Sunday, December 13, 2009

Jack meets world

I can't really sleep, and I should be. I realized in the cloud of insomnia that I wanted to write down a few things. Like Jack and his school stuff. Because I don't want to forget it, but also on the off-chance he reads my notes someday after I die... and as he's wading through the crap I left behind, he'll know that his mother was peacock-proud of her little boy.

Like his maps and social studies teacher, at the holiday party, telling me that it's such a joy to have him in class. That the 5-year-olds really vary in ability level, but she can just have him go off and do his thing and know he'll be fine.

And then she said (I doubt I'll forget this part, namely the intonation): "And you know, he is really good at puzzles. Really good. Not just simple puzzles, but these big complicated map puzzles. I'll look over at him and he'll have put the whole thing together without any help."

Was I proud that he could put together map puzzles? I guess. That's pretty cool. But I knew he was oddly good at puzzles. What made me so proud was that this little person I made is now going out into the world...having independent experiences with other people...and they can talk about him with that glow she had. Like he was someone special.

I think he's special, but then I'm his mom. So I sometimes wonder to myself if all moms have this sense. I hope they have this sense. That their child is this unique individual like the world has never seen. Because really, isn't the world a much better place if everyone's mom believes that about her child? But having someone else in his life, completely unrelated to him, be so struck by him felt good. Felt great, actually.

And then Suzanne...wonderful Suzanne...and her email today about Jack in her class. That felt great too.

And then...his Air and Space class. I dropped him off at 9 and the teachers from last winter (last winter!) were so excited to see him back. I couldn't believe they remembered him. Seriously.

I came back at 3 to the empty classroom and panicked a bit that I'd gotten the time wrong and everyone had gone home. If that was the case...um...where was my sweet little boy?

I went back to the front desk and then saw out the huge wall of windows that Jack was on the ice skating rink. I went over to the worker to sign him out and she said: "Has he ever ice skated before? He's really good! The kids were falling down all over the place, but he just got out there and started skating." Really? Jack knew how to skate? He's never been on skates before.

My mom would love that story, because she talked about my first ice skating lesson where I just took off skating. But I doubt I was 5. I wish I could ask her.

Then 2 other teachers came over to me, knowing I was his mom. Started talking exuberantly about how he's been skating so great, was so fun to have in class, and how he figured out the first clue in the mystery they had to solve. I walked through the door to get outside to the rink, and there was another teacher saying to me: "Has he ever skated before? He's only fallen down once! I told him I fell down 3 times already. He's really good out there! And fearless."

I was so damn proud of him. A bit like the maps, in that I didn't care one lick about how he skated. Sure, I'm happy for him that he skated, but I'd be proud as heck even if he'd fallen 100 times but kept on trying. It's not about his performance, but about the character of who he is. And that glow they all had about him... the joy in telling me about him...it makes me think they're seeing his character too.

My boy. He is getting so big. Turning into a little man, more every day. I love who he is. Who he's becoming. What people see in him.

EDITED TO ADD:

I don't want to forget: Jack and I sitting on the steps at the front of Air and Space, as he showed me his detective journal they worked on today. How happy he was. His adorable drawings in it. How I didn't even notice the persons milling around us because my entire universe was centered around this little man telling me about solving the toy thief mystery. There was something very special in that moment. I don't know how to explain it, but it needs to be remembered.

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