Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bouncing Bean and the Shabbat Bride

I know that often people portray themselves differently in different situations and children often behave one way at school/friend's homes and another at home. Sometimes this is positive and sometimes, not so much!

In our microcosm at SCentral this is true with 50% of our children. For Belle and Puppy, they are who they are where ever they are, what you see is what you get. But for Bob and Bean, I can tell you if I wasn't SURE the person was talking about my child I would think they had me terribly confused. 

It is most prevalent with Bean. She has always been - as I LOVINGLY call her a "$h!% disturber" - with our family, we say they are "messing" with people. I wrote this post about her almost 4 years ago exactly!  I could really just cut and paste the ENTIRE thing right here and change her age to 8 instead of 4!

She is often the most difficult kid in our house but at other times the most amazing helpful accommodating person in the world! It is hard for me to balance her two personalities often. 

Last year, when she was in first grade, her beloved teacher, Ms. H stopped me on the way up the walkway to school to tell me what a "pleasure it is to have her in class" and how she is "blessed" to have her...I love Ms. H - she really is a talented and loving teacher - she had Belle during one of her most difficult years and in my head it was almost like - she was getting rewarded with Bean after having Belle. Yes, it was totally in my head. Ms. H wrote in Bean's report card - "(Bean) is the most soft-spoken, quiet..." really can't tell you what else it said as there was no way they were talking about my child. People who are friends with our family laugh when I tell them that story, or people's perception of Bean at school...they know her, they have seen her in action - it blows them away.

I fear that we don't give her as much positive feedback as she deserves - I started writing this post on Thursday, the day of her "Kabbalat Shabbat" (welcoming the sabbath) program in her class....but yesterday, Saturday we had another family with 4 children come over for lunch and a play-date for the afternoon. That can be a separate post, but what was one of the most powerful things that came out of seeing a family that very much mirrored ours in many ways, was how their third interacted with the family.

They described a child very much like Bean (although we have not seen him that way when we observe him at school or at our home), and what the parents also described was how the other children don't give him the benefit of the doubt, "he will" or "he always"....

That is what happens to Bean. From all of us. She wants attention, any way she can get it - positive or negative. I need to be able to try to remember that - reward her amazing qualities and pay less attention to the "other stuff" to give her the praise she is able to get at school which probably does a lot to reinforce the positive behavior she shows.

But Thursday, at school - we watched her shine. We watched her in her element with her face beaming

and her truly being a leader in the class.

And I felt it inside. I really did - and non more proud than when J blessed her, as he does every Friday night...but this was different.

She is a gift. Her ability to move and dance the ways she does is a gift, 2 years in remission is a gift

This is the picture of her I hope to keep in my mind, the picture of her that I would prefer to present her as to other people, the picture of her that I hope to reinforce with all the positive things we can do.