Wednesday, October 22, 2008

disorderly disorders

When we were at the farm a couple of days ago, there was a little girl, Kira.
She was five years old, and took to Trev right away, even though she kept saying "she", and Trev would say, "I'm a boy!, for the last time!" (Something he gets often. Even though if anyone looked past his hair, he clearly looks and acts like a boy.)
When we went over to the big climbing tree, she came too, with her Grandpa.
She was super cute! We enjoyed her company very much. Especially Trev.
After she had a bit of trouble with the tree, and kept going from place to place, figuring out where she could climb well, and wanting to be up where "she" was, I told her a true story.
"You know what, Kira? Last time we were here, Trev wasn't able to climb this tree nearly so well. He was getting kind of stuck, and not nearly so fast. I'll bet next time you come, you'll be better at it."
"Yeah! When I'm about ten, I'll be really fast!"
"Totally. By then you'll be fast as a squirrel, running all over the branches. And people will be like What was that? Was that a squirrel?"

A little while later we went back to feed the goats again. We had found some still juicy yellow leaves that the goats were particularly fond of.

Curiously, Kira's grandpa all of a sudden said to me, "Kira has functioning autism. Have you heard of Asperger's?"
"That's why she's so..." and waved his had vaguely over his head. (Not in an unkind way.) "She has people working with her all the time."
"We're homeschoolers!" I wanted to blurt out in response.

I'm still not sure what I meant by my Almost Confession...
I might have meant, We're homeschoolers - we don't judge people by such silly, boxed-in, schoolish standards.
Or - We're homeschoolers, we like to let people be themselves, and learn their own way.
Or - We're homeschoolers, is why we're different than others.

What I did say was, "She's just like mine, to me. They're emotional. Just like their mother."
What I hope he understood was "Not everyone is looking at you funny. Some of us believe in supporting children, even when they don't fit into neat boxes of stillness for six hours a day. Some of us believe we need to adapt to serve the children, not change the child. Some of us accept people and things the way they are. Some of us wouldn't dream of calling you names just because others think you're different."
Even if he didn't know it, hopefully he felt it.
Hopefully it lightens his mind for the future.


ladybug-zen said...

thanks for posting this

Misti said...

"I'm a boy!, for the last time!"

Jack gets that, too. To adults, he says "Pretty eyes, long hair. It's a frequent mistake, but I'm a boy" (quoting his father.)

To boys, he is much ruder--he says he has long hair and penis and he's still a boy. Oddly, girls are corrected once, and then he seems to be Ok with their misapprehension.