in june 2010, our lives got turned upside down in the best possible way: the birth of our awesome kiddo, john. in october 2013, brother charlie charged into our life to change the status quo again. and june 2016 brought us brother ben to round out our trio.

i'm proud to have "mom" at the top of the list of titles on my resume, but i'm also still a hard-working professional. how does a working mom juggle work and family? ride along with me and see if i can figure it out!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

my amazing john

spelling his sight words with cereal

so much of the "public" attention i've paid john lately has been about our challenges - how to cope with sensory processing disorder, how to behave in kindergarten, etc.

but every single day, john reminds me what a blessing he is to me. he has a perspective on life, and the world around him, that brings me into focus. he has a way of saying things that changes me and makes me better, every single day.

last night about ten minutes after he'd gone to bed, i heard a slightly angst-ridden "mommy?" from upstairs. expecting a normal "i need some more water" or "my sheets aren't straight," i went to check on him.

instead, he explained that he kept hearing "the mountain king" song from his music class in his brain. the sounds his diffuser made were "changing into the music" and it was a scary song and it wouldn't go away.

i immediately understood, because his brain is a small version of my own. "oh, john," i said, "the EXACT same thing happens to mommy. all the time, the sounds around me turn into music in my brain. there is nothing to be afraid of," i assured him.

i explained to him that the cool thing is, since the music is in his brain, he can control what it is. i laid with him in bed and we invented new, cheerful songs to the sounds of the diffuser. i told him that i hear music everywhere, and that it's a special way our brains organize things. we find patterns in things, and it makes music in our minds. i told him that if he sang the cheerful song to himself as he fell asleep, he'd be dreaming sweet dreams in no time.

"but i WAS asleep when i heard the mountain king song!" he said.

so i explained that there's a tiny place in between sleeping and waking, where our brains can have crazy dreams. i told him that very frequently, in that little gap, i dream that i'm walking on a curb and i fall down, and i jump myself awake. 

we laughed at the idea of jumping in your sleep. but then in a very concerned voice, john asked me, "but mommy, why is my brain's one eye open when the other one is closed?"

so we talked a little about how there's just a very brief moment when your brain is partway but not all the way asleep. and i showed him with my eyes how they can close a split second apart, but that in that brief split second is where we have our falling-off-a-curb and mountain-king-song dreams.

john asked me to stay with him a few minutes longer, and we snuggled and sang the cheerful songs along with the diffuser. then he told me i could go, and pulled his covers up to his ears "to keep the scary songs out," and within moments he was fast asleep.

it never ceases to amaze me, to experience these idiosyncrasies of my own brain through the lens of his innocence - and his precociousness. my brain is a strange place, and it seems the landscape of john's mind is similar to mine ... with the addition of my husband's idiosyncrasies, too, he says. that's a lot in a special little brain.

i am so grateful, though, that john can ask these questions, and he and i can walk through it all together. i am so grateful for the opportunity to understand myself a little better as i help john understand the world.

and i am grateful for the sweet little voice that whispers, "you're the best mommy ever" as he pulls his comforter up to his head.




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