There's a lot to be said for benign dictatorship as a form of government. While I believe in democracy in principle, in practice it often leaves a lot to be desired. In the elections last night, I was sadly disappointed in the political defeats of two friends whom I deeply respect for their knowledge and ability in what ended up being popularity contests. That stuff, to the extent that it belongs anywhere, belongs in middle school, not municipal government. Then, while on a caching run, came across a deer stand with a spill of deer corn only a few feet away. Just shoot the fish in the barrel and be done with it--where's the sport in that? Not impressed with some of the other residents of this area right now.
On the brighter side, Thing Two had a great day. That kid has a head like a rock and the determination of an entire herd of bulls: the only hope is to channel his powers for good, not evil. This takes the form of directing his determination and undisputed physical gifts (speed, coordination, strength) into acceptable channels like soccer and taekwondo. The kids had a half day of school and met up with a bunch of other kids at the park after lunch. Most of them were boys Thing One's age, but they allowed Thing Two to join in their pickup football and baseball games and he managed to behave appropriately, not lose his cool, and even contribute to the games--one of the older boys actually sought him out for a high-five after a particularly good at-bat. Being accepted by a crew of fifth-graders when you are a second-grade little brother with space and language issues takes some doing, so I was beyond proud. Then he had a piano lesson and absolutely blew the socks off his teacher. He practices like a fiend, so it wasn't a shock, but I did enjoy the look on her face when she realized how much progress he's made since last week.
I continually underestimate that kid. God knows, he still has issues, but considering where he started, he's a different kid now. My expectations for him seem to be about six months to a year delayed, so he routinely surprises me when he handles challenges that I am expecting will cause him problems. For some reason, in my eyes, every problem, every setback, that he has is magnified and becomes something that will cause him lifelong problems and result in him never being able to be independent. I want to get back to the place in my head where I was before we found out about his severe learning disability...I was much more of an optimist then, not so much a mother in constant fear for her child.
And THAT, my friends, is what I'd change about myself if I had a magic wand. I want to be the cheerful, innocent parent I once was, before I found myself in the world of special needs parenting: IEPs, annual assessments, and speech therapy, oh my.
Wednesday, November 6: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?