My boy is slightly different from the other little boys his age.
He couldn’t care less about riding a bike or playing football, he has a few selected friends but doesn’t make friends easily and apparently doesn’t even need them that much. He’s got a wild fantasy that allows him to live in a parallel reality where trolls and dragons walk by your side.
On top of that (or maybe at the very origin of that, I couldn’t tell), he has some sensory processing disorder thank to which – for instance – he can hear an approaching siren a couple of seconds before anybody else or can find your mobile vibrating in silent mode under a pile of clothes down into your closet. His sensory perception of the world is higher than mine or yours so that sometimes he really has to struggle hard to isolate a human voice from the general ruckus in the background and he generally gets distracted much more easily. Also his tactile sensibility is different from ours: any intentional contact must be long and intense as if he wanted to savour it, but also the lightest accidental contact is like a cannon shot to him. When he gets into the bath tub he doesn’t immediately realise whether the water is too hot or too cold, it takes him at least 3 or 4 seconds and then you see him jumping up as a rocket ship as if it were scorching hot or icy cold even if it’s just half a degree over or below his ideal temperature. And this applies – mutatis mutandis – for all his senses (except his sight that is somehow blurred, that’s why he has been wearing glasses since he was 3).
Thank God his nervous system is growing and developing by the hour, but this is still the situation so far. That’s why I happen to call him “the Almighty C.” as if he were kind of a superhero, because of his “hyper senses”.
From the outside – though – you can’t tell any difference at all (which – by the way – gives rise to countless misunderstandings).
Now you should sit down in a kindergarten’s playground and try to imagine what it must be like to be a 4 or 5 year old who senses everything magnified as if he had had LSD… Pretty scary isn’t it? 😱 You would probably feel as if you had to fight for dear life at any moment.
And indeed last year he used to hide behind the trees and watch the other kids playing, but this year – after we all and particularly his teachers made an epic work on his self esteem and inclusion – he has turned into a little warrior.
And here comes the problem: from the beginning of the year he keeps on saying that his new class mate L. hits him. I suggested that he should report him to the teacher, but last time he said that no, he wants to fight him back. Now, you probably won’t understand me, I told him not to, but this reply kind of made me proud. Of course I don’t want him to be one who picks fights, but I really admired his bravery and the fact that he doesn’t want to allow the other kids to bully him around.
What you may not know though is that L. (and most of the kids at the American School in Switzerland to tell the truth) is twice the size of the Almighty C. 😬, so chances are that the latter shall come out very battered… I called the teacher telling her to keep an eye on the little fighters and in the meanwhile I was laughing inside thinking that he must be really well integrated and self confident if he gets to the point to be willing to fight another boy who’s much bigger than himself. I’m probably the only mom who’s happy to have a pugnacious kid 😅