I am one of those people who like to talk. Throughout school I always got caught talking during class. When telling a story, I want people to experience what I experienced. I tend to give every detail from where I was, how I was standing, what the weather was like…you get the picture. It can take me forever to get to the point. Sometimes I will even say ‘to make a long story short’ then I laugh because the story is already too long!
When I talk to my kids about anything I tend to use too many words. I want to make sure they understand and get what I am saying as well as how I’m feeling. Whether I am disciplining them or just talking. I have to stop myself and remember not everyone, even my kids, need to hear every detail. This is something I work on when talking to anyone but especially my kids.
Earlier this week I had an IEP meeting to discuss Jake’s behaviors at school. He went through a rough period and his behaviors were escalating. The meeting went well and I am thankful for a great team that seems to have Jake’s best interest at heart. Fortunately, Jake’s behaviors have decreased. I really believe he was out of sorts because we had 6 snow days, we got a new dog and John started a new job which took him out-of-town for nearly a month. There have also been changes at school; Jake is now in kindergarten full-time and will go to the resource room once a day for a break. Also, instead of one aide all day he has two aides that split the day. These are all pretty big changes for our boy. Throughout the meeting they sung Jake’s praises. I felt really good knowing that the principal as well as the rest of Jake’s team check in on him while he is in the kindergarten classroom. Jake’s kindergarten teacher is fabulous. She gets Jake but what I love most is that she treats Jake the same as her other students. We don’t have many accommodations in Jake’s IEP (something I wanted) and the only difference is that he leaves for breaks every now and then. Jake responds well to most of the time. Anyway, to make a long story short (ha-ha), they were all proud of the progress Jake is making.
That night while I was getting Jake ready for bed I told him that I met with his teacher. He looks at me and smiles. I ask him if he loves his teacher and he looks at me with this huge grin and nods yes. I went on to say “buddy, everyone is so proud of you! And mommy is so proud of you and that you are working so hard each day!” He gives me a half-smile. I go on to say “I just love that you love school and that you love your teacher and that you have fun with your friends!” He is gone, I can see it in his eyes but I want him to understand how proud I am of him and how much I love him. I know I’ve gone too far. He looks at me with a very tense face and covers his ears and I brace myself, ready for the tears or meltdown; he does neither. I sit quietly and hug him. He takes his hands off his ears and says “mommy, too many words.” This is one of the very few times I can remember that he actually used his words to express himself. He didn’t cry or meltdown from my talking too much! He was able to tell me exactly what he was feeling. And in a nice way, he basically told me to be quiet! Of course I wanted to tell him again how proud I was and all of that mushy stuff but I didn’t. I just hugged him tight. The look on his face was precious and he relaxed. It was all I could do to not start talking again.
I have grown a great deal during this journey with Jake. He has taught me SO much; more than I thought possible. I have learned patience, to speak up for what I know is best for him and that my first instinct is usually right. But one of the best lessons I’ve learned is that sometimes you just have stay quiet, wait and listen and he will tell me all that I want to know. Jake has a different way of expressing himself from most. He is affectionate but on his terms, he is funny in his own way, he is so energetic and the pure happiness that exudes from him is contagious.
I love this kid and am thankful that I learn as much from him as he does from me 🙂
James 1:19 “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak…”