What an evening with Michael yesterday! I know, I know. I said I would talk about his first “drop off” party happening this weekend, but I will talk about that in the next post. Promise. 🙂 I just had to share what happened last night, as it shows me the significance of Michael’s maturity and growth. And, like all things with exceptional children, it unfolded so perfectly.
I’ve probably mentioned before that Michael is always very chatty at night before bed. I think like most children, the fear of separation, of leaving consciousness behind is scary. But we have a good bedtime routine in place now. I or Dad read a bedtime story in a silly way, followed by Qigong massage, airplane whiten noise playing in the background on the computer, followed by LOTS of hugging.
We had been talking about how nervous Michael was about doing math the next day at school. It’s the math he has trouble with. He asked me if I ever had trouble at school and I told him the story of when I started kindergarten and the trouble I had with French. We discussed what strategies I used to calm down. I told him I didn’t have any then. I kept everything inside and would burst into tears when I came home. I told him his grandma would be waiting to talk to me about my feelings and that it made me feel better to share them. I also told him that she taught me to bring it all to God, and how with prayer and worship it made all the difference for an anxious person like me. .
“Mommy, you’re the best hugger.”
“And so are you, Michael.”
“I feel so relaxed hugging you.”
“Me too. Ok, let’s say our evening prayer.”
“Praying really helps Mommy?”
“Yes, for me it helps me calm my mind, and I can bring my fears and pain to God. He gives me a big hug and tells me it’ll be ok. That has always helped me, even when other things fail.”
“But God can’t put his arms around you like you did for me Mommy? How does God hug you?”
“I feel God and picture how it feels to have His arms around me, like yours were now. To me, God does not look like a person. I see Him as a powerful light, not a man or a woman, but a being with a gentle soft voice. God is in everything.”
“To me, I see God as a raccoon sometimes Mommy. I like the raccoon.”
I smile in the dark. I’m so happy he is forming his own version of what God is, and finding comfort in that, even if it is something that a lot of people would probably find strange. Hey, he’s got a unique brain and way of seeing the world, and the God I know who created him would not be offended in the least.
“Then that is who God is to you. Remember that, next time you are scared.”
“Isn’t it time to go to bed now Mommy?”
“You’re right. Good night buddy. I love you very much.”
“Good night Mommy. I love you!”
I lie down another few minutes with him before we do our ritual of more hugs and kisses before I leave the room. And I can’t help but think, my little boy is learning how to process feelings, curious about what made me tick as a little girl, and asking spiritual questions again. I am glad that this is happening now to lay the groundwork for adolescence which is a tough time when anxiety and hormones mix.
Exceptional Parents, what questions do your Exceptional Children ask you? How do you share memories with them? Not all children communicate the same way, but showing them pictures of you growing up, videos, talking about your life as a child, can bring up an interest. Theory of Mind is very challenging for our kids, but it doesn’t mean they can’t learn how to bond and share over time. You know your child best. Remember to be with them in the way that makes them comfortable and your bond as well as their stress coping mechanisms will grow. Until next time.