What if your child has it a little harder than his brother?
I have two phenomenal boys. The are very different and they are each brilliant in their own way. So different that it sometimes breaks my heart.
On one hand you have the absolutely delightful Jesse. He is a reader and a thinker. He is well-spoken, funny, and so wise beyond his years. He can talk to any adult and pretty much have a real and stimulating conversation. Some people walk away from those conversations and can’t believe they just talked to a young child because it was such a grown-up talk. I sometimes find myself feeling smarter after talking to Jesse. His empathy is off the charts and he truly is a sweet heart. I know that he will make the best husband one day. I am sure of it. Jesse is smart, witty, and inventive. His head is so full of ideas that his words shoot out so fast, I can’t keep up! He is a true joy to have as a son.
Chuck is Chuck. He is whirling dervish. He, too, is super smart. I am ashamed to admit this, but I didn’t know how smart he was until his pre-school teacher asked me how I taught Chuck to read. I didn’t even know he could read! Apparently he taught himself to read (with a little help from his brother). He had been reading on his own for a few months. He was only 4! Now, he breezes through homework without any help and never studies for tests, he just aces them. Physically, he can do just about anything he puts his mind to. He is hilarious even though most of the time he isn’t even trying. He is strong-willed and I know he will make a strong man. He is almost always happy and bubbly. When I snuggle with him he talks about how happy he is and all that he loves. When I am around him, I feel like I must be doing something right. He has tons of friends and he is delightful to hang around. He is a true joy to have as a son.
The problems arise when my boy’s peers do not appreciate their wonderful qualities equally. If you haven’t already guessed, Chuck is like Matthew McConaughey, just breezing through and Jesse is like Woody Allen, tortured and thinking through life. Chuck chills and Jesse worries. Jesse can chill with adults and Chuck can irritate adults. Chuck gets friends without trying and Jesse trys to get friends without succeeding. At school, Chuck is cool and Jesse is weird.
Sadly, what is comes down to is adults understand Jesse and kids don’t. He has so many natural gifts and they are not being appreciated by his peers. He tells jokes that make his teacher laugh and his peers scratch their heads. One day his peers will see the wonderful qualities in Jesse. His intelligence will make him great at whatever he chooses to do. His inventiveness will serve him well. But now he is misunderstood, picked on, ignored, and just not connected with his peers. No matter how wonderful and appreciated he will be in the future it breaks my heart to see what is going on now. I shower him with love, acceptance, and support. That is all I can do while this all plays out.
As for Chuck, he is just loving life and I love that. I am happy he is happy. I shower him with love, acceptance, and support and I revel in all the wonderful things that are happening for him.
I know all we be wonderful in the end. Both boys will have a fantastic life because the are both fantastic people in their own special way. Right now it is easier for Chuck but it may change one day. I will deal with that if/when that time comes. But now it is hard for Jesse. And, not to sound selfish, it is hard for me to watch. I am sure you can understand why. Sigh…