Friday, March 27, 2015

And Liam Was His Name-O

My BFF's 3 year old daughter can spell her last name. It's seven letters long. And again, she's 3.

That child is so amazingly bright and talented. She is a joy to all who love her. Seriously, there's nothing snarky here, she's just a great kid.

But there are things that she can do that it would never occur to me to expect from Liam. He's the same age, but...come on. The kid's got a unique kind of brain. The things he learns, they take different paths.

It turns out, however, that his capacity for learning goes far beyond my expectations of him. And so, he keeps blowing my mind with things it would never have occurred to me that he might know how to do.

Today at lunch I was trying to work, and (like usual), he was trying to type on the keyboard with me.

"W W W" he said, "wa, wa, wa."

"That's right, W says wa" I answered him with a teensy hint of annoyance. I had things to get done, and I really just wanted him to eat his food and go take a nap. But I don't want to discourage him. I'm excited about his love of letters and numbers.

"Q Q Q" he continued, "qwah qwah qwah."

I was starting to tire slightly of my alphabet lesson, pretty sure I had them mastered over 30 years ago, but was still going along, hoping he'd be done soon, when he completely threw me.

"Liam," he said, "L-I-A-M. Liam."

I think this was something like the face I made:


My 3 year old may not be able to spell his last name, but I'm pretty damned excited that he can spell his first name.

Sure, he may think that the main function of my phone is to take his picture. And he's still banging his head against the wall as if it were a job for which he would be paid. But my little boy is learning. And he's learning some things so much faster than we ever expected. I'm so ridiculously proud of him.

We've got to take the wins when we get them. Right? And I think it's important to remember that, special needs or not, we can't underestimate our kids. They're capable of so much more than we realize. And how much more could they do, if they knew how much we believe in them?

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  1. Oh wow, yay Liam! I remember when Jack took a dinner napkin and wrote out his own name. He was four or five, I think. He has struggled all through school with his reading and teachers all along the way have told us he was behind, but no tests ever pointed to any specific disability. We finally put him in a much smaller school with only about 20 students and three teachers. His grades are finally at a point where I don't fret daily, he isn't falling behind on his work and he's confident answering questions in class.

    It's frustrating that there are all these benchmarks out there that tell us our kids are somehow failing, when in fact they just don't use the same measuring stick. I now have enough perspective to stop trying to compare, but it has been a journey.

  2. Not comparing has been a huge challenge for me. But I'm so much happier when I don't. I don't want to be that bitter, jealous person, who is envious of kids who are doing things hers aren't, or maybe can't.

    I'd rather cheer my kids on for their own personal achievements.

    It really is a journey, you're right.


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