no matter how hard i try, i can't seem to let go of the one or two comments, the three or ten looks that people have burned me with about how i'm a bad parent because i don't know how to control my son. i've talked about it, processed it, rationalized it but for some reason can't seem to get over it and/or let it go ...all the way.
sooo whenever i'm around people i get a little - antsy? protective? hyper-aware, maybe - of how people are interacting with my son and how people are interacting with me interacting with my son. the breeze just has to nudge the person's face just so and i am smarting on the inside. after a little bit of that, i start doing exactly the thing that i abhor and taking it out on him when i what i really need to do is say 'back TF off, OK?' to the offending party.
i won't go into the elongated version of the diatribe where i talk about how people who don't have exuberant, vim-infused, kinesthetic children have no idea what it's like. in fact, that sentence is the equivalent of the short version. and i don't want one more person to tell me that he's 'just being a boy'. there are millions - no BILLIONS - of boys in the world and all of them are not like each other. all of them are not like my son. as a matter of a fact there are girls who are like ryan. other boys who are like ryan (of course) so the qualifying criteria is not, in fact, anatomical possession of a penis and testicles (or parts thereof).
these are the children that go to school, don't fit in, and end up on ritalin or some such bloody nonsense because people need to label children to cover for the colossal inadequacy of the system. these are the children that get drugged into a drunken stupor that makes them appear to behave "properly" or like other "normal" people. poor, unfortunate souls, as Ursula the sea witch would say.
and while i cannot categorically deny the existence of an actual condition of A.D. anything, i can most assuredly say that i think most of it is bullshit. i am entitled to my opinion and i like it so i'm keeping it especially because i'm right. but my rightness is not what this particular commentary is about.
i can guarandamntee you that if ryan were to attend a regular school and merrily demonstrate his unwillingness (notice i did not say inability) to sit still for the boring drills and pointless memorization these people are subjected to, he would be labeled quicker'n you cin say "SIT DOWN!"
if his way of being is just him 'being a boy' then all boys - like 99% anyway - would get diagnosed, prescribed and medicated.
my stance on the matter doesn't mean that i don't know that your average XY chromosome carrier will more likely want to move his body quite a bit more than your average double Xer.
but with ryan and others like him, it's more than that. more than a desire to climb things while he "watches" tv. (watches tv ... laughing to myself.) it's more than a need to constantly be climbing on anything or any Person (read: me) at anytime. more than a literally insatiable primal urge to hit and destroy things and pose in any number of alleged karate poses while employing and inventing the use of a vast array of invisible assault weapons at all times. i'm not even kidding...or exaggerating.
i find that most people, whether it is a result of my inability to convey or articulate, do not understand this. many people think he needs more "discipline". (i need to let you know that as i typed that, my eyes fell down into the back of my throat, they rolled that far back.) this same 'many people' group either do not have their own children (best givers of parenting advice!) or have uber docile sloth-like children or are maniacal control freaks that have already beaten the spirits out of their own previously Spirited Child. this list is actually one of all the people who have told me about my wanton lack of parenting skills both with their words and their faces.
so you'll have to excuse me if i am a bit thenthitive about my precious boy (only i'm allowed to think he's trouble. nobody else. not really. if you get him, you're allowed but i have to know that you really do get him first.) who Ryan or any of these kids like him is is a truly Spirited Person who knows how he feels, knows what he needs, knows whom to tell about it and is completely Unafraid to do so. how many people can say that?
sure he gets carried away and hits people (namely his sister), grabs things, breaks things, annoys the living Heaven ("heaven" here is personally interpreted as closeness to the Divine) out of me (literally!) but he is still only FOUR. i've been here exactly eight times as long as he has and i still haven't figured out how to stop myself from doing things that i know are not necessarily "great" for me (and sometimes even for other people). so i re-iterate: F-O-U-R: four!
this is the spiel i'd like to spit like nails at the people who tense up and make the body language comments; whose eyes looking for resting places that don't convey their internal monologue of judgment; the people who outright make stupid freakin' comments about his "behavior". either the spiel or good solid whack to side of their heads.
but instead, i feel hurt and frustrated and tired of all of it and i get mad at ryan for being who God made him to be.
so help me, God, to find the words, the ways, the Loving responses to all the parties involved - including me.
but maybe i'm praying the wrong thing. maybe i need to be asking for a wide open heart that provides unconditional acceptance of things that seem hard to bear. and possibly, just maybe those things will have a whole new look.
all the while, staying pretty much the same. which is what it is and is Precisely (i do not use this word lightly) what it needs to be.