Monday, September 16, 2013

Gift of a Year

Before Matthew, I used to fret over Jackson's development.  He seemed to always be on the later end of the developmental chart-- he walked and talked on the late end of 'normal'.  He seemed a bit emotionally immature for his age. I used to joke that he taught me how to be patient because he does things in Jackson time. 

Ah, how naive I was.  After Matthew, I gave up fretting over Jackson's development to fret over Matthew's development-- since Matthew has walked and talked way off the late end of 'normal'. 

Even now, Jackson seems to hit milestones a bit later.  It was one of the reasons we decided to 'redshirt' him for Kindergarten (doing kindergarten twice).  I've met people who assume the only reason anyone would hold their boy back from kindergarten is so that he would be better at sports.  Research does indicate that older boys (which includes those who are 'redshirt'ed) do better in sports overall, but if you knew Jackson like we know Jackson, you would know that we are under no delusions that he's going to be a sports phenom.  He likely inherited my lack of coordination.  Poor kid. 

What redshirting did do for Jackson is nothing short of amazing to us.  He confidently walked into his new school this year, a stark contrast to attempting to hide behind our leg in previous years.  He may grumble about being woken up for school, but doesn't complain about going to school.  He has come home every day with a green smiley face in his folder.  Every night, he gets excited about reading, saying how much he loves it.  What a difference a year has made! 

Last Thursday was grandparent day at the elementary school.  Alyssa and Jackson seemed unfazed that they didn't have grandparents there (which their grandparents had no idea about because I didn't tell them as it seemed crazy to drive 3 hours for the 30 minute lunch) but Alyssa asked when it would be "parent day".  I explained that I could come to lunch whenever, which she was excited about.  When I asked Jackson if he'd like me to come to lunch with him, his answer was firmly "no thanks".  Ummm, what? I prodded a little further.  "You don't want me to come to lunch? I can bring you something special to eat."  Jackson's response was still "no thanks".  Though a little hard on my ego that my child doesn't want to eat lunch with me, it is pretty awesome that Jackson is so excited about spending time with his friends at his school that he doesn't want to interrupt that time.  We are so very thankful that he is coming into his own at school.  We just needed to be patient and give him the gift of that year. 

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