Birthday party and full cousin immersion went almost without a hitch! No chocolate was had, and there was only one tantrum which dissipated quietly, although it did take a fairly long time. It was mostly quiet crying/whining after a few "I don't care"s. We had a lot going on socially this weekend, so it would have been abnormal not to have some sort of meltdown.
Phew! We have come a long way!
I have been going back in time a fair bit lately, as one is want to do upon a year's anniversary of adopting one's children. Sometimes I can still taste the feelings of panic and exhaustion I awoke to every morning for far too many months (isn't this supposed to end sooner? I'd ask every morning). Other times I look at my teen-aged sons and wonder where the time has gone. Really, H's feet are almost as big as mine. He rolled his eyes at me the other day. Lire sighs audibly.
There are still moments of weirdness for me. For example, tonight H. wanted to be tickled after he saw me playing a tickle game with L. H. is still highly sensitive to touch, so I was leery -- generally his body becomes taut and his limbs will shoot out unpredictably, jabbing the unsuspecting parent in the nose or ear. A shrill scream will follow, and somehow his mouth has ended up right where your jabbed ear happens to be.
He did pretty good, all in all, but it still was pretty awkward for him. I am aware that he watches me and Lire interact and notices that it is different from the way he and I do. If I do something with one, I usually have to do it with the other. Probably not unusual with siblings. However, things flow more naturally between me and L. This troubles me, but I'm aware of it, and I'm working on ways to make my and H's relationship easier. I feel how uncomfortable H. feels in his body, with his words, and I want so badly for him to relax, take it easy. Time and greater comfort with the language and ways of our crazy country will help, I know. The more I relax helps, too, of course. Still. I wish I could magically make him feel at ease.