Last night I took Jordan for a walk with the dog. I told her it was because the dog needed a walk, but really, she needed one. Jordan is hard-headed. If you’ve followed her growth from a baby, you’ll know she’s been determined and hard-headed from the very start. Ask her old occupational and physical therapists and they’ll tell you they saw a streak of independence very, very early on. I’m proud of her strength. I’ve fostered it. I’ve celebrated it.
But now that she’s eight-years-old, I’m learning this incredible strength she carries also comes with so many more lessons to learn as she grows up.
That’s because her hard-headedness sometimes leads to bad decisions that are rude, abrupt, whiny and at times obnoxious. I didn’t see it coming. I know I should have seen it coming. But I guess I thought the rebellion, self-focus and “always correct” attitude happened as a teenager.
I was wrong. It’s happening now.
And as I talk to more parents, this phase happens for quite a while, so I need to buck up and be ready to continuously teach Jordan right and wrong, even when she’s is 100 percent certain I am super wrong.
Yesterday was typical. I picked up Jordan from school and needed to take her and Cameron to the store. We needed to buy some food and pick up a prescription. For some reason, for Jordan, it was also a good time to whine and argue about everything. Everything was the end of the world. I just needed her to listen to herself. Jordan just couldn’t look inside herself to hear her loud tone and rude attitude. We talked. She cried. I canceled plans for her to attend her brother’s baseball game so she could go to bed on time. Maybe she needs more sleep.
Once the boys left for the baseball field after a normally slightly contentious dinner, Jordan was upset she was missing the game and life was so BORING. We took a walk. A little energy release can help. Even if she didn’t like the walk, we kept walking. And eventually she saw friends and even got to play a little street ball before bedtime. As we walked home, I snapped this picture:
I didn’t expect the amount of support in reaction to this shot… Via Facebook comments, Instagram comments and other modes: gchat, email and even a phone call from a friend. I’m not alone, I have incredible support and I appreciate it so much. I just want this awesome girl to grow up to be an awesome woman. And this is a long and bumpy road. I can’t write everything is perfect, because it isn’t. And honestly, this is a phase we’re all going to come across if we are helping out kids grow up to be strong and confident. Kids don’t automatically figure out how strong and confident can still include polite and respectful. They have to learn it. And I think many of us in the special needs world who have empowered our kids with strength and confidence will come head to head with this challenge. I know I am not the perfect parent, but I’m trying so dang hard. I appreciate the circle of support I have near and far. In the meantime, I’ll continue to share the reality from time to time.