Brooke, doing happy
Katie and I are chatting as we walk. Well, Katie’s chatting. I’m listening. And trying to keep up. Good Lord, this child can talk a blue streak. Yes, I know, she comes by it honestly. Thank you.
She’s talking about a boy in her class who she assumes (and we know) is on the spectrum. The same boy who she described in third grade as ‘annoying’. The one who is now ‘a really sweet kid, Mama, he just … ya know, has trouble sometimes.’
It’s amazing what awareness can do to perception.
“It’s just, well, ya know, he gets really silly sometimes in class ’cause he can’t really process stuff the way that we do so instead of talking about how he feels or whatever, his body DOES his feelings.”
I stop walking. In fact, I stop moving completely.
I turn to her. “Baby, what exactly do you mean by ‘his body DOES his feelings?'”
“Oh. Well, ya know, it’s like if he’s feeling happy – it comes straight out through his body. His body DOES how happy feels. So he gets silly and jumps around and flaps his hands and steals stuff from people’s desks. Cause he’s happy. Know what I mean?”
I fumble for words.
“Um, yeah, baby. I know what you mean. Did you come up with that language, sweetie or did someone talk to the class about this?”
“Oh, well, actually Evan said that.”
“He’s a kid in our class. He’s like SUPER smart. That’s what he said one day when we were talking about this stuff.”
Oh, Evan, you’re not just smart; you’re brilliant.
His body DOES his feelings.
I can think of no better way to describe our kids to their peers, Ev. You see, we adults like to say that all behavior is communication, which is all fine and dandy – and true – but doesn’t mean a whole lot to a seven year-old who is baffled by his classmate’s flapping hands or stomping feet. Or, oh, let’s say a classroom of third graders who are watching my kid careen around the perimeter of the gym. But this?
His body DOES his feelings?
Well this, Ev, is accessible.
This is awesome.
Thanks, kid. We owe ya one.