It’s been a while since I’ve posted. And I’m sorry about that. I’ve been on sort of a mental sabbatical. And when I say mental, I truly mean that I believe my senses have been dangerously close to leaving me. It’s amazing how easily you can forget who you are. Especially when the pressure is coming from the outside. From people you love and respect.
I love my son. My son is so amazing. I have never met another boy as unusual, as “tuned in to people”, as gifted with comedic timing, and a boy who felt that comedy was the only
way to smooth over a difficult situation, no matter what! The problem is, it’s hard to get the sense of humor of such a gifted 6-year-old boy. Sometimes I certainly don’t get why he thinks singing and bouncing on the sofa will make me forget he didn’t answer me after I asked him to STOP doing something four times in a row. But I can look into his eyes and see that he genuinely thought that it would be funny, and I would get it. I can say that when he says “potty words” to his little cousin, whom I truly believe he loves more than his own life, I know why he’s doing it. He’s doing it to make her laugh. And laugh she does! Almost anything Isaiah says lights up Josie’s face. He’s not being malicious, he’s choosing to break the rules for her happiness. I can also say, that his understanding of adults and their motivations, and his running commentary, is a little scary at times. Yeah, maybe even intrusive and he doesn’t always use the best choice of words, or speak at the appropriate time. But he uses the words he thinks will be the funniest, descriptive or attention grabbing. He’s using his mind.
You know what else?! He’s so loud! He’s so loud all the time. I’m not a really loud person, I don’t talk particularly loud, I certainly don’t laugh loud, actually, I would say I’m pretty quiet, and I enjoy quiet. Quiet or music. But not talking, certainly not expressive sounds and improvised ditties! But you see…..he enjoys broadcasting his emotions. He enjoys it, and I see it brings joy to his heart. How can I crush that joy? I can’t. Of course I can’t always take it either, and at those times I have to ask him to comply with a change in venue or volume.
You may read these things and think that I am a lenient parent. Someone who does not want her child to have good behavior. You couldn’t be more wrong. Really, you couldn’t. The thing is… I believe in grace, I believe in looking at what will ultimately motivate my child to make the right decision. Will it be compliance to a rigid set of demands? Or will it be understanding? Will it be from learning that there is a time and a place for certain behaviors, and a time to bite your tongue and tune it down a bit? And doesn’t my child deserve some grace? “Grace; forgiveness we don’t deserve.” Did you know what that meant? That’s what it means. Doesn’t my child deserve some of that? How can I possibly let him go through life feeling as though he was never good enough? Never able to live up to my standards? Never live up to his families standards? I can’t. He deserves to explore what makes him unique. He deserves to truly believe that whatever that uniqueness is, I want to support it and truly love him because of it. I deserve to watch him with joy instead of apprehension! He deserves all of that as much as a quiet and sensitive child deserves to find their uniqueness. It just happens to be that my child’s uniqueness is much more noticeable. Oh, but that’s what makes him so wonderful. So hopeful.
We have a friend, well an acquaintance, someone who’s natural charm draws so many people to him everyday. This person has a special connection to Isaiah, the gift of language and the wit it takes to use it well, the gift of charisma, having a presence that demands all eyes on you. He sees it in Isaiah just like I do. Knowing that, I asked Isaiah to ask this friend” if people were always telling him to be quiet and stop making so much noise all the time?” I had a feeling. And lately Isaiah’s been pretty vocal about how everyone criticizes his behavior. So naturally I was hoping for some positive words, but I couldn’t have been happier with the impromptu answer. “Isaiah,” he said, “when I was your age people were constantly telling me to quiet down, to stop talking so much, to stop singing. But you know what Isaiah, you keep doing it, that is your gift, that is what makes you so special. You have a real gift you know. Now of course, when your mom asks you to quiet down you have to try to just lower the volume a little bit. But you keep it up son!”
I don’t know who needed to hear that more. Me or Isaiah. But I know this. Everybody
I am so often talking about being your childs advocate in a medical setting, but this time it’s something different. Be your child’s advocate in life. Be your child’s biggest fan, and make sure he knows it! If you feel strongly about the way you’ve decided to parent your child, then by-golly be strong enough to stand up to anyone who would criticize you. This is about Breaking the Parenting Mold!