There is always… always… an opportunity, even with oppositional children.


Everyday is a learning for me. The day today started hard. I mean really hard, and you know, looking back. I was the cause of it. Yesterday, yeah that was no field trip either, although it ended well. Id like to believe that the positive finish to last night was due to my effort and belief that it’s never too late to make the best of things.

The last several days, perhaps weeks, have been a bit hard. There is a lot going on with my business, my mother and family. Yesterday should have been a fun afternoon and evening. Instead it was a spiral of negativity from my oppositional son, Nate. Which ultimately leads to fighting with his mother. Which lead to fighting with his older sister. In the end we got to a point last night where it wasn’t worth salvaging, but then there’s trying to hold onto always an opportunity.

Nate and I talked. He had a rough day as well. It started well enough. He was recognized at a school assembly for his kindness to others and a supportive nature. It was a citizenship award and it had made him exceptionally proud. Unfortunately, later in the day some extremely unkind words about his being adopted cratered the day. His teacher had called me to let me know what I might expect as she had to console him during a fit of outright sobbing.

Nate and I talked about his adoption. How only when reminded of it do I even consider him adopted. He’s my son and I’m his dad. He’s loved. So taking a minute to understand that he is also effected by others and that effects the way he is with me… duh… why should he be any different? But understanding his perspective was that opening. That opportunity to right the day.

It ended at a local restaurant that he had been asking to go to for about a week. Nate spent most the evening taking part in conversation… when he could look up from his master works of art. Making us laugh, enjoying his mother and sister. Being that kid we all know he can be and is. We walked home and Nate and I fell asleep together on the couch while watching TV.

Today, should have started out well. Got up early to run Crow Peak. Issues with clothes, the dog, the house not being as id like it, the feeling that there were things to be done. It all cratered into a stress chasm that I felt no way out of.

I tried, thinking a day with my son down in the southern hills. That went into a spiral of negativity that seemed to have no bottom. So at my wife’s instance, I went for a run.

So what’s with the bitching about my day? With no real detail and barely a cohesive thought? It’s not so much bitching as it is about setting up for my attempt to turn things around, perseverance, and listening to the ones around you.

I want to tell you that, yes, we all have shitty days that can turn into shitty weeks. that at times you can feel like giving up. Even though as you look back, it was small. When we were in it, it was real and it was huge.

So right now, I’m sitting on a rock in a dry creek bed. Typing out this post. On my iPhone 14 mini. I had no intention of writing, that’s why the iPhone.

Nate has decided that he no longer fishes, at least out side the hatchery where fish might as well jump into your bucket. I felt the need to get him outside. It’s why we live in the hills and if I give up now I fear he’ll be lost to the love of the outdoors. He’s so committed to the easy path and is getting more and more fearful. Constant exposure, to anything and everything, is key to his growth. At least I believe that.

I wanted to go check out some fishing holes in Sand Creek. I’ve never fished there and it’s beautiful. Nate and I worked out a plan for the weekend that got him out but within his limits and yes, included a couple hours at Mirror Lake…. But that’s tomorrow.

How did I get Nate out? It became about the adventure of exploring. This was an operation to check on various spots along the creek. We wouldn’t stay at any one hole if nothing was biting. Nate had a good time at the first couple holes, even wanted to learn how to cast my Tenkara at the third. At the fourth he was bored but found a Dogman book in the truck and set to reading while his sister and I fished a little more.

Lastly and right now as I’m writing we are up the canyon. At a dry creek bed as Angelina and Nate explore and look for rocks. Angelina is a college earth science student and Nate loves digging. Me, I hate this shit. I wandered around, following a game trail for a bit. Committing to coming back one day and seeing how far it might take me. And now, the sun is soon to drop below the west ridge and we’re about to roll out.

There’s a happy family here. Nothing special for day. Just another day. Or as I like to call it, another beautiful day in Spearfish…. Even though we were actually in WY, a few miles away.

We’ll walk back to the truck and discuss heading up the canyon further and the long way home or just heading back down in to town to see mom. Regardless, I’m glad I didn’t give up, even though the urge was strong. Hopefully, I’ll make that decision more often than not and you might as well. .

To learn about fostercare and adoption please check out a previous post of mine, The Importance of Foster Care in The United States. To follow more of my life with Nate please follow my page, My Boy Anxious & Oppositional.