Friday, November 14, 2008


Austin is struggling...again.  This is the story of my life: Austin does well for while and then he has a hard time functioning in every aspect of his life: school, home, sleep, friends, eating, etc.  It is a roller coaster ride with him.  I guess we are now in the middle of one of the slow, tedious, uphill battles again.  I find myself more exhausted than usual, questioning every aspect of our parenting and past decisions with him, and extremely frustrated with limited patience.

So, I thought I would share one of his strengths today: The ability to look past outer appearances.  He simply doesn't see people based on size, shape, color, age, etc.  He has always been like this, and I assumed that he would grow out of it.  But, so far, he continues to have the amazing ability to see people simply as people.  It really is incredible, and I wish I had this ability.  

Most of the time it is a good thing.  He can walk into a retirement center and pass out hugs - not noticing goiters, wheelchairs, lack of teeth, etc.  He can make friends with anyone.  He can talk to anyone - the checkout lady at the grocery store, a new kid at the playground, a stranger at the movie theater.  Sometimes, it is not such a good thing.  For instance, I think he would trust anyone and go with anyone - even people with not so good intentions.  He also came home from Kindergarten one day and pronounced that he no longer had to ride in a booster seat (this was before the recent Utah seat belt laws).  I asked him why, and he explained that Jayden, in his class, doesn't have to ride in one and they are both five years old.  This is all true information.  Except that Jayden is easily a head taller than him, and has at least a solid 30 pounds on him.  Austin doesn't see it!

Last Friday, I was substituting at his school.  My class had recess the same time that his class had recess.  So, I walk outside in 36 degree weather, and the first thing I see is Austin in his short-sleeved shirt playing Four Square with 6th graders (have I mentioned that Four Square is his latest passion).  Here is my thought process:
  1. I'm sure he's learning some very colorful words from those kids.  (How embarrassing that this was my first thought.  And I always assumed I was an optimist.  Jeez!)
  2. (I continued watching from a distance and quickly repented of my first thought.)  Wow!  How incredible are those 6th Graders to let two 2nd Graders into their game.  Seriously, they must be really nice kids.
  3. Austin is doing really well.  He is getting out a lot (6th Graders have the obvious advantage) and he is being a really good sport about it.  He gets out, goes to the back of the line, and avidly watches the game.
  4. He must be really brave to ask 6th Graders to join their game.  I don't think I would have done that at his age.  I remember being on the playground and being terrified of the older kids.  He simply doesn't see age.  
Isn't that a great story!


Kim and Brian said...

Being a mom is definitely tough. Just when you think things are going well another trial is added. He's a great kid. I think that his social skills will help him go far in life and his ability to look past the outside of people will rub off onto everyone he comes in contact with. Keep on doing what you are doing. You are a great mom.

andrea nicole said...

emily...i have a question. i was just looking at jen's blog and you said you wouldn't be taking any pictures of your prego belly... :) hehe .....does that mean you are expecting....?? im just curious..

by the way i love your blog and all your stories :) it is fun to get to know more about you through them! and i love all the pictures of your absolutely adorable kids!

Emily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily said...

No, Andrea. I think you misunderstood. I did not say "pregnant" belly, I just said that I wouldn't be taking any pictures of my belly. You see, Jen's looks adorable, but mine (which probably looks very similar to hers even though i am not 20+ weeks pregnant) is not so adorable. Therefore, I will not be posting any pictures of my mid-section. :)

Liz said...

You really are an admirable woman. Thank you for sharing your struggles and fun happenings.