There have been a few small issues recently, and today they came to a head. It might be because he's got a bit of a cold and is struggling. It might be because he hasn't been sleeping well recently. it's the end of the term, and he's exhausted.
His remedial teacher has been talking to his grade teacher to change some of his homework (in essence, give him less). The kids in the class have been given their next maths book, and he has not. And we've just had the sports carnival, always a stark reminder of his difference and limited physical abilities. It may be that many of the parents and teachers and staff at school admire him for his guts to have a go, but he's acutely aware that the kids have no such insights. And like any boy, he just wants to run and win. Today the kids played soccer, and some boys did not want him in his team.
So Beaver came home in tears.
"The kids say I'm a loser".
"I don't want to be different."
"I am the slowest runner in the school".
"I don't want to have CP."
"There is nothing special about me."
"I want to do the same work as the other kids. I need some help, but I want to try to do it."
These are just some of the things that came out. Possum was doing his homework with Jess, Boo Boo was chucking a tantrum - so I took Beaver to our bedroom and had a long chat with him.
I told him that, yes, he was the slowest runner in the school. But also the bravest.
I told him that maybe he wasn't great at soccer, but he's a good actor.
I explained to him that CP is part of his life, and we have to find a way to live with it. That everyone is different, and we all need to work out what we're good at in life. We discussed maybe trying some special needs soccer. Or maybe another sports, like archery or something that the CP Sport and Recreation Association offers. And I promised him that I'd have a talk with his teacher about the homework issue, and that maybe we can do his special homework and then I can help him with the other. I explained to him that our upcoming appointment with the Physical Disability Clinic specialist is to help him manage the effects of his CP, and to make living with it easier. And that it will not ever go away, as the doctors have not found a medicine to make it disappear. But they are trying to find one, and in the meantime, we have to just live life as well as we can, and do what we can, and try, and enjoy life, and be happy.
I told him that he was special in my eyes, because I love him very much.
And I told him that his CP was not his fault. At which he looked at me in total and utter surprise. I told him that it was mum and dad's fault, because when we made him, we made him with his deep dark eyes, his thick hair and his CP. It had never occurred to him that having CP might not be his fault! Oh God! Poor lad!
How could I have missed making that point clear to him earlier !?!