Park selfie. I don’t know how I muscled up some energy to get ready and take Miles out. This sinus infection is kicking my butt. I can’t let it kick Miles’ butt too I guess. Turns out to be a nice day. I’m glad I was able to take him to the playground. He had so much fun. He giggled so much on the swing, mothers and their kids on the swing started giggling too. They let the kids out from school and they ran and screamed throughout the playground and Miles stood and watched with excitement.
So I finally did it… I finally read Wonder. I just sat down on Sunday morning while Landon nuzzled next to me on the couch and read it. For years now, when folks hear about Landon’s syndrome, most people offer “have you heard about the book Wonder?!”. This question is sometimes accompanied by an I’m-so-sorry-for-you glance or even a I-know-how-hard-this-must-be stare because of this book.
But until now I just didn’t want to finish it. I started last summer. I cried at page 3 and thought “Nope, not going to purposely make myself cry anymore right now.” Part of me didn’t really want to read it because living it was certainly different than a tale of fiction. The other part of me hesitated because this was written by a random author, NOT by a real parent or family member or person with Treacher Collins. When I heard that the author simply saw a child one day with TCS, and she and her family fled from the store prompting her to reflect and then write the book… I had a hard time even looking at the book on my shelf.
And then I realized, this author, this book, this story that “teaches kind” is exactly what this world needs. It’s THIS book that may change each and every middle school out there. THIS story that might make school life for Landon happier and more full of kindness.
Now, I’ve spent time with the story. I’ve cried with the characters and the painful words the children call Auggie. I really marvel at how much research this author must have done. And I now love that she took her own missed opportunity for a teaching moment with her kids and is in turn teaching the world how to choose kindness.
This book also provides peace of mind for us “special” parents. We face this vast unknown in sending our kiddos off to school. With headlines about bullying and remembering how tough middle school even was for ourselves, THIS book now gives us some solace that KINDNESS is being taught in the classroom in a really cool way. It’s prompting discussion and debate and they are spending time on this during the school year. THIS is huge.
My heart will break 1,000 times before she even reaches middle school. When every child stares and points, when every parent shuffles them by while glaring themselves yet not choosing to teach their kids better. When kids are mean to her face. I will now think of this fictional boy who is teaching the world SO much love. This book is teaching us the basics and what it’s like to choose kindness at such a young age. And I marvel at what this book can also teach adults.
So, my friends, please read this story. Please read it with your kids when it’s time. Talk about how it made them feel. Talk about how it made you feel. And then pay those feelings forward.
We had a really interesting seminar about women “having it all”, in terms of their career and family life, and multiple women were talking about how their bosses would berate them for being “too involved” with their kids, while their husbands, if they had to leave early to pick up the kids from school or something, were called “great dads” by their bosses, I mean, extremely praised for doing basic parenting.
I feel like it’s sort of sad that A.) women still get flack for being responsible caregivers for their own kids and B.) how decent dads are still treated as a rarity, because *GASP*, men being nurturing and caring on even the most basic levels towards their own offspring! Can we please stop devaluing/overvaluing parental roles based on crappy gender roles please? Men can be just as loving and nurturing as women can be, and it’s way past time to create a society that encourages and recognizes that.
How does that sort of thing affect how men see their relationships to their wives/mothers of their kids and their own children? And I wonder what that kind of mindset does to their children, especially in terms of how they will potentially view their relationships with their own children in the future?
the 3 most destructive words you can say to your son
this is the trailer for an amazing movie called “the mask you live in" presented by a group called therepresentationproject.org, and showed too much critical acclaim at the 2015 sundance film festival. the movie examines modern masculinity, repressed emotions, and gender stereotypes perpetuated across our culture. this really spoke to me, because i struggle with this. whenever my eight-year-old son cries or responds to anything with emotion, i automatically tell him to “toughen up" or say something like "that’s not how young men handle things…" although i have heard his father say the same things to him, i often wonder if we are doing the right thing. aren’t we confusing him? we tell little boys not to cry and bury their emotions, yet we expect men to have all this emotional intelligence when dealing with our hearts. how do they know how to do this? when would they have learned?