Friday, November 19, 2010

My heart swells with pride...and my eyes with tears

So I've written before about the journey we are on with Jonathon.  My blond, freckled face, green-eyed son whose smile would melt your heart, and whose lack of control would make you cry. He is one of a kind, and I would not have it any other way.

We had parent/teacher conferences at the boys' school last week, and they went super well.  I could not have been more pleased with what the teachers said about our kids, and it was definitely an answer to my prayers that they would each be placed with teachers who would be their advocates this year.  Brandon's teacher told us over and over again "what a terrific kid he is, he is charming, smart, witty, and if he were going to be here longer I would have him tested for the gifted program" were her exact words.  We beamed of course and had to agree that he is a great kid.

Nathan's teacher also raved about him, commenting on what a sweet boy he is and how he always says, "please" and "thank you" and is polite to others and though he giggles quite a bit, is really doing well in math and finally catching on better to reading.  He is in a special reading group where he gets one-on-one help to learn to read...he came from a Spanish-speaking school where he learned all the letters and sounds in Spanish to starting 1st grade here where most kids already can read.  He is behind, but the reading specialists are positive that he'll be caught up in just a few months!!  His teacher also commented that he tries so hard and she is encouraged by that.

And then we got to meet with Jonathon's teacher...again. :o)  She was astounded at what a bright kid he is, she showed us some of his math scores and told us that he's reading 140 words per minute...most 2nd graders start at 50 and end the year with a 90 at best.  We talked more about his impulsiveness and lack of self-control...and we all came to the conclusion that he does have good days and he does have bad days...but that his sweetness, in the end, outweighs his lack of self control.  She said we could have him tested for ADD/ADHD, but that she wouldn't force this on us because of his only being here for one year.  It's unlikely that we would go the medication route anyhow, but we are trying to work on some positive goal setting for those lack of self control times.

We know Jonathon is a sweet kid, but what led me to post about this was because over the past month--really since all of this has been happening with Jonathon, we have had SO many people comment to us about what a great kid he is.  Here is what one mom said just yesterday, "I just want to tell you what an encouragement Jonathon has been to my daughter, she isn't very confident and he has invited her to do things and been a good friend to her.  I have seen what a sweet boy he is when he calls out 'hello' to me when I just happen to be in the school" and another mom said, "That Jonathon is about the sweetest boy ever!  He always says hello to me when I'm at school or if he sees me at church, and we would really enjoy having a playdate with him sometime!"  Now, I'm biased and know Jonathon is a great kid...but to hear others praising him, in light of his impulsive behavior, makes me so proud to be his mom. 

My kids have all encouraged me without even knowing it...if only I could capture these times in a bottle to store forever. 

And time stands still

This morning I put on Sophia's winter hat.  Yes, it's that time of the year, and we were heading out the door to take the boys to school on this very chilly November morning.  The hat I put on her head was immediately ripped off and thrown on the floor with a very loud, resounding, "NO."  Said hat is not her favorite and if I didn't realize it before, I do now. 

Our other issue of the morning was having to leave to take the boys to school when Cat in the Hat was still on PBS.  She threw a total fit, and kept saying "Hat" over and over again.  How is it that my sweet, quiet, gentle daughter is now turning into a very opinionated 20-month-old before my eyes!!??  And now that she is talking more, she has no qualms about letting me know what's on her mind!

That said, when I put her down for a nap this afternoon and she hugged me, blew me kisses, and said, "Bye Mom"...time stood still.  It's amazing to me that such love can exist, that the fierceness I feel towards my kids that would dictate me to lay down my life for them, is a love that bonds me to them forever. It's moments like those that keep me kissing those dirty faces, that keeps me smiling when I throw "clean" laundry in the washing machine simply because the boys were too lazy to put it away, or when my favorite candle stick gets broken because someone didn't obey for the 10th time when I asked them not to throw balls in the house.

I want these times to stay in my mind forever.