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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Flip a coin

During the lull at the IEP meeting, when i’s are dotted, t’s are crossed and photocopies made, I chat to the other team members. I remark about how well the play dates have been progressing with the child we called Joe, in my older son’s class; what a delightful boy he is, so sweet natured, such language facility, how my boys are able to ‘share’ him, how patient he is with them both, how’s he managed to magically lure them outside……I glance up when I realize that I am rambling, to check that we are of one accord regarding Joe’s outstanding personality, so that they may contribute to his adulation, that "paragon of virtue," lucky boy, lucky family, lucky school. I see widened eyes and electricity pass between them.

Initially I put this down to confidentiality, which is as it should be, but a blurt or two corrects my misapprehension. Their experience differs from mine. I note the double check. Are talking about Joe here? Indeed I was. Joe, who like my son, is a filthy little ragamuffin at the end of the day. Where do they find so much dirt? How do they manage to get quite so mucky? I beam with warmth for that exceptional child. A polite puff or three follows. We are not on the same page, or even them same book. I am happy for things to remain confidential but it made me reflect upon the truism, that children behave differently in different circumstances. [translation = as do adults]

For as long as I can remember I have had a healthy respect for this truism. I used to be somewhat fearful and cautious about these differences, but in the light of Joe in my home, with my children, whatever the truth of the matter, in my eyes, Joe showed his true colours, the rainbow that he is and the hidden treasure.

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