Thursday, July 21, 2011


Yeah, I use awesome too much.  I'm a child of the 80s and this term seems to be my go to for expressing my pleasure when things go well, or with a more sarcastic tone, my displeasure when things do not.  Humor me, ok?  I've tried to switch it up and I've failed so I'm just going to use it.

But do you know what's awesome?  When someone sees your kid.  When someone really sees your kid and gets them.  I have the extreme pleasure of watching that happen right now.  And truly it is AWESOME.

Little Dog is not always an easy kid.  He has big emotions, big fears and problems with keeping himself in check.  Some of it is anxiety.  Some of it is his act first, think about it later lifestyle. Some of it is that his actions are often very big because he feels pressure and judgement and instant regret.  And some of it is just not being seen.

At his last school he was not seen by his teacher.  There was much headbutting and little appreciation of his amazing and complex nature.  While he may not be an easy kid, he is a creative kid, a funny kid, a loving kid and a smart kid.  He has boundless energy and a wild imagination.  He wants to be a good kid and he wants to fit in, but sometimes those things get forgotten when he is seen only for his surface actions.

We started summer camps a few weeks ago, and I will be the first to admit it was rough.  He was nervous and excited.  This combination can be deadly.  He gets ahead of himself and he can forget that no one is out to get him.  They started the week with a trip to the zoo which was exciting and overwhelming.  By the time they were heading back he'd lost control. They called me to come pick him up.  I was beside myself.  If Little Dog can't go to camp this summer, I have to work fast to make alternate arrangements, but on a scarier note, it made me wonder if kindergarten was going to be too much for him as well.

I had a talk with him and a few talks with the assistant director of the program and by the end of the week, Little Dog was having good days.  He was finding his way and beginning to enjoy it.  This past week has been a continuation of that.  And a big part of this is that he is being seen.  The assistant director has talked to me daily about how great Little Dog is doing.  He's identified his silly side and his love of reading.  He commented on his intense concentration and passion for words.  The assistant director sees the good side of Little Dog and tells me and Little Dog that he is doing great.  He goes out of his way to let me know what funny or fantastic things he's done during the day making sure that Little Dog hears when he is praised.  He lets Little Dog know that he's being seen.  And I am breathing a big sigh of relief.

In return Little Dog is letting the assistant director know that he has been seen and is showing more of the traits that often get hidden or lost in his chaos.  The other day when the campers were less cooperative than they needed to be, the assistant director told them, "Listen up or I'm going to have to raise my voice!  And I don't like to raise my voice!"  He explained that they were not following the rules and the club was a mess.  It was frustrating him.  Little Dog replied by tugging on his hand and saying, "I'm going to help clean up," and started putting away toys that were adding to the disorder without even being asked.

He's also started including him in little jokes.  Like yesterday when I asked if he had a good day or a bad day at pick up time.  Little Dog said, "Well mostly awesome, but I may have rubbed eggs all over my face."
I was confused, and asked, "You rubbed eggs all over your face?  When?"
He changed his story, "No, I rubbed goldfish all over my face."
"When did this happen?" I asked seeing that little glint of mischief in his eye.
"At lunch.  You should ask," he suggested taking my hand and leading me to the assistant director.
"So did Little Dog rub goldfish all over his face at lunch?" I asked.
Looking very confused the assistant director looked at Little Dog and asked "What?" Clearly looking for clarification at which point Little Dog busted up laughing at his own strange little joke.  Apparently that is high humor for a 5-year-old boy.  And in our world it is also a sign that Little Dog has decided someone is on his side and he feels more secure.  And for that reason, it is awesome.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This makes me so happy! Awesome!

Love Auntie K

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