Monday, December 12, 2016

The Way of Life...

I learned a long time ago to tread softly when editing the kiddos’ writing. Whether it's a thesis statement, a report or a closing argument for mock trial, which was the case this morning, I'm quick to remember less is far more in terms of red slashes where my son is concerned. Planting red on the page too quickly will most likely lead to missing a larger connection a sentence or two down the road. He's a storyteller and he tends to write like he speaks.

On the way to school this morning the kiddo asked if he could read his closing argument for mock trial and while I wasn’t armed with my trusty red Bic, of course I said yes and was pleased to hear a very well written, concise, on point summation of his defense.  But one word stuck out and as he began to discuss the summation in greater detail, I found myself unable to concentrate on what he was saying because I was still back there, in the third to last sentence of his writing, kicking around that word—coherent (able to speak clearly and be understood). I was certain based on what he was trying to convey that his word choice was off.

I shared my honest opinion, which was overall quite favorable, and asked if he would please go back and reread the sentence containing the word coherent.  When he looked at me and grinned, I knew I had him.

“Something’s a little off there, isn’t it?” He asked.
“I think you meant cohesive (united and working together effectively),” I offered.
“That’s exactly what I meant!” He beamed. “Isn’t that the way of life?  So often we mean one thing yet we say another.”

Do we ever, sweetie.  Do we ever.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Every tree in the house...

“We were talking about Christmas trees in class yesterday and someone asked what our tree was like,” the kiddo stated this morning on the drive to school.  “When I said which one, they looked at me kind of funny.”
“Right,” I agreed.  “We have several.”
“Mom, we have nine!”  The kiddo corrected me.
“Are you sure? I thought it was like four or five,” I countered, truly uncertain of the actual number given several are seasonal/themed trees that stay up year round.
“Trust me, there are nine this year.  I counted as soon as you got done decorating last week.”
Of course he knows how many trees we have, I thought to myself.  After all, he’s the reason I have nine trees. 

When he was little, the kiddo was afraid of dark spaces, particularly the shadowy corners of rooms.  This was before we realized he would be diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome a short year later, back in the days when we offered patented phrases like oh well, that’s just the way it is if there was something he didn’t like or understand.

That same year when I was taking down our Christmas decorations, I was on the last small tree when he commented that while he liked our big tree best, the smaller trees I put up throughout the house helped light up the corners.  Several days later it dawned on me, I usually put our smaller trees in dark corners because that’s where I have space.

So this morning I smiled and watched in the rearview mirror as the kiddo finished his statement and grinned at me before taking a sip of his coffee.  I’m in awe of the young man my son is becoming—my actually fifteen, looks likes he’s eighteen, forever stuck at four in my heart little boy.  Every tree in this house is for him.