My unsung hero
While in the middle of teaching a class, it dawned on me – I didn’t do your birthday post. But before you think that I forgot about you, I want you to realize that you have been on my mind basically every waking moment for the past 6 months. Since I got that email from your teacher, telling us that you were struggling in ways that the school wasn’t as capable to help fully, you have been my sole focus.
I have taken you from specialist to specialist, on a mission to help you. The thing about it, was that we found that you were struggling with were things that we couldn’t see. We needed to see through your eyes, the daily life issues that you were facing. Why was it that, when at the beginning of the year, 9+3 was simple, but by the end, it caused errors and tantrums and these freak outs that had me wondering what was really going on.
You said to me, one night before bed, that you were angry. And when you weren’t angry, you were scared. Why?
With the help of vision therapy, we’ve nearly fixed the convergence issues. That’s helping you do daily tasks and being able to do things like mental math, for example. We had you tested for learning disabilities, and found that even though you struggle with simple math, you’re actually very smart and have no learning delays. They found that the fact that you do struggle with timed math tests is the timed part. Not the math.
So now we’re working on the sads. And the angry days. And those pesky overwhelming feelings. With the help of our trusty Dr. Dan, we can overcome this.
I’ve told you a million times that there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Your feelings are valid. If you were to ask every kid you go to school with, I bet the most of them would say they feel the same way. Everyone reacts differently, you’re just a sensitive kid, and that’s okay.
You have worked so incredibly hard, and while you may or may not realize it, you’ve grown immensely. Just the other day, you were playing at the playground while Claire and Mae had their softball game, and you ran over to me, super excited, and exclaimed, “I made a new friend!”
For my quiet, needs his big sister a lot kid, this is huge. I said to dad, “He made a friend!” and dad smiled big. We’ve been waiting for you to find yourself, and just in usual Luca fashion, it was on your time.
We don’t want you to think that we need you to be outgoing like Mae, or super caring like Claire, or sing-songy like Audrey. We want you to be you. Now you’re no longer as afraid to be who you want to be, and I couldn’t be more proud of you.
This birthday was a big deal for me, little dude. You turned 7. Seven! You’re not a little kid anymore. At seven you can ride your bike a little further, you can do more things without my help and you can read chapter books.
And here’s the thing. A lot of people have said to me that the problems you’ve been having are because you’re young and immature, and I’ll agree with that to a point; You are one of the youngest kids in your grade. That said, you are a lot more wise than given credit for. You had the foresight to tell me your feelings. You knew that something wasn’t right and you told me in a way that transcends a seven year old. I don’t know if most kids would have been insightful enough to realize that what you were going through wasn’t normal.
You, good sir, are an amazing kid. I know that most people are amazed by Claire and her kindness and Mae and her candidness and sass, and Audrey’s the baby, but you are my unsung hero. The kid who, despite the fact that it was scary, spoke up for yourself. My quiet, not so chatty kid.
So, to my lego building, book devouring, not so patient – but usually helpful, super imaginative, and the best snuggler in the world kid, happy (belated) birthday. You’re my favorite little dude and nothing will ever change that.
(Plus we always have the best snaps together.)