Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Growing Up, Standing Up

A short story:  this little gold finch hit our back window several years ago.  
It stunned itself badly, and fell into the snow.  
When it didn't flutter off after a minute, 
I went out and picked it up in some soft gloves.  
It was so tiny and fragile, and obviously unable to help itself.  
I brought it inside for a few minutes, to warm it up, 
then set it back outside on the railing, still in the glove, 
to see if it would recover.  
After about 15 minutes it perked up, and then flew away.  

How is that related to my blog post tonight?  
It makes me think of raising children.  
Sometimes they're fragile, sometimes they get hurt, 
make mistakes, or need a helping hand, 
and sometimes they just need TIME.  
When they're ready, they'll fly.

Parenthood is expensive, costly not just in money but in emotional wear and tear - that's not a news flash.  The financial obligation has been giving us a big headache lately, since we realized we need to seek some help for our son, who's struggling greatly with his math disability - school just isn't cutting it, and he needs intensive remediation.  We've opted to pursue a program through a nationally recognized chain of learning centers - it's not inexpensive, but after doing our research and getting him evaluated, we think they'll be able to help him make up lost ground as he gets ready to enter 7th grade.

We've had to rejigger our finances to do this, and Safety Guy seems to realize that we're making a big financial commitment just to help him.  He asked if we were going to go bankrupt (thankfully, no), and if we were mad at him for needing the help (definitely not).  My husband told him that if we had to go bankrupt to help our children, we would.  (I'm so proud of my husband!)  We told Safety Guy that we just want him to try his best, and take the tutoring seriously.  He was surprisingly willing to go along with seeking help for his math skills - I think he wants the help, and to succeed at it.  It was good to see him thinking outside himself - that's so hard for him.  Inability to see outside oneself is a very typically Aspie difficulty, and at times I've despaired of him being able to see the bigger picture in relationships and finances. This is another hopeful sign that he's making progress, and growing up.

Another good sign of his progress occurred today:  he defended his sister when some other older kids laughed at her (when she almost fell off her bike, sliding on some gravel).  This is the first time that I'm aware of that he has stood up for her against his peers.  She came home upset while he stayed to talk with them, and she told me what had happened.  I quietly put on my coat and walked to the end of the block to where I could see the guys down the street - I had some concern about how Safety Guy might handle a situation like that, since he's not known for being, um, tactful or restrained verbally, shall we say.  To my relief they were just talking, and I walked back home.  He seems to have handled it okay, and I told him I was proud of him for standing up for his sister.  Another small (okay, HUGE, this is HUGE!!) step on the way to him learning  empathy and selflessness.

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