Be yourself

By: sonofabeach96

Oct 23 2015

Category: Uncategorized

31 Comments

The quote pictured above is my first installment in the 3 Day Quote Challenge, as issued by amommasview.  But I’ll relay the following story in relation to this quote.  Hope you read it, and abide by this quote in your day-to-day life:

As many of you who follow my site may know,  my oldest son has Autism.  Accordingly, school has not exactly been a cakewalk for him.  We’ve had multiple IEP’s, ARC meetings, and had to call numerous special meetings with various teachers over the years.  We’ve had to raise hell, kick ass and take names, and call even school principle’s to the mat, for YEARS!  The child is not dumb, stupid, or mentally challenged, as some who don’t know him may assume at first glance.  He’s intuitive, sensitive, and aware of others’ perception of him, and that has only increased as he’s gotten older.  So, to participate in class, to raise his hand to ask, or answer, questions, or to go to the blackboard is not always easy for him.  He’s aware of his differences from the “normal” kids, as he refers to his classmates, and has had a consistent fear of putting himself out there and the potential for ridicule or being incorrect in front of his peers.

But something happened yesterday that nearly brought me to tears.  At around 6:00 a.m. this morning, my wife’s phone rang.  Odd at that time of day, so we both were a bit alarmed that someone was hurt or something bad had happened to a friend or family member.  Quite the contrary, it was actually a good call.  It was his Resource teacher, what some would refer to as his special needs teacher.  She wanted to relay something to us that she saw as a bit of a breakthrough.  I think maybe she’s right.

Turns out that, yesterday, during his Social Studies class, the primary teacher posed a question to the class.  My son stated to his Resource teacher that he knew the answer.  He raised his hand and said aloud, “I know this, I know this!”.  While she’s telling us this, I’m picturing Arnold Horshack from “Welcome Back Kotter” (anyone over the age of 40 surely recalls the “Ooh, Ooh, Ooh” shrieks and the arm being raised flailingly over and over).  So anyway, she proceeds to tell us that his teacher noticed his raised arm and confidence, maybe the first time my son had done this mind you, so he called on him.  Turns out, my son knew the right answer!  Not only that, when asked to come up to write it on the blackboard, he jumped right up without hesitation and proceeded to do just that.  After he was done, he turned to the class and they all cheered for him, clapping and way-to-go’s.  Then Mr. Personality proudly took a bow to the class and high-fived other kids on the way back to his desk.  His Resource teacher said she was as proud of him as if he were her own child and that he was beaming!

Now, to most of you, this probably seems like not that big a deal, a 12 year-old answering a question in class or going to the blackboard.  Eh, we all did it, right?  But for him?  HUGE!!!  After that call, my wife and I hugged and cried, and hugged on him and told him how proud we are of him.  And we truly are.  He’s quite the little dude, and despite his so-called limitations, he’s as sweet and caring and honest a person as you’d ever meet.  Absofuckinglutely I’m proud of my guy!  He inspires us dail.

There have been times that we’ve considered moving him to a different school.  One in the city, that may be more adept at dealing with his methods of learning.  But days like yesterday, and the reaction of his classmates, most of which have grown up with my son because of our small-town, rural environment, we are convinced that we could never take him away from where he’s that loved, known, and comfortable.  It may not be perfect, but those other kids, those “normal” pre-teen kids, love him, assist him, and genuinely like him.  He may be different, but they seem to go outta their way to include him.  And that nurturing, not just from us and his teachers, but from his peers, is priceless.

So this morning, I was filled with pride, not just for my boy and the progress he’s making, but for these kids and the community in which we are raising him.  Say what ya will about the kind of place we live: bumpkins, shit kickers, maybe even rednecks, to some.  But just because we talk with a drawal, say “y’all”, there’s more cows than people, and, to most, their dream vehicle may be a new tractor, doesn’t mean they’re less or beneath some well-to-do city dweller.  I’ve never been more convinced we’ve made the right decision to raise these boys in the country.  These are some of the finest people on the planet and they’ve accepted us former “city folk” with open arms, and they’ve made my son’s life immeasurably better.  They’ve allowed him to be himself.  What a gift.

My songs of the day are:

“Don’t Be Shy” by Cat Stevens

“Everyday People” by Sly and the Family Stone

“I’m Good” by The Mowgli’s

“Poster” by Jack Johnson

“Strength, Courage, Wisdom” by India Arie

31 comments on “Be yourself”

    • It really is. We always worried him being picked on or made fun of, etc. because of his differences. It’s been quite the opposite. To be accepted and looked after by his peers is most definitely a gift, to him and us. We really are blessed in that regard. He’s very funny and personable, in spite of his diagnosis and all that entails, but he’s…quirky. But they just take him for what he is and allow him to be him. Now I’m gonna start tearing up again. It just makes me so thankful! 😊

      Liked by 4 people

  1. What a great, feel good story to start my day off with!! Thanks for giving me an ear to ear smile this morning! Congrats!!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Just teary eye! It is a gift to be accepted as a child. Making it a better environment to thrive in. Beautiful story.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The credit for your son’s achievement goes to his parents, and so, you have every right to feel proud of him! It’s all due to your planning, patience and perseverance. An absofuckinglutely splendid story – may God bless your son with greater glory all through his life!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Awesome! What a proud moment for him!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Love this. How very soul-level comforting for you and your family! My brother has Asperger’s and I wish, as a child, there would have been help for him outside of our immediate family. Glad that you got to share in his progress with your community like that.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. What a wonderful gift! That is a moment to treasure.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Oh, I so know (I think) what a great step he took. And at the age of 12 already. I went through all school years without doing what he did. And I don’t have a diagnosis, but I often can relate to some autistic behaviours when I remember my childhood. Long story, so I skip that here.
    He did great and I think the key was that he was confident and certain of the answer.
    I never did what he did, because I was always insecure about having the right answer or not. But very often I had the right answer, but I never dared to take the chance. If it had been the wrong answer I thought that would almost killed me.

    I was way past youth when I learned that wrong answers or questions don’t kill you. It isn’t a biggie. But when I was growing up it was, or at least I thought it was 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good lesson to learn. Better late than never though! It’s amazing the things he teaches US sometimes. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • There’s much inside kids heads that we don’t know about and if we’re lucky they tell us. I was like that as a kid, lots of thinking in my head but I almost never told anyone anything.

        Liked by 1 person

      • We just have to listen. I think adults dismiss kids as not knowing, not having good ideas, or not thinking, when in actuality they are oftentimes wiser than us. They may not have experience but that doesn’t mean the things they say and do aren’t worthwhile lessons.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I totally agree. I try to listen to kids both because I remember that I as a kid had a lot to say but didn’t and because they often have interesting things to say.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. So lovely to read of your experiences. I am following you after finding you on the Follow to Follow Directory. I am also interested in ‘family’ although my blog looks backwards more than forwards!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading. I really appreciate it. I look back myself at times, to my childhood, etc. But with young kids at home still, the present and future are what’s paramount for us. Although I do miss them being littler.

      Like

  9. Ahhhh I have tears in my eyes….what a great moment and to have the support of the entire class…wow….you and your wife must be jumping for joy….and yes it is a big deal…and hey sometimes its the smaller communities that make it all happen…personally I like the drawl….so happy for you and your boy….kat

    Liked by 1 person


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