Well, we survived the summer. It was good for N to have a hard job and to learn that he can work. He earned some money to save and some to spend. School continues to improve. He got all Bs and one A on his last report card. He is a Junior in high school now and he is starting to think about college. He took his ACT test last week with hopes that his scores would reflect his smarts.
We've had a slight change in his future plans. I've talked before about N wanting to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Last month an announcement was made which changed the minimum age from 19 to 18. N has informed us that he fully intends to go when he is 18 now. The original plan had been to do one year at college and then leave for two years on a mission. I liked the idea of that first year at college. I suspect that he would attend locally. We would insist that he live on his own, but we would still be able to check up on him regularly (especially if he went where his dad is a professor). I felt like that year on his own would help us determine if he would be able to handle the stresses and independence of a mission. Now that one year buffer is potentially gone. We'll need to talk about a lot of these details with his religious leaders and doctors. He doesn't have to go at 18. He can still wait until he is 19 or older, if needed. But he wants to go as soon as possible.
He continues to thrive emotionally and physically. We did have one really bad 30 minutes just about two weeks ago. N saw a recent picture of himself on the computer slideshow. I've always kept the picture folder that the screensaver accesses dated back a few years because this was a problem in the past. I thought it would be fine now, but I was wrong. He saw a picture that made him look "fat" and he refused to eat dinner. It was on a casual eating night where we hadn't been able to eat as a family. I think he thought I wouldn't notice, but I watch carefully and did notice. He threw up all sorts of refusal arguments - completely dredged up from his past issues with anorexia. Finally, I said that if he refused, I would go right back to a magic plate (a plate that I completely prepare) and sit with him until he ate. He also knows from past experience, that I was completely serious. He backed down and ate. I could see that it was an emotional release once he let go.
After he ate, we talked about the danger of what just happened. I always say that he can't EVER skip a meal, which he insists that he understands. However, in that moment, he was able to see the realities of where he was headed. To stop it, he had to eat. He has to remember that for his whole life!