The smile. The enthusiasm for life and discovery. The sense of humor. The intelligence. The compassion and innocence. I could just go on and on about this person and still never come close to accurately describing his spirit. The gift that is his life.
From the beginning he has been different. I tell him 'no' as a baby and he just stops. The way he has listened from the youngest age and then followed through. His memory is amazing. He can listen to a song once and sing it back to you days later (his latest favorite is Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody , he sings the falsetto and everything!).
I have invested so much time into this child. Hours of play on the floor, every educational toy, book and game we could get our hands on. I like to think it's helped but deep down I know it was already in there, the attention was what mattered the most.
Hubby and I liked to joke that God doesn't give more then we can handle so it's not saying a lot about us as parents that he gave us the perfect child. I had no clue what normal children were like until Pinky came a long. I really thought that if you just focused and explained calmly what you expected of your child it would just happen. Because this is how it works with Boo. Ha!
He took the arrival of his sister in stride. No jealousy, no problems sharing, sweet and gentle, understanding of the time involved of taking care of a new baby. He was 4. I remember him pushing her in her bouncy car into his room "so she can watch me play dinosaurs".
He was getting bored though. I couldn't drop everything and make a batch of home made play dough with him, I couldn't build any train tracks with him, put together lego cars or read the average of 6 books a day that we would go through. Life was different to say the least!
School was on the horizon so we started to prepare for that. Really building him for the big day.
He was so excited, he would get to play with new toys and games, make new friends, read and sing and play at the play park everyday! It was a big deal.
It took him about 2 months to figure out it was not all those things. They had toys but he never got to play with them, he made a couple of friends but he couldn't talk to them until he went outside to play for 10 minutes.
When you asked him what he did in school this is how he would reply "Cut and color, color and cut." in the most bored tone of voice. It was so true. Day after day of worksheet upon worksheet. He was so offended he was only allowed to have 1 hour of one day of computer time.
At home he was completing Jumpstarts First Grade computer game on his own.
The worst part was getting him up in the morning, he just cried and cried. Our happy Boo was happy no more.
And the meanness! My gosh, the discipline I'd be whippin out on some of the boys he described to me! One boy stole his markers every day until Boo yelled at him and got in trouble. Another boy kicked him in the 'cookies' at the water fountain. One boy threw him down on the rocks outside.
When Mike and I discussed it with his teacher (a wonderful, warm woman with 17 years of experience - Boo adored her) she said it was policy to have the kids work it out on their own.
"Unless there's blood don't come to me" was how she put it. I completely see her point.
There is meanness all over the world and children will have to learn to deal with it. Plus the classroom size was 25 kids to 2 adults, what could she do really?
(Well, we could teach our kids how to avoid physical confrontation so maybe it doesn't come to the bloody part, but I digress)
In summary He Hated School.
So the next year I kept him home.
Yesterday Boo woke up on his own at 7:30am, hugged and kissed everyone good morning, watched T.V. with his sister, had a warm breakfast and brushed his teeth and combed his hair (he's decided he wants to grow it long).
Then he took his sister on a Dora Backpack Adventure around the house where they read clues and look for something and overcome obstacles. Then he wrote his address (in case he ever gets lost) and played x-box and Zoo Tycoon until he was bored.
We had lunch, he played with neighborhood kids until 3:30pm then cleaned up the yard.
He captured a spider, without touching it (thank you Animal Planet), came inside, found a magazine with the word spider in it, typed it into Google, and searched the web for the type of spider he caught (he determined it was a Tiger Spider).
He then went onto FunSchool and proceeded to do math problems for 2 hours until it was dinner. This was all voluntarily.
He picked up his room, played outside with a few neighborhood girls, and ate fruit until it was time for his shower.
He asked to snuggle before he prayed and he prayed that all the sickness in the world would bounce against the shield of God, like this. He then demonstrated to God with his hands how it would all go down, sound effects and everything. (it was so hard not to laugh.)
He read Zoo Books magazine until he fell asleep around 9:30pm.
If your ever interested in relearning how kids (and adults for that matter) can educate themselves please take the time to read this website.
It was a real eye opener for me. Difficult at first to apply to life that has been shaped by the public school system of America, and not for everyone.
Some people have thrived and become invaluable members of society because of public school, some in spite of public school. But public school and it's doctrine is not the only way for people to come into their life's work, their plan, their purpose. I think it can actually distract and misguide some people and their personal gifts.
I want so much for my son. I will never rest in seeking out what is best, changing and adapting when we must, holding to and preserving when necessary.
He deserves what's best for him, not what people who don't even know him feel is best.