We are raising them, friends. I don't like to admit it, but I had a short moment of mommy guilt because I haven't been expecting enough out of Jack. As bad as it sounds, I have been selling him a bit short. He can do so much more than we have ever comprehended and the only way he can show us is if we raise the bar.This is the difficult balancing act of parenting a kid like Jack. I don't want to push him too hard, out of his limits, when I know it will lead to frustration or failure. But I also don't want to limit my boy and what he can do.
And isn't this the lesson in all of our lives? How will we know if we can do something if we never try (or are never made to, in the case of Jack)? Failure is OK. In fact, the most growth comes from it. And the cool thing? Sometimes we shock everyone and totally exceed expectations.
Jack is exceeding expectations.
Jon and I, along with Jack's therapists and teachers have made a big effort in the past two weeks to raise the bar. We are requiring much more out of Jack. We are testing and stretching. For example, in school, Jack is not allowed to just get up and leave an activity whenever he feels like it anymore. This is a big change. We were letting him do that because the thought was he was overwhelmed sensory-wise. Turns out, he either grew out of that sensory issue or he was just not wanting to do the work. Oh how this sounds like most people (Jack's mama)! No one wants to do things that are hard. Human nature, right?
The lesson for me is that if we never try, we will never know. If we hadn't have pushed Jack, he never would have shown us that he can sit and do an activity for 30 minutes straight. Talk about the importance of broadening his attention span! How important this concept is to learning.
We will continue to raise the bar. We will continue to search for that delicate balance where we support Jack, but require more out of him. Because I have a feeling this isn't the last time Jack will exceed our expectations. He's shown us over and over again that he is a fighter. He doesn't follow anyone's rules. He is paving his own way in this world and I want to be cheering and pushing him along every step of the way.