Susan's Blog

Thursday, January 2, 2014

In Celebration of the Human Brain

In writing my new book, I am doing what I always do: I go back in time, to my old writings, to remember and relive. The deep emotions I find in my old stuff is fertile ground for my best writing. I found this post from 7 years ago, and it really made me laugh. This happened when Nat was 17, and though we did not realize it right then, he was experiencing growth in his communication ability that would lead, eventually, to his anger and aggressive outbursts pretty much disappearing from his life. Because of this sudden growth, a space opened up for him where he was able to better understand when something or someone was bothering him, and express it, albeit sometimes in an unusual way. But unusual can be beautiful, as long as no one is getting hurt.

I am reposting it in celebration of the human brain, which never stops developing.

As the boys were all getting ready for bed last night, Nat got antsy again. He started bouncing all around, looking out of windows (presumably checking the status of various lights outside). He ran upstairs with Ned, and followed him into Benji’s room. “Socks,” he said.

Oh, no, I thought. Now he’s after everyone to wear socks. Nat wears socks to bed, but I don’t, Ned doesn’t, Max doesn’t. And I did not know about Benj.

“No, Ben does not have to wear socks,” Ned said.

“Ben will put on socks,” Nat said.

Ben started to put on socks. Ben is a little afraid of Nat. Maybe a lot. That is one of the worst facts in my life.

“Ben, you don’t have to wear socks!” said Ned, gently but firmly.

“I know! I’m going to take them off now!” said Ben. Here’s the other thing: Ben loves to taunt Nat, and get him back for making him so scared. It is a cycle. The Circle of Strife.

“Ben, you shouldn’t tease him,” said Ned. “You don’t have to wear socks, but you shouldn’t tease him.”

“Ben socks,” Nat said.

“He doesn’t have to — ” said Ned.

“HIT!” yelled Nat. “Want to hit!” But he didn’t.

They came downstairs. I don’t know if Ben had his socks on or off, in the end.

Nat said, “Want to hit!”

I smiled. “Natty, that is so good that you are telling me!” I rubbed his back.

Later, when he was in bed, I went in and hugged him and kissed him. “Nat, I am so happy that you said, ‘Want to hit’ but that you didn’t hit! That is so good!“


“Good night.”

“Good night, Mommy.”

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