The past two days Michael has been even more expressive than usual. What he has been talking about more than ever has been love and family. He has been expressing all the love he feels for “Snail” his pretend wife that he married at his Gym and Swim class. He has been telling me that one day he really will marry her, and I quote him:
“I will spend every night hugging her Mommy because I love her.”
At moments like this his beauty and innocence fill me with such an intense love for him I feel like I will burst with joy. Ah, there is nothing that makes me feel more proud.
Lately Michael has also been asking a lot of questions about his maternal great-grandfather. He is a lot like him, I have started realizing. Both have the same jovial character and quirky sense of humor. His favorite stories about this great-grandfather are the ones I tell him about how I used to play dress up with him. He let me put dolls hats and makeup on him. We had tea parties, and when I was a baby he would take me in my stroller around the neighborhood. I have fuzzy memories of him as he died of brain cancer when I was four years old. But my Mom told me stories of him and we have some pictures too. She told me of his love for me and how at the end of his life the only word he could say was his nickname for me, Nounia, which in Ukrainian was an endearment of sorts. That’s how much he loved me.
What I do remember of him is his deep belly laugh, his kind brown eyes, and round belly that jiggled when he laughed. He had quite the sense of humor. He loved slap stick and more witty jokes, was a big sports fan, and he and my Dad would often laugh together like two co-conspirators. Michael is fascinated by this man and can’t get enough of him. He loves the stories about his two great grandmothers and is curious about his very religious other great grandfather, but Vasyl is someone he talks about a lot, probably due to the fact that he was my play mate as a child before my younger brother was able to fill that role and play with me.
Lately due to increasing anxiety with the Spring coming, our sleep training to get him more independent at night, and working hard at academics, I think there is more stress in his life and more fears. How he is combating all of that is by hugging a lot more, talking about family, and asking questions about the past, the present and the future. As always, Michael keeps me on my toes about the way I see my own life and how love and family have shaped it. He is helping me see my own strengths and I am careful in how I answer my little boy. I love our conversations which are spontaenous, genuine and show me how far he has come, how much he is maturing and growing, and how he is able to shine in the world in his own unique way.
Exceptional Parents, how does your Exceptional Child shine in the world? Who are their favorite people, objects, things that they treasure, and how does it make them uniquely them? This is where their strengths lie, and the gift that they bring to the world. Help them nurture it, and you will help them reach their full potential and do what they are meant to do. This will also help you see what you are here to do. Remember, we are all part of a bigger plan, an exceptional plan. Until next time.