Susan's Blog

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Hidden Wonders

“If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again
I’ll never go any further than my own backyard
Because if it isn’t there
Well, I never really lost it to begin with.
Is that right?”
Dorothy, to Glinda

I have to keep reminding myself of all the good things going on. I have a tendency to focus on the one bad thing in my life (this one or that one who hurt me) even though there are scores of wonders staring me in the face:

Last night Max helped me make a blog for Nat. Even though he (Max) had homework to do. Even though, as he said later, “He got way more comments in his very first blogpost than I ever have!” I can’t believe Max, still, after all these years. How lovely to be with he is. Just being in the same room. He has that same golden gentleness that Ned has. A surrounding warmth and comfort. You feel joy just in his presence. When he was little I worried about people taking advantage of his kindness. I micromanaged all of his friendships; this one was too grabby, that one was too rude. But as Max got bigger (and he got really big!) I noticed more and more how he literally and figuratively rose above it all. He would smile down at me and my worries. He was fine. He is fine. Knock wood.

I gave Max one of Kevin Leitch’s Neurodiverse tee shirts and he was totally delighted. He loved the strange “don’t screw with the evil neurodiverse” saying and he loved even more the huge size it came in (3XL). I knew he’d be psyched to wear this seemingly “random” tee shirt, and he’d enjoy explaining it to his buds. Here is the song I made up for Max years ago, sung to the tune of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s “Little Lover Boy”

Well you heard about my Maxie
He’s short and sweet
You mess with him
You see his mom get mean

He’s my sweet Little Little
He’s my pride and joy
He’s my sweet Little Little
He’s my little Blankie Boy

Last night Nat got something like 15 comments on his post! And a link. After school today, I am going to try again, getting Nat to blog. I think what will help is to have questions written out for him, that he can read and think about. Also, perhaps lists of words that are important to him, like the games he likes, the parts of his school day, the weather, the lighting. I think the visual reminders will help him structure his thoughts and feelings.

I will wait for Nat to hang up his coat, put away his backpack, take off his shoes. I will then give Nat his chocolate ice cream, and when he walks into the living room, I will ask him to come into the playroom and look at the computer with me again. He will be reluctant. Yesterday, I said, “Please?” and looked at him with sad eyes. I actually used Jewish Mother guilt on him. It works with all three of my boys, but it is my very last resort.

Nat has a Jewish soul, I believe, in the oldest sense. He is the one who I can rely on to say the prayers every night for Chanukah, where I have to needle the other two. Nat seems to have more of an affinity for ritual, but I also wonder if he feels a comfort in speaking the ancient Hebrew, the way I do.

Benj, too has a Jewish soul in the way that his sense of justice is very Old Testament. When he feels you are wrong, he takes no prisoners. He has to stomp you to the ground, kill all your descendents, and sprinkle salt on your earth, and pepper, too. But ole Benj is changing, loosening up. Growing, learning. Last night he asked me how many days are 93 hours. These are the kinds of questions I, of the 520 math SAT (don’t worry, I had a 780 verbal), am asked to answer while chopping onions for dinner. I put down the knife and think. My boys always make me think and stretch my poor head. “Okay,” I said. “You have to see how many times 24 goes into 93. How many sets of 24 make 93. Because there are 24 hours in a day, right?” So I proceeded to ask him 24 + 24. He answered almost immediately, “Two less than 50.” Right!!!
Then I said, “Add 24 to that.” Again, almost immediately, he got the answer. No paper, no pencil, no fingers. He was seeing it all, right in his head. This is a kid they have been sending to math support in his school! I knew he had math down. I just knew it. He just needed to get a handle on his math facts, the boring part. The math concepts he seems to consume like chocolate.

So there you have it. The wonders of my universe. And I didn’t even mention Ned. Oops, just did. Ned let me fall asleep crying onto his shoulder. He told me that the only important stuff was right here. My own backyard, as Dorothy Gale would say.


i would love to leave a comment for Nat but it won’t allow a non-blogspotter to comment. ah well. tell him i LOVE junior mints! they are one of my favorite candies. AND my son beats me at Connect Four all the time.

— added by kyra on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 at 9:51 am

I hadn’t been keeping up with all the hub blogs since sometime in August.

Thanks for pointing out the “evil neurodiverse” shirts! I’m contemplating the “Evil Neurodiverse Ho” one for myself. >:D

— added by Julia on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 at 4:18 pm

Kyra –
You are very sweet.
Julia – Buy it! I want that one, too, actually. If anyone wants to buy their favorite blogger a present… ladies small or I suppose medium if they are cut really small (but I like to wear things tight)

— added by Susan Senator on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 at 4:27 pm

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