About every six months or so, the neurotypical Wee One has a rapid decline in behavior. This always gives me a whirlwind of doubt and guilt. First, I begin to doubt his neurotypicality. Then, guilt sets in. Finally, I remember it’s time for this.
It’s the first day is school around here. This mama has been a wreck. I’ve had stress dream, I’m anxious, I can’t sleep. You know who my anxiety is for?!? I’ll give you three guesses and the first two don’t count. “Big Brudder?” You ask. Nope. I’m anxious as all get out for the NT Wee One. He’s going to the big kid campus. Low man on the proverbial totem pole. Also, the one kid whose been a bully is in his class this year. Great. My kids are good at lots of things, especially holding a grudge. All I have to say is this kid better keep his hands to himself. The wee one will only tolerate so much and this mama? Well, we know about her.
It’s almost that time, y’all. School is about to start. We have one week and two days until we’re back in a routine. You know that saying “The best laid schemes of mice and men…” Yeah, I had all these plans similar to my list of things I was “fixin to” do before school let out. You can read that here. I found the “new schedule” I’d written up on the first Monday of summer vacation. It went like this:
Do you know how many times we followed said schedule? Exactly none. I had these great visions of proving my parental prowess, and failed miserably. You know the area in which I excelled? Letting my kids have free rein over their day. There were several that I didn’t even have to make breakfast…we had brunch instead. That’s one less set of dishes, my friends.
By this time last summer, I’d written our letter to the teacher. It’s a good one. You can read that here. This summer, I’m wondering if I even need the letter. Big Brudder has changed and grown to a point that has me beyond pleased. Is he “typical” ? No, but more often than not, I feel like “he’s got this.” The NT (neurotypical) Wee One is going into big kid school; I honestly feel like he needs a letter to the teacher more than BB. He’s definitely more challenging at the moment. His apple doesn’t fall far from the maternal tree, bless his heart. Maybe this year instead of letters, I’ll give those tiny little liquor bottles and gift certificates for a massage.
I’m ready for routine. I’m ready for my boys to miss each other at the end of the day. I’m ready to miss my boys at the end of the day. I’m ready to clean my house (did I jsut say that?) and to be able to enjoy the clean for a couple of hours. I’m ready to rock this school year like the awesome helicopter mama bear (did you know bears fly helicopters? They totally do!) I am.
The good news is it doesn’t cost you anything! That’s a bonus, right? There is this great sociological principle called Verstehen. The definition as below is from sociologyindex.com
Verstehen is associated with the writing ofMax Weber. Verstehen is now seen as a concept and a method central to a rejection of positivistic social science (Positive School, although Weber appeared to think that the two could be united). Verstehen (ferchaen) is the use of empathy in the sociological or historical understanding of human action andbehavior.
Basically, Verstehen is taking empathy one step further. It is saying although I don’t walk the walk in life you do, I will put myself in your shoes. I will listen and hear you.
An example where I would love to see this is when we discuss anything at all! This means, politics, religion, vaccines, wether I would change my child’s neurology or not, wether I homeschool (or in my case definitely not), wether I buy all organic, choose gluten and casein free or not. Everything.
In having a discussion on FB (one of the rare ones where people didn’t get irate over the topic of neurology I came to this realization. There has to be room at the table for all of us. We, every single one of us, need to embrace and support one another, not despite our differences in opinion but because of those differences. There is so much to be gained by actively listening to those with a different perspective. I would never ever change my kiddos neurology. But you know what? I recognize he can tell me he loves me, can tell me (most of the time) when he’s ill. My son doesn’t have PICA (the desire to eat not nutritive things), he doesn’t smear his feces. If he did, I recognize I might feel differently. Our walks are different. Everyone’s walk is different. You came to your point of view because you are uniquely you. I respect your walk.
Do I always practice what I preach? Nope. I’m trying. I’m trying really hard to remember that just because we disagree, that disagreement is not an indictment on my personhood. Feel free to remind me of this.
So let’s quit calling “BS” when someone expresses a point of view we don’t share. Know that my point of view isn’t one of popping rainbows and unicorns. Someone else’s is not that of bitterness and anger. Instead, let’s take a breath, practice VERSTEHEN, look at how that other human we are sharing this world with came to their point of view, and play nice. If we do this, even just sometimes, I promise you we will be nicer human beings to be around.