Ian is still working on composing good sentences, asking appropriate questions and being able to carry on a conversation. Most kids have this ability in the early elementary years, so often this is challenging for us to not know what he is really thinking.
Lately when I am frustrated with him, I take a step back and I put myself in his shoes and look at life through his eyes.
If Ian could share his thoughts and feelings, I think this is what he would want me (us) to know:
I am your son. Maybe not the son you may have expected, or a son like other sons your friends have, but I am YOURS.
I am a boy with an extra chromosome, and that makes me uniquely who I am.
I am 14, but many times I act four, but I can’t help it.
I am proud of how I look, even though I have Alopecia and am losing my hair. I do not understand why.
I am proud of how I can bike really fast, even though I still need training wheels.
I am proud to be on the cross country team, even though I am almost always the last kid to cross the finish line.
I am proud to be Grace’s little brother, even though I embarrass her sometimes.
I am proud of my reading and math progress, even though I am only at a 2nd grade level.
I love sports and being active, though I do not always understand the need to follow the rules.
I love being with other kids, though I sometimes act mean or selfish.
I love doing things on my own, but sometimes you stop me because it is not right.
I love to talk with you. I know it bothers you because I ask the same questions, but I do not have that many.
I love school, though I wish I could go to class on my own, without an aide always watching me.
I love to have a sitter with me at home so you can work, but sometimes I just want to be alone.
I see what other kids my age can do and wonder why I am not allowed to.
I see kids hanging out at the playground with no parent, or going to sleepovers, but not me.
I see other kids with cell phones and freedom that I cannot experience yet. That bugs me.
I see how other kids stay home alone, or go around the neighborhood by themselves, but I always have someone with me.
Some of these things make me sad and confused, but I do not know how to tell you, so sometimes I misbehave, or call you names or act like I don’t care.
I feel like any other 14 year old. My body is changing and I am trying to be a ‘big’ boy.
Through my eyes I am no different, yet I know I am.
Right now, I need YOU.
I need you to let go a little bit and let me see what I can do.
I need you to worry less about what my future may bring, because I know I can do anything.
I need you to spend more time with me, even though I know you are tired of ‘playing’ with a little kid.
I need you to accept me.
I need you to see me.
And I need you to love me exactly for who I am, because I DO!