Last week when I picked Michael up at his after school program, he was very excited to tell me he had a present for me. When we got home and I was unpacking his school bag, he helped me and pulled out a sheet of construction paper with stickers and writing on it. I looked at it, and my heart melted at the same time as my eyes filled up with tears. On it, were a bunch of Walt Disney stickers and written in pencil crayon or marker were the words “I love you Mommy.” The writing was shaky and the spelling was off, but it was done in Michael’s hand.
“I made this for you Mommy with Miss Carla.” (Miss Carla is his shadow at the after school program).
“I love you Mommy, and I wanted to make this for you to show you that.” What a gesture! And no, he wasn’t trying to butter me up for anything ladies. This was totally genuine. I knew he was missing being home with me and having a harder time getting back in the routine of school, and was so proud of him for finding a way to deal with those feelings. He channeled them into art. I guess he is a chip off the old block, as they say. 🙂 He has been more expressive in his emotions over the past few months, and even when he’s getting angry, I can usually get him to talk about what is bothering him.
“Honey, this is beautiful. Thank you so much!”
“Put it up on the fridge Mommy.” He was so proud of his work and my reaction, and he knew that the fridge housed all his school artwork and important things, at least for a few days until I put it away in a scrapbook where I would eventually paste everything. 🙂
I hugged and kissed him, and then he went off to unwind while I warmed up our supper. Michael’s gesture got me thinking about how our children connect to us when they are feeling scared or nervous, even when they are happy. All children, no matter what their abilities are, need reassurance, love, security, even though it is often more challenging for them to tell parents. I was so glad that the connections I was building with Michael were helping him feel that security, and be able to express himself when he was feeling lonely. I was also glad that he was learning to express himself better not only with words, but through other mediums like art and with actions.
What do your Exceptional Children do to show their love, Moms? How do they act towards you? Sometimes their feelings are obvious, at other times more subtle, I’m sure. How have you modeled showing your feelings? All children learn by example, so it’s important as parents that we show them all the ways we can connect as human beings, through language, action or artistic creation. You’ll be happy you introduced them to other mediums that will let them know they can connect with you in moments when they are feeling scared or insecure, or even as another way to show love. And for you as Exceptional Moms, always know that you have these mediums open to you to connect with others, and to help you be the most in touch with yourself that you can be. Until next time.