Thursday, March 3, 2011

If CJ Were a Dog

I've been saying for years that CJ is "different", and not just Deaf different. He's different in another way that I just can't put my finger on.  While all of my children are special, there is something about CJ that is almost tangibly obvious that he is meant to be something. I can't explain it, and I certainly don't think he's more special than any of his siblings.  Just "different".

CJ has always had an uncanny knack for knowing when a person needs him.  I don't mean they need him to help do chores or anything like that. I mean they need him and his kind of love in their life.  There have been people who I think only CJ could really ever touch, and bonds made that I wouldn't have seen coming in a million years.  His friend, Jim, is one of those examples.  Jim has a big heart, so it isn't like he is one of those that no one else could ever get through to, but it's the bond that CJ and he have that is so impressive. Here is a child who, at five years old, started to form an attachment to a gentleman and his wife at church who could be his grandparents.  He laughs with them, plays with them, and even writes songs with Jim.  They are truly best friends.  I hear CJ let out a sigh of loneliness every time he bites into a magic shell ice cream cone at Dairy Queen.  DQ magic shell ice cream is something he and Jim did together on a regular basis before we moved.

In addition to his knack for friendshipping, CJ is what I like to call a way way way way way...well you get the idea...outside the box thinker.  He prefers his shoes to be on the wrong feet and his pants to be on backwards.  No amount of encouraging will change his mind about that.  Art assignments with specifications always come home with lower marks because he has much grander ideas for the tools he'd been given.  He would much rather sleep in his closet or under the bed than in it.  Every meal must be made into a "salad" before being eaten, and he must pretend he's doing his own Food Network show while preparing his salad.  Every room, every book, every written letter, and every shirt must be decorated in some way.  He has his own special and very precise interior design ideas.  He even makes sure Rachel's doll house is set up to his specifications.

Why do I tell you all this?  Well, today his former Gifted and Talented teacher posted the video in this link  on Facebook and it got me thinking.  It is about a service dog who doesn't quite do things the way her trainer hoped that she would.  The dog knew her own strengths were elsewhere.  Rather than forcing the dog to live within her own specifications, she allowed the dog to become what she was truly destined to become and miracles began to happen.

I pray every single day that there will be people in CJ's life that "get" him. He's different. He marches to a totally different beat.  His imagination is endless. His love and enthusiasm and zest for life is contagious.  His ravenous hunger for learning can not be quenched by merely throwing him a bone. He needs a feast.  Indeed, if he were a dog, he'd be the dog in the video.

To those of you who are parenting your own "outside the box" kid, don't be ashamed or afraid.  Don't worry about what others want him or her to become. Embrace that sweet spirit.  Give that child wings and let him fly.  Just like Ricochet the dog, amazing miracles will happen.  I know because I've seen it with my own two eyes in my precious children, every single one of them.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, you've made me cry again. Love your perspective and you and your kids and... yeah. You're an awesome mom raising some truly remarkable kids.