It stinks that he’s beautiful, the boy who Summit doesn’t get along with because an extremely petty part of me wants him to be hideous. (I started to type, “the boy that bullies Summit”, but that would be an overstatement as from all accounts they antagonize each other constantly.)
That fact that they equally harass each other is oddly comforting actually. Summit has been bullied over the years and this is a strange step up for him. I think. I’m not sure- this whole situation sucks.
The Keystone Science after school care program the boys attend is excellent, they boys have loved it and I have no complaints. It’s focused on healthy nutrition education and exercise- exactly what I look for in any program I pay to put the boys in. Basically- what I’m saying here is that this isn’t after school programs like I remembered them being. It’s extremely well run.
But today, and almost every day, this beautiful boy runs up to me, smiling in a dazzling way, “Hi Mrs. Clark! How are you! I’m soooo happy to see you! You are so pretty!” (TOTALLY in an Eddie Haskell kind of way…) and I see Summit’s face crumple. Some days are better than others but today he had an epic melt down, echoing loudly in the school gym.
I am on my knees in a flash, “Summit, it’s ok. Summit, don’t let what anyone says or does affect you, don’t give them the power over you.” and I hear the journey in my own voice, desperately hoping I can save him a life time of caring what others think of you and being controlled by negativity.
“He called me a DUMB BOY!” bawled Summit today.
I muster up self control and smile broadly at him. I push away my tendency to over feel, letting the fact that he has special needs overwhelm me in these situations. This is a normal thing to happen to any child at school. We aren’t special because of William’s Syndrome. Breath In. Breath Out. I say it out loud to Summit while speaking in a soothing, calming voice, perhaps more for myself than him even.
Casually, “Well, you aren’t a dumb boy are you? You are an intelligent, caring, wonderful boy who is very much loved.”
I continued to speak affirmations to him, making him repeat them out loud until he was smiling, wiping fogged glasses and tears.
A woman I didn’t realize had been listening smiled broadly at me. “I tell my son the same thing all the time.” She SAW me. She UNDERSTOOD.
She looked at Summit and smiled. “How are you?” He didn’t respond. She tried again, lovingly, “Are you ok now?” and he looked up and smiled at her. “Yes, I am fine.”
It doesn’t matter if you have a special needs child or not. Parenting rips your heart out sometimes.