Saturday, February 16, 2013

Children are amazing

I had a great idea for a blog today as I sat listening to Reid try to talk and watching Jack draw. Now that I finally have a moment to write it, I'm listening to Reid scream instead of taking a nap. It's amazing how things change around here in a heartbeat.

Lately, we've been mulling over our kindergarten plans for Jack. We've toured two Catholic schools and talked to dozens of our friends and other smart people. Jack is a pretty smart kid and we want to make sure we find the best place for him to develop his potential. We are pretty sure we have found the place, which is comforting. However, the search was anything but.

I've found myself struggling with how to think about the boys. I'm trying very hard not to label them or compare them to other kids. It's so easy to fall into that trap when you are talking about what programs would best suit a kid. Is he advanced for his age? Does he have special needs that need to be addressed? Is he "average"? If I'm not careful, my competitiveness gets in there too. What will he be "the best" at? Ugh. It's tiring.

Today, I think I found the antidote to this thinking. When we sat down to make our grocery list, Jack wanted to write too. So he jumped up at the counter with me, found his crayons, and started drawing. He drew the fruit he wanted to get this week. Then picked out the correctly colored crayons to color them in: red for the red pepper, blue for the blueberries, etc. I just enjoyed that moment. He knows what a grocery list is; he likes fruits and vegetables; he can draw and color recognizable items. I enjoyed the wonder that is a child learning and developing.

Then I sat back and listened to Reid. He's learning so much now too. He can say lots of words now: hello, bubbles, cracker, ta-da, jelly, quack. He also is signing much more. He signs "all done" and "please" really well. He shakes his head (very deliberately) for yes and no when you ask him questions. The new one today was pointing to his head when we asked him to. I could also mention the temper tantrums that he throws when he can't communicate what he wants or is frustrated that we don't give him what he wants.

Isn't learning how to communicate just amazing?

I realized today that the coolest thing about being a parent is getting to see this learning and development up close. I don't get to see this with every kid (talk about exhausting!). But I do get to be present for our two boys.

Lucky me :)

By the way, Reid finally fell asleep!