We went to a birthday party today which included a performance by a magician. Z was able to sit and enjoy it with the rest of the kids for about 15 minutes before he started laying on the floor, and then he came over to me and started climbing on me, then he took to trying to take a “nap” on the couch.
This is the same kid who willingly sits through 2 hour symphony orchestra performances. With almost no fidgeting.
He is a unique kid, that’s for sure.
I’m never entirely confident I can predict his reactions in any given situation. What’s going to engage him, what’s going to overwhelm him and make him clingy and needing to “nap” in a crowd of people. Is it mainly a noise issue? He’s always been overly sensitive to sound. Maybe all the random noise of a crowd of kids in a small space just makes him need to check out. And the orchestral music is loud, but not random, so he can be engaged with it instead of overwhelmed by it.
At least that’s my theory for the moment.
I’ve been thinking about friends and friendship quite a bit these last couple of weeks. One of the main reasons is that Zener’s birthday is coming up and I’m not sure who to invite from his class, if anyone. To the best of my knowledge, he hasn’t been invited to one birthday party for kids in his class this year. Not one.
He’s had invitations from other kids who weren’t in his class. He’s had plenty of invitations from kids here at the apartment complex.
But not one from any kid in his class.
He doesn’t seem to notice or care, but I do, and it breaks my heart.
So I need to let go of that. The 30 kids in his class do not constitute the totality of the world of kids. He does have friends, some very close ones, here at home.
And heck, that means his birthday party can be so much simpler if we don’t have to invite a ton of kids! Score!
I’ve been trying to work out how we can have his traditional birthday in the park, which used to be for a bunch of the kids in his class, but each year attendance dribbled down until last year there were only 3 other kids at his birthday. I was getting so worried about having the party in the park and my ex- girlfriend showing up uninvited and having to deal with all of that nonsense.
The solution is so simple and elegant – no party in the park! We’ll just have a little do here at the apartments and invite all the kids who live here and a couple of kids from his class who probably won’t be able or willing to come anyway.
Everything’s shiny, captain!
I’ve been reading and studying mindful meditation techniques and Buddhist philosophy as a way to treat my depression and anxiety and it’s wonderful stuff. Also cheap as anything – our library has tons of books on the subject, and as I am currently unemployed and therefore skint, zero dollars is the exact amount of money I can afford.
I’ve been passing along some of the wisdom to Zener. One of the ideas that I thought would be most useful for him is the distinction between your thoughts and your core self: in other words, “your thoughts are not you”. We all have all kinds of thoughts throughout the day, but they’re just ephemeral things, “waves passing over the ocean of your mind” is the commonly used metaphor. As such, you don’t have to act on them, you don’t have to dwell on them, you don’t have to take them too seriously. They will pass, just as everything does eventually. We discussed it one night when he was having his usual hard time with homework.
The next day he was playing Minecraft, building a ship in a snowy biome, and he starts singing a little song to himself. I catch the words: “You may think that your thoughts are true, but really they’re just snow”. Now how beautifully insightful is that? Snow can be beautiful, it can be heavy, it can cause problems, but it melts away on a warm, sunny day.
Lyrics – You may think that your thoughts are true
But they’re just snow
you may think that your thoughts are true
but they’re just snooooooooow
with dog pee in it….
(he is, after all, a 9 year old boy 😉 )