Friday, September 24, 2010
This is the view from the window above our stairs. Last Saturday morning as we were getting ready to leave for games I happened to look up and see this breath-taking sight.
We have had a very emotional couple of days around here. Starting on Wednesday we began to rethink our decision to move Caden into the gifted program. His stress level was rapidly rising and his happiness was decreasing. He had chewed all of his fingernails to the quick and was now getting stomach aches. After talking with the mother of another student in the program and a lot of family members we made the decision last night to pull him from the program. So today at noon I picked him. As soon as I walked into the classroom, the tears I’ve been holding back for two days just spilled out. The best thing I ever did though was to go straight back to his old school to re-register him. Every adult who passed him said, “CADEN! Hey, how are you?” His favorite PE teacher, the nurse, the secretaries. The absolute best though was walking into his new classroom and seeing the faces of the kids as they saw him! He was a celebrity. We were able to go out to recess with the class where he and his best friend saw each other for the first time – it was priceless! So, as hard of a decision as it was to make I just knew that we had made the right decision.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
“They” say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? If that is true then I will either be dead or the world’s strongest woman by the time this kid is grown! Since the day he arrived (nine years and 24+ hours ago) he has been hell-bent on doing me in – and a couple of times I think he darn near succeeded too. Many of you don’t know (because I’ve intentionally kept quiet) that last Spring we found out he had tested into our school district’s “gifted” program. Most people will assume that was news received with great joy and celebration – well, not so much. A “gifted” child is not a genius (that would be profoundly gifted). Rather they are kids who think differently, react more intensely and generally delve much deeper into questions. This type of child is not easy to live with (which would be the understatement of the century)!
“Emotionally intense individuals are often accused of "overreacting." Their compassion and concern for others, their focus on relationships, as well as the intensity of their feelings may interfere with every day tasks. It is often quite difficult and demanding to work and live with intense individuals. Those who are not so, find the behaviors unexplainable, frequently incomprehensible, and often bizarre.”
The way they see the world, others and themselves makes them hard to understand or relate to at times.
“Critical thinking Critical of others, perfectionism, unreasonable standards for self.
Preference for Resistance to simple solutions; constructs complicated rules.
Versatility. Appears disorganized, scattered, frustrated over lack of time.
Sensitive, Extreme sensitivity to criticism or peer rejection.
Feeling everything more deeply than others do is both painful and frightening. Emotionally intense gifted people feel abnormal. "There must be something wrong with me..... maybe I'm crazy... nobody else seems to feel like this".
Emotionally intense gifted people often experience intense inner conflict, self-criticism, anxiety and feelings of inferiority.
This may be sensory sensitivity to factors such as noise or texture or the number of people in the room (sensory integration issues), or emotional sensitivity to perceptions of unfairness, discrepancy or insincerity. The heightened awareness of contradiction (when someone breaks a promise, does something that seems unjust, contradicts an earlier statement, changes a plan or says something he doesn’t really mean) can be unbearable to these children. This can result in behaviors that may look oppositional or rude – refusing to listen, running away, tuning out, becoming angry and defiant, and so on – but are actually coming from the child’s acute sensitivity and inability to tolerate contradictory impressions.
This can also be intellectual sensitivity, when a gifted child who is a divergent, creative thinker becomes so overwhelmed with all the aspects, side-bars, possibilities and implications of a subject that he “overloads.” Conversely, the gifted child who is a deep, intense thinker may become so hyper-focused that he cannot attend to anything he considers extraneous and may become irritable or even explosive”
I’ve never been able to adequately describe or explain this child and much of the above is obviously quoted but describes him better than I ever could. So why am I going into all of this now? Well, I feel like we have just jumped off a cliff and are now clinging to a ledge. Ever since finding out he would be going to a new school Caden has been miserable and just so very sad! This all came to a climax last night as he anticipated his first day and cried himself to sleep – it was enough to break any mother’s heart. If I could have just said to forget the whole idea and taken him back to his old school and best buddy! I had to fight everything in me not to do just that. Sometimes being a parent and doing what you hope is for the best can be harder than anything else you’ll ever do in your life! Especially when it means watching your child suffer temporarily.
I felt such a huge relief when I saw the smile on his little face as he got off the school bus this afternoon! Yet, I also know that it most definitely is not over yet. Just writing four to five sentences on his summer turned into an hour long ordeal with near hysteria, hyperventilating and anger! It had to be PERFECT! ABSOLUTELY PERFECT! Oh, do we ever have a long way to go. I just hope my arms or that ledge don’t give out anytime soon! Like I said, I’ll either be dead (if I fall off that ledge I suppose) or one mighty strong woman (from holding on so tight) before this one is grown!
“God, I love this kid so much – You knew I’d need that love to get me through!”
Friday, September 03, 2010
I was feeling guilty that it was the end of summer and we weren’t planning to do anything fun. So at the last minute yesterday we decided to take the kids up to the Ape Caves near Mt. St. Helens. Paige and I made it to the second set of stairs before deciding we preferred to stay above ground! So, while to men-folk continued on we hiked back up to the sunshine. While we waited we followed a beautiful trail to a meadow with huge lava rocks. After snapping a picture of Paige on one of the rocks with Mt. St. Helens in the background, she and I sat perfectly still and listened. That is probably one of my most favorite things to do – just sit and listen to the sounds of nature, away from the noises of modern life. We mostly heard the grasshoppers snapping! It was a perfect, beautiful day!