Monday, February 28, 2011

Different is good

"Guess what, Isaac?"

Ethan, Isaac's big brother, is used to leaning over into Isaac's gaze to get his little's attention. "It's my birthday today!  I'm 7!"  Isaac's eyes light up and he shouts, "WOOOOWWW!  You're birthday?"  Ethan beams as he grabs his brother in a bear hug and swings him around.  Isaac's jovial laugh echoes through the early hour of my kitchen.

Enter the freeze frame in my brain...

It is a wonderful moment when I see how my two very different sons complement each other:  Ethan's need for excitement and attention makes him center stage to a little brother who loves putting him on a pedestal.  Ethan feels loved with the physical interaction and reinforced conversation--Isaac gives it without question and feels loved and energized in return.  It is truly a beautiful dynamic.     

Back in the kitchen, my two-boys-with-bed-head eat their breakfasts as I snap back to reality.  We need to get book bags packed, teeth brushed, and boots on. 

Ethan makes me promise to bring a treat to his class.  I pinky swear I will. 

Later on, as Isaac and I carry cookies to Ethan's class, Isaac is practically skipping down the hallway.  "We're going to Ethan's class, Mom!" 

As we enter the classroom, it's subdued.  One of the little girls is reading a book to the class as they sit around her in a miniature upholstered armchair.  Ethan's teacher, Mrs. Seiple motions me to come in.  Isaac announces our presence as he loudly greets his brother.  "HI ETHAN!  WE HAVE YOUR COOKIES!" 

We get through a few minutes of Isaac rushing around each of the childrens' desks and reading their name tags out loud.  The kids start giggling, then...all out laughing as Isaac reads their names and rushes to the next desk. 

For a moment, I get defensive.  Are they laughing at him, or with him?  He is obviously enjoying himself, and soaking up the attention as he starts making funny noises and rhyming words.  Who knew Isaac was so much like his brother when it came to being the center of attention? 

Of course, it's still difficult for Isaac to understand social settings--what is appropriate in a structured classroom is unclear to him. this point...I have to let that go.  We still have time to work on that...and I can't help but love the way he loves being with his big brother--even if it means a little awkward emotional situation.

Happy birthday to my oldest son. I'm so glad Isaac has you, Ethan, to show him that being different isn't a bad thing--it's an amazingly beautiful thing. 

No comments:

Post a Comment