Alex doesn't have an aide officially assigned to him at school, as the structured environment does more to help than having someone constantly looking over his shoulder ever could. However, one of the special needs aides does check in with him and his teachers on a regular basis to ensure he is coping and fulfilling his homework obligations. She, angel that she is, also volunteers her own time one afternoon a week to help guide him in the right direction with any longer-than-overnight homework assignments. Betty drops him home after these 'study sessions' as she lives just around the corner and today stayed for a chat.
She started by praising Alex for the amount of work he had managed to achieve this afternoon and went on to give more praise for the vast improvement in quality. Without any prompting from either of us, he thanked her for her help then voluntarily went and finished the project he had been working on. I was flabbergasted and jokingly asked her what she had been feeding him during the afternoon to make him listen to her.
Her reply was "I didn't feed him anything and the only reason he listens to me is that I'm not you. Haven't you figured out that teenagers never listen to their own mothers?" We both laughed before she added "Anyway, he's a really good kid and has beautiful manners. You're definitely doing something right."
And that is what I mean about taking life one day at a time. Each day is a new opportunity start over and to remind yourself to rejoice in the good things.