Today and tomorrow I have parent/teacher conferences with my boy's teachers. First up is Isaiah our first grader.
I will go and she will tell me he is reading well and doing just fine in all of his subjects. I will be disappointed because she will not say he is the top kid in her class and is reading at a 5th grade level.
She will tell me that he is so sweet. Then she will chuckle softly and ask, “does he ever talk?” There will be some sort of remark about how, the few times he has talked to her, it was so soft she could barely hear him. I will apologize and tell her he gets so shy around adults. Secretly wishing that she could get to know the amazing kid that he is at home with kind words for everyone and a great wit! But know that she will never meet that kid because he will continue the entire school year trying to warm up to her.
Next we will talk about his Tourettes and OCD that I mentioned to her at the beginning of the year. She will tell me she has yet to see a single tic or OCD moment. That there have been no overwhelming emotional break downs. What I will hear is that my husband and I are silly and paranoid and there is nothing wrong with our little boy. Even though I know he has been ticking like CRAZY this week. And last weekend ended in his uncontrollable tears that I don’t think even he could completely understand.
She will tell me that over all he is doing well and is a joy to have in class. I will leave her classroom feeling a little deflated and wondering if we really are silly and paranoid.
Then I will take a step back and thank God! Thank him that Isaiah is not some genius that I do not understand. But instead is madly in love with reading and is learning all that he needs to know to grow and function as a seven year old boy.
I will smile as I think of my sweet little boy, because his teacher is right, he is SO sweet. Then I will chuckle softly, so glad that he has already pushed beyond his own comfort zones to make friends. I’ll be grateful I am not spending all my free time in the office because he talks too much. I will relish in the fact that she sees Isaiah for the kind sensitive person he is because she sees his heart in his actions and knows his love for people through his amazing smile. I will know that the mischievous little twinkle in his eye that he gets when somebody is teasing him will hint at the amazing wit and practical joker that lies just under the surface. I will remember how lucky his future wife is that he is a man of few words and many purposeful actions!
And then I will bend a knee and praise the Lord that my fears of Isaiah carrying around labels at school because of his challenges have yet to transpire. I will marvel in the self control he has already. That in public he can manage his tics and his tendencies towards obsessive compulsive habits enough to be able to learn and play without hindrance. I will pray that God would deliver him from his insecurities about his disorder. That Isaiah would feel the freedom to just be who he is, whatever that may look like. And my heart will fill with warmth as I realize that we have made our home such a safe place that he can return here everyday and let loose all the tics and emotions that have been kept bottled up waiting for a secure place to let them out.
I will thank God for blessing us with this precious gift of a son who leaves me speechless and in awe daily!
Tomorrow Elijah’s Kindergarten teacher will tell me he is doing just fine. That he is bright, fun and funny. That she may have to get on to him from time to time for talking. She’ll say he struggles to not invade other’s space. Maybe she'll mention, like his preschool teacher use to do that he is very "bouncy" Then she will assure me that it only takes a simple reminder to get him back on track.
Having learned my lesson from my last conference I will once again thank the Lord. That Elijah is not a cookie cutter of his big brother, that he knows exactly how to be free, that he is so full of life that he can hardly sit still. I will not be able to contain my smile thinking of my goof ball that lives his life to make others laugh.
As I sit in an empty classroom with just his teacher and Hannah, I will nearly be able to smell his cute brown curls as I picture him snuggled up in my lap and know that he does not know the meaning of boundaries or private space. These things are foreign to him as he loves to cuddle, and hug and kiss. He just cannot seem to get close enough to people. Elijah’s love language is touch and he speaks volumes through it.
I love my spontaneous, hilarious, affectionate little boy. Life would be very gray without Elijah!
|Left Isaiah, Right Elijah (Easter 2012)|
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