Talking with Michael after school and seeing my little guy making jokes with me, I was reminded of what was really important yesterday afternoon. My son shows me this every day for at least a few minutes, if not longer. Lately, it’s been for longer periods of time which is a great thing. I am remembering how symbiotic a parent and child can be when they are on the same wavelength. When the parent finds a way to reach their child at their deepest emotional core, there is nothing better than this. I am experiencing this with Michael now once again. I can feel that he sees I truly understand him and want to help him. And I see that he feels the same with me. He wants to please me, wants to be close, and get along. He is physically affectionate with hugs and kisses, and when he needs his space, he’ll tell me “no Mommy, I don’t want help. I’m a big boy. I’ll take care of it.”
Sometimes as Exceptional Parents of our Exceptional Children life feels a little bit like a battlefield. You are are at war, but you don’t know why. You are at odds and not symbiotic with each other, and instead it feels like you are enemies with your child. It’s not usually due to one person being completely wrong either. Like among two adults, various tensions and misunderstandings ensue and cause hurt feelings. Sometimes one of you is tired, sick or worried about something, and you lash out at your loved one. Sometimes both of you. You know, the “kick the dog syndrome”, for lack of a better phrase. As parents, when we are the exhausted, sick and/or stressed ones, this is easy to forget so we lash back at our kids. It’s an all too human reaction. Our kids feel our love, but also our distance. It’s important we remember to be present for them, but first it means being present for ourselves and nurturing that part of ourselves that needs nurturing.
I always say Michael is raising me to be the best person I can. He is showing and reflecting back to me what it is to be patient, calm, positive and persistent. It is not always easy to be all of these things. Sometimes it is near impossible, but I have learned that when I cannot be strong, I need to admit that to myself and to Michael. I need to take my time alone to compose myself, breathe, and then when I am positive and able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, slowly get Michael to start seeing that light again too. We both know it’s there. Sometimes it’s challenging to navigate in the darkness, but I know that with prayer, meditation, and looking for signs from the amazing people around me, I am able to find out what are the next steps to take in growing with my little boy.
Exceptional Parents, what surprises have you learned from your Exceptional Children after you’ve been through a tough time with them, either short or long term? How have they surprised you with what they have wanted and needed? For instance, I see that Michael has been needing more affection and attention for positive things. Children are always learning and growing themselves, and they take us on that journey with them, if we are so lucky to follow the signs around us. Until next time.