Thursday, December 13, 2012

like a turtle

Yesterday was a tough day at school for my youngest boy.
Too much energy and too little focus.  A call home from the teacher.  His little voice trembly with tears when he got on the phone.  He's all energy and emotion, this one.  A constant stream of wonder and noise.  It pains me to know that his teacher doesn't get to see the amazing, creative, caring little soul that I know.  He's one of 22 in a class and the time she does have for just him is spent trying to reach him, and teach him.

So when he came home from school we sat down over a cup of cocoa and talked about turtles.  We talked about how turtles are strong and steady, how they always have their home, a place of comfort, with them when they're frustrated or sad.  We talked about the little stone turtle I made for him, and I told him that he will always be his friend, and that he carries Momma's love with him.

He went to school this morning with his turtle in his pocket and his chin up, willing to try again today.


 
There are two more turtles on my work table, one has been promised to someone who's been very patient, and the other will be in my shop this weekend.  This will likely be the last update until after the new year.  I'll be taking the next few weeks to finish off some handmade gifts, some nagging tasks I've neglected, and re-group.

I hope you all are having a good week.

23 comments:

Lisa W said...

oh that brought tears to my eyes. He will find his way and keep working with his teacher so that she will find his ways.
Turtle in his pocket will give him great comfort. My son's first year in school I tucked a small piece of his blankie in his pocket, it gave him comfort. It also gave me comfort knowing that he had a little piece of his home with him. Reminds me of "the kissing hand".
You're a good Momma.

S in AK said...

I *love* that he's got his turtle in his pocket today. What a sweet, loving mama.

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

Oh my gosh, 'The Kissing Hand'... I come undone, bawling like a baby, reading the kissing hand. I wonder where my boy gets his emotions from?? :D Thank you for sharing the blankie story, and for telling me I'm a good momma. You are no doubt a good momma too. It's such a hard job, and so easy to doubt oneself, so thank you.

prpltrtl946 said...

Beautiful! The sentiment and the turtle! 8*)

And I agree with the other Lisa! 8*)

mireya said...

thats so wonderful, I was so close to sobbing after reading this. My mom did something very similar when I was growing up, she would give me little comfort objects to remind me of home and "to keep me safe and brave" I still have a good amount of the things she gave me and even to this day despite the fact that I'm in college I keep them close. even last week during a particularly difficult exam I brought a small zip-lock baggie full of comfort things. Your a great mother for doing this, I hope your little boy has a better day.

Ксения Ушанова said...

Lisa, your story is a really great example of how we can help and support our kids (I'm a mom of a 5 year old boy). Hope you both will cooperate with school problems very soon)))

Els said...

O my dear Lisa, what a pain to see one's child not properly being taken care of ... (being a retired schoolteacher it even pains me more, though I will sure have made my own mistakes no doubt ...!)
What a brave young man ! He will get their in the end no doubt with such a caring mom ! Hip hip hurray for the strong and patient turtle !!!

joanie said...

I was already feeling wobbly tonight. This made me cry and realize I need myself a turtle ;)
You're the best mama.
xo

ariadne said...

I am a mum to a 17-year-old and a teacher of English! Each child is special;it's the school system that cannot cope with each and every one of them especially in big classes or with inadequate and impatient teachers!Early enough I realised my own special son was never going to be a perfect student according to the system and I never cared; I just wanted him to love school and be happy no matter how tough that would be or how unsuccessful he would be at times. And with my students that's what I want too, to enjoy a happy lesson and love school!AriadnefromGreece!

Sally said...

Ugh. This takes me back to a few painful teacher experiences I had with my boy. Chin up! My smart little excitable boy is finishing up his first semester as a high school English teacher/wrestling coach! Happy happy holidays to you and yours. xo S

Jamie said...

Beautiful, touching post today. You sound like a wonderful Momma.

Rhymes With Magic said...

I think having a mom like you would have been good for me when I was a little girl. My teachers simply did not know what to do with someone like me. Now I have a little boy in kindergarten and I wait for that type of phone call every day... I'm going to remember what you've done so I can use it when my time comes. :) You is a VERY good mama.

Glo said...

The current state of our education rewards kids who are obedient and passive, and alienates those that are energetic and assertive. Parents less insightful than you get convinced that there is something wrong with their child, and that ADHD medication is the next step. This is much easier than to understand that one size does NOT fit all when it comes to learning.

While you're crafting your Christmas presents, listen to this podcast! It articulates what i'm trying to say much, much better:


http://www.freakonomics.com/2011/12/21/how-is-a-bad-radio-station-like-our-public-school-system-a-freakonomics-radio-podcast-encore/

Betty said...

You are a very special mum and that's why you were given this special little boy. It's so painful to see a growing spirit crushed but you have found a way to make this one feel strong and safe even when you aren't there.

Katarzyna Sosinska said...

Another thing to try is to find a shamanic practitioner and ask her to find a spirit helper for your child. I'm a practitioner myself and found a guide for my boy when he had been bullied at school. His attitude changed completely; he read about this animal's cunning ways you know,I told him to be like it (because he's so thin and fragile he cannot threaten anybody!).He went to school as a warrior, not a victim anymore and the situation was resolved. The teachers couldn't do anything about it for months. My son also has his "totems" steaming from nature spirituality and this is working just great,as well as a little home spirit you can write to and feed with cookies, a spirit that has been with us for years :)

Juli said...

What a wonderful, sweet post. You are an amazing mama, and I'm sure your little boy is amazing too. Blessings to you both, may he never lose that energy, wonder and enthusiasm.

Anonymous said...

Your words brought me to tears, but I see from reading all the other comments that everyone has felt the same way. I know what it is to grow up with a mother who was always there, who sacrificed everything to provide for four on the little money my father earned, but who never, ever hugged me or told me she loved me (no one had done that for her.) I struggled through school in so much pain, not fitting in and with no self esteem. You are a wonderful Mama, and all who follow your blog are praying for you and your precious son - he's going to be fine! I truly share your heartache about this. Love, love, love is what we all need.
Ruth from PA

Osagegypsy said...

Your story reminds me so much of my kids. I was a single mom when my son was in school and it was very difficult to keep up with the open houses and teachers. So when I had my daughter (17 years later!) I determined not to let anything get by me. When we found out she was dyslexic, I decided to homeschool. I know it is not possible for everyone to do this; but it is the best thing I have ever done for both of us! We "Unschooled", no workbooks. Just interest-led library books and a copy of the girl scout badge book. Daughter learned everything about wolves, goats, horses, horse training. We read all the Little House on the Prairie books and History Mysteries from American Girls. And that was just the start. You CAN do it on your own with support from family.
God Bless you and your sweet son!

Scrapiana said...

It's the hardest thing when a teacher is not in sympathy with your child. My youngest (who turns teen in a few days - another maternal landmark!) had a disastrous teacher a few years ago who was determined to break his spirit, and almost succeeded. She saw his busy-ness and live-wiredness as a problem and labelled him as that - a problem. Soon afterwards he got into a prestigious local choir (effectively a cathedral choir), where he still sings. Funny how he managed to sit without fidgeting when he had a proper professional singing job to do...! And a week or so ago he stood on a piece of staging, a lone chorister in robes before 1200 busy shoppers, to sing a solo verse of Away in a Manger. He performed it beautifully and it took real guts and self-belief. So much for that teacher's writing-off.

I love your turtle metaphor. Really powerful and beautiful way to say 'hang on in there!'. We will all hit patches like this in life, sooner or later. With your excellent support, your son is learning a valuable lesson, Lisa. Nice job. xx

julochka said...

i was just talking to a friend the other day about how schools these days are geared far more towards girls than they are towards boys...standards of sitting still and being able to concentrate do not take into consideration that little boys might need something other than that in order to learn (and behave) best. school is a girl's world. ironic since the rest of the world (still) belongs to men. he'll be ok in the long run.

Michaelanne said...

I am reading this days after you posted..and before the tragedy that occured in Conneticut..As a parent..we have such faith in the teachers to make the school and warm and loving environment. Your little boy is SO fortunate to come home to such a loving and beautiful Mother..My heart is broken for the Mama's that lost thier babies on the 14th. I LOVE how you dealt with your situation..Sending you a hug..and holding onto my boy a little closer today too!

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

Thank you all so much for your comments and your support.

As Michaelanne commented, I'm hugging my kids closer too after the horrific events in CT last week. Words fail me.

nancy said...

What a great way to comfort him. Working in a school myself, I try to see past some things into the little soul sitting in front of me :)

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