Our quote this week is of the "awwwww" variety.
The counselor was playing the Ungame with a small group. J. (of the Mr. Sketch Marker) was in the group, as was R. It is important to note that R.'s first day of school EVER was this August. The short version is this: he has not had any formal instruction and is just now learning the basics. On the whole my little kiddos have quietly and supportively helped R. and his sister learn their school skills. They have never pointed out the severe deficits in their skills, and they tactfully help out when needed without making it obvious that they are helping. In this instance, J. had taken on the role of "question reader" when it was R's turn without any direction from the counselor or discomfort for R. (that's "awwwww" #1).*
Counselor (reading a question from the game): "Who is your favorite teacher?"
R. (thinks for quite a while...): "Ms. M."
R. with J.'s help to explain: "Because she's so understanding."
Now, I must do a wee bit of math for you. R. has never been to school. The only teachers he has ever had are the ones he has this year. That brings the total number of teachers he has to choose from to... two. I fully realize I had a 50/50 chance here (even less if you count the phase of the moon and the shifting tides of adolescent favoritism). What makes me happy is not the status (yes, that would be numero uno out of... dos), it's that their reasoning is something I am proud to be favorited for!
I so very much want them to feel understood. I want them to feel cared about and cared for. I want them to know they have someone in their corner. This does not mean I become their bestie and give them what they want all the time (or bust out Cee-Lo songs like Gwynth Paltrow). I try mightily to fight the good fight and do what is right by them whether they like it or not. I tell them often that I love them enough to nag them if I need to, and that I am willing for them to be angry at me or dislike me if it is best for them.
So for today, bless their pickled little hearts for being able to articulate what I want so much for them to feel.
Today it feels like I'm doing my job, and that is quite a powerful feeling.
*Note--I completely understand the need for R. to read things himself. It is a fine line we are walking to teach him the skills while keeping him equally involved in what the other kids are doing. I feel this topic requires more depth than this notelet. Just trust that it was appropriate for this situation.