I want to start this post by saying I know all kids are different, their development is different and I think it’s important to focus on individual strengths. You can’t judge a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree…and such.
I also know that when it comes to our happy healthy boy we are beyond blessed. I follow pages of children who face real adversity in life and I cheer with their moms with every seemingly small achievement so I know that development is relative.
But this weekend I realised that although I see myself as pretty easy going and hippy dippy, my son’s development seems to be linked to my own pride in some way.
I love my son, he is smart and beautiful and exhaustingly energetic. We are currently working on him being a bit of a joker and no one else getting his jokes (running up to people and pretend/sometimes not pretend kicking them or hurling mud at his cousins because it’s funny) even so, he is such a loving child that most people just want to pick him up and hug him.
*Disclaimer: he is all about personal space though, so it’s best you don’t do that unless he initiates it, honestly even his parents have been told, “not so much hugs and kisses” and the phrase “I’m feeling too sad for tickles” has crossed his lips more than once.
At 2 and a half Aidan is a talker and a thinker, everything is a question and some of our most memorable times are spent just laying on the bed/grass/couch with him telling me stories full of sound effects and impromptu dramatizations.
So what’s my point?
Well recently he got a progress report from school, nothing serious and the teachers say that because he is still so young we really shouldn’t worry about it to much, it’s basically just an overview of him at school and his development.
Is he potty trained? can he brush his teeth? is he courteous? does he know his shapes and colours?…basic stuff and because I believe you only see a child’s true talents and potential later in life I don’t pay much attention to these results.
LIES!!!!!! Aidan did bad and it hurt my feelings. According to the report his development is slow, he needs to work on everything from numbers to his name!
WHAT?!?!?! The child who introduces himself as Aidan Jesse Meyers, doesn’t know his surname? He asks other people for their full names all the time, it’s funny and unusual not inadequate
He can’t brush his teeth, doesn’t know his colours or shapes and struggles with counting.
WHAT?!?!?! We can bribe him with teeth brushing – he loves it so much, he even flosses, he doesn’t only know shapes he dismantles them: “a heart is two circles and a triangle mommy”, “A rectangle is two squares, hey mommy”
(I’m not humble bragging about my kid here, I’m brag bragging, lol, no seriously just trying to explain why the report card took me by surprise like it did)
And this is where my pride got pinched, I suddenly found myself wondering if all Aidan’s achievements are in my head?
What if the conversations I am having with my kid are all in my mind.
Maybe him pointing out numbers and letters are just my imagination.
Does everyone else think “she should probably have him tested, he seems a little slow”
Does it even matter. Why does it matter?
Rob, my mom, Robs mom, my sister, everyone who saw the card shares my confusion , they know him as an intelligent child and were surprised that he “requires help with a few things, which they will work on next term”
We recon it is because he is shy. His class teacher says he just quietly gets on with things and they hardly know he is in class. I actually had to hold him on stage because having so many people stare at him made him extremely uncomfortable (the feeling is mutual little man).
He is so much more than that report card and although I know it actually counts for nothing as he is one of the youngest kids at school , it got me thinking about his future. I praying that he lets more people see the light that’s inside him. Even if he is not academic or sporty, whatever he is and whoever he is I just hope he finds the strength to stand tall and let others see the real him.
More than that it got me working on myself. Reminding myself that his achievements are not my own. All I can do is help him learn and love him holistically, regardless of whether he is first in class or last. Whether he participates or sits it out. This kid is a real life little human being with his own strengths and weaknesses which have nothing to do with me.
All I can do is help him find himself and teach him and answer his millions of questions and most importantly remember THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME!
*note to his teachers, thank you for your endless patience with him and for loving him as much as you do