“Si honey, come here. Daddy and I want to talk to you about something”. We had already put Sam to bed so that we could have ample alone time with Silas in case things got tough.
“How would you feel about staying in Mrs. H.’s class next year instead of moving to the 3rd grade?”. At this question, Silas bobbed up and down on his knees on the couch. “Yes!! I love Mrs. H!!”
“See, daddy and I made a bit of a mistake a few years ago by having you in the wrong grade and so we need to fix that for you. That was something we did wrong and we think that having you stay in Mrs. H.’s class will get you back into the grade you should be in”. Silas kept responding with excitement, nodding and “yupping” us, although not seeming to really care the reason for our decision, but more just focused on how happy he felt about it. Jon and I glanced at each other over his head, a bit perplexed. Maybe he didn’t understand.
“The thing is Si, we just want you to understand that you’ll be able to stay with Mrs. H., but your friends, like Harry and Ashlyn, they’ll be moving up to the 3rd grade”, Jon explained to him cautiously.
Without hesitation, Silas simply put his arms out and said, “I’ll just make new friends!”.
It couldn’t be this easy I thought to myself. A huge, long-awaited wave of relief and happiness washed over me that evening as I realized not only were we going to be doing what we knew was right and good for him, but that he was excited and happy to stay in the classroom he was used to. Everything had fallen into place beautifully. If only I’d known, I could have saved myself months upon months of worry and fret.
It’s been almost a year since our decision and I can say without hesitation that it was one of the best decisions we have ever made for him.
Not once have I heard him utter “I’m so stupid” while doing his homework or trying to read. As a matter of fact, just a couple of months ago, as I was standing at the stove cooking dinner on a benign Tuesday evening, he came up to me and said, “Mom, do you wanna know why I’m so smart?”. I smiled at him and answered “yes”, but I don’t even remember the rest of what he was telling me, simply grateful for the fact that his confidence in himself was so much better.
Not only is he on par academically, but he has made a new BFF who adores him. They are attached at the hip and always begging to have each other over for play dates, to which I always say “yes” to. His friend is the sweetest little boy and the two of them are like long-lost kindred spirits.
Silas has never, ever really “fit in” to any pre-fabricated boxes set out for him in life. He’s shy, he’s cautious, he’s often overly emotional and at the same time he has a mysterious wisdom about him that is all his own. While running errands he’ll pipe up from the backseat wondering about Reincarnation, or what happens to our internal organs when we are buried in the ground, or why Jesus was crucified when he wasn’t that bad of a guy. While getting dressed in the morning, he’ll say to me, “Mom, Time doesn’t matter. Only You matter” as he sticks out his foot and asks me to tie his shoes.
Everyday I’m learning more and more about how he works and who he is, recognizing some things in myself, and being baffled by him at the same time. Recently, after a mini-blow up of emotions on all our parts, I suddenly found myself alone in the living room, wondering where everyone was. Downstairs in the basement, I could hear Sam taking out his frustration on the hockey net–one slap shot after another, over and over. Searching the house for Silas, I found him sitting at my office desk, hunched over a piece of paper, seemingly oblivious to my peering eyes from around the corner. He emerged a little while later, calmer and more focused.
“Mom, I love writing”. My heart did a cart-wheel as I tried to act nonchalant about the wonderful sentence he’d just uttered.
“You do? So do I”.
“Wanna know why I love writing?” he asks me.
“Yes, I do” I said, turning to face him.
“I love writing because….well, because you can just follow your mind”.
Oh, my sweet Silas. I am so proud of you and who you are. I hope you will always follow your mind. It is a wonderful, smart, wise and creative mind and I have a feeling it will bring you to some amazing places.
I love you more than you love me.