My sons eat, drink, live , breath Lego. They must dream in it by now. Their Christmas lists, 100% Lego. What they play with, Lego. What they talk about with their friends, what they draw, what they read about, what they look up online...Lego.
Liam spent hours quietly at the kitchen table laboriously drawing and printing out page after page of plans for his ultimate Lego Power Miners set (sample page above). He got hand cramps. He took a break. He got back on it again.
Here's one from Elliot. This time a Lego Indiana Jones set. They dream of submitting these plans to Lego and having their sets made (Lego does this sometimes).
I came on here today wanting to share what was in my heart for my sons...the swelling pride, the crushing fears. But Maggie May at Flux Capacitor has already done it far more poignantly and eloquently than I ever could. How to raise these kids that don't "fit in the box"? How to keep hoping for them and holding onto optimism, when you see them lose all of theirs little by little, and when all you hear day after day are the worries, the problems, the diagnoses looming larger than the small boy himself?
My sons are only in Grade 4, but they struggle already. The burden of a painfully self conscious teen laid on 9 year old shoulders. Way too smart in ways, and in others impossibly lost. And always so different from the other kids. No hope of blending in with the crowd, and sensory, executive function and processing challenges that make it oh, so difficult to rise above, or even to keep up, or even to deal with going through the basic motions some days.
Yet there is a spark, a warmth, an enthusiasm for what they love, a creative depth, an ability to persevere, an insight far beyond their years that belies their Aspie label, and incredible, incredible bravery. What will they become? And how can we guide them to it? How to shield them from the ass-hattery of the world enough to keep their abilities and optimism alive, while letting them learn the truth of how it works, and letting them test their own strengths against it? How much to push them out there? How much to gather them in to safe arms and quiet rooms, and let them recover from the attempts? When to be soft and when to draw the firm line? And how to find enough hours in the day to teach them everything they need to know...things that most kids just naturally learn on their own, but that my sons have to be taught, carefully, repetitively, plainly.
If only parenting had instructions as clear as a box of Lego. You need 4 of this piece, put them here, here, here and here, like so...very good, next step, and before you know it, you've built them childhoods that are amazing! But no, we muddle along, a piece here, a piece there, with no instructions and no clear picture of what the end result will be. We have to try to pry off the wrongly placed bricks as we go, and sometimes the whole thing falls apart in our hands...and we have to start again, and again. But the crucial thing, I guess (beyond just not ever quitting), is to never stop believing that it can and will in the end become something amazing.
It just has to.
11 hours ago