some ice cream after everyone had eaten ice cream. She scooped some into her bowl and was eating it while standing there, and Jet saw her.

He struck a pose and looked at her intensely, brow furrowed, eyes completely focused, and for a good long while he looked entirely tragic. She was eating ice cream in front of him and not giving him any. We all saw the expression, and the teenage daughter looked mildly discomforted. Then Jet broke out in laughter as everyone started giggling, and Jet laughed so hard that he lost his balance and rolled around on the grass.

I don't really know if he started giggling because everyone was giggling at him, or if he really did understand enough to break the tension by falling over laughing... The second would be an amazing thing indeed, so I comfort myself with thinking that he was just laughing because everyone else was laughing.

It was good to get to know the pastor and his wife a bit better. It was also nice to be able to talk a bit, though I mostly, as usual, listened.

We headed home at about 8:30, and Jet had napped on the way to dinner, so we thought he might be able to stay up a bit later. We headed to Safeway and got a few things we had to get. It was a good thing to do, as we'd run out of things like bread, tomatoes, milk, eggs, and other staples. Jet was great during the whole thing. He walked/ran for the first half of it and when he got a little cranky, he rode in the cart, no problem. So we got all our shopping done pretty quickly. I was glad of that.

Then we headed home, and Jet did fall asleep on the way home and missed a spectacular display of lightning. The clouds seemed to be billowing north from the south, and the sky behind us was still light from the setting sun, but the sky to the south was pitch black and only punctuated by lightning of all kinds. Balls of lightning from cloud to cloud, huge rakes of lightning that reached from the tops of those clouds to the ground, and then sheets of it lighting up huge areas of the sky. As we got closer, the rain started to fall, huge droplets that splashed and pinged.

We got home to the drumming of rain. John changed Jet and woke him up and then I took him and nursed him to the sound of rain. The lightning would light up part of the house and then the crash of thunder would make Jet open his eyes and look around for it. He cuddled a little closer, but then was entirely calm with all the other thunder booms.

Watching the news, I found out that the fires were causing some of the change in weather. That the particles from the fire were almost seeding the clouds and causing the rain and thunder and lightning displays. It's not a lot of water, but it is cooling the air down and it looked as if the predictions had dropped from being in the mid-80's and 90's to being down in the mid-70's. Wow. It's quite the change.

The air outside was still making my eyes feel heavy and I was having problems with breathing, so we kept the house closed up and ran the air circulation fans. It runs everything through a static air cleaner, so we could keep the smoke particles out of what we were breathing. That was very useful.

Jet took a while to go to sleep, but managed it around 10.

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