Two weeks ago the boys' school had a Family Literacy Night. I love when our school and community does events like this as I think it is important for children (and parents) to know how important learning is and not just during regular school hours. I love attending these type of things with the boys.
Each classroom in the school had a different story being told, Corbin chose to go in his regular classroom. Corbin wanted to sit right up front and I tried, but it wasn't possible with Brian. He spotted a crate of toy vehicles and he had picked a tractor to play with. He went to the back of the classroom and started rolling the toy tractor the length of the teacher's table, over and over again, while making a lot of different sounds. I sat in a chair at the back of the room to make sure he didn't decide to escape and to give him the "quiet signal" but I told Corbin he could sit at the front of the room if he wanted.
It was going alright, Brian & I were getting a few stares from some of the parents who don't know us, but I've really become quite fluent at being able to not care about the stares anymore. Then another little boy, about 18 months old, and his mother joined us near the back of the room. He was being a bit fussy and his mother decided to pull out three toy swords from her bag to keep him occupied. Well, Brian wanted in on that. The other Mom looked at me and said, "Oh, it's fine, he can play with them." I wanted to reply, "No, actually, it's not alright." But I thought what could be the harm?
Well, I didn't know that my youngest son is a swordsman in the making. He had one hand on his hip and the other going all directions trying to swordfight with the other little boy, whom really had no interest in the swords. I took the sword away before he caused a bloody nose and decided to try to hold him on my lap. Obviously he didn't like this idea and started crying/screaming.
About the same time, Corbin comes over and he just wants some attention. He wants to be able to listen to the story with his Mom, just like all the other boys and girls his age are doing. He wants us to laugh together at the funny parts, he wants me to answer the questions the reader is asking, he really just wants to have a *normal* moment with his Mom. And I want nothing more than to give him that- but I couldn't at that moment. I ended up having to walk Brian up and down the halls while Corbin sat with one of his best friends and his friend's Dad.
We made it through the evening, but it's really had me thinking these past couple of weeks. It makes me think about what things I'm doing for myself and what I'm doing for Brian. I want Brian to go to everything like any other child would. I want him to participate in sports, reading nights, and musicals. But who am I to say that is what Brian wants? Brian didn't seem to care one miniscule bit if he was at that reading night. I'm the one who cared, not him. I'd like to think it would help him gain an interest in literature, but who am I kidding? I use to think I would feel bad if I just brought Corbin to things like that and excluded Brian. Now my whole mode of thinking is starting to change. Brian wouldn't mind, he would be so content to visit with an aunt or a grandparent for an hour while I took Corbin to things like this. And Corbin would LOVE it. He'd love to be able to get through an event like that with his Mom, have his Mom's full attention, be able to actually participate, and not have people staring at his little brother throwing the tantrum at the back of the room.
It's hard to let go of the dream I have of us being able to do all these things as a family- the dream that has Brian being treated like any other kid and acting like any other kid. In reality doing things differently would really benefit every person in our little family.