The thing you never want to hear your son say
So we’re all hanging out before bedtime, and I’m trying to get the boys to read a book with me. Lex doesn’t want to read the book and goes off in a huff, returning to lie in bed crying. Now this isn’t normal for Lex. He usually has no issue with reading time, but tonight it’s different for some reason.
I convince him to come onto the bed with me, and while still crying, he keeps saying “I’m stupid, I’m stupid” and then he says the words I never want to hear him say again: “I want to die mum.”
My heart plunges and Steve’s heart plunges... down to the depths of the deepest parts of our souls. Oh Lex my love, please no, don’t say that, not that love. Never want that. Never ever.
This goes back a bit.
Lex hasn’t been sleeping well for a few months now, and I’ve been concerned about depression. It’s something I’ve dealt with throughout my life, and definitely something I tackled from a very young age. No one spoke about such stuff when I was little – but it’s made me concerned he’s dealing with it.
Now that those horrible horrible words have come out of our beautiful Lexy’s mouth, I’m pretty sure it is the case. We will, of course, get it verified, but what did we do at the moment in time? Well we immediately burst into tears of course.
Please never want to do that my love. How could we cope without you in our lives? We love you and Jax more than anything in the whole world and life without you would just be unbearable. Our hearts would die without you.
And then the four of us cuddled and cried our hearts out together. Jax was probably most upset of all of us.
Lex stopped crying first, and I think he felt good getting it out of his system. Bless him. It seemed he needed a good cry.
The bigger challenge for Lex is he is so bloody self-aware these days. In the last 12 months or so, he has really come to understand that he is behind at school, and he is frustrated at his lack of progress - mainly is reading and writing. He knows he should be doing better, but for whatever reason, it’s just not clicking into place yet. He’s making progress every day, but not as much as he knows he can. He’s been on the cusp for a while now and he’s frustrated.
But we know it will click into place. We know that moment will arrive. And we know it’s going to happen soon. But he continues to be frustrated. And I understand his frustration. He’s on the precipice of success and he knows it. It’s just taking too long, too too long.
Unfortunately, because he’s so self-aware, he’s starting to measure himself on the academic abilities of the other kids in his school. He told me who the intelligent kids were recently, because they always get 10/10 in spelling tests. But getting 10/10 in spelling tests isn’t intelligence, it’s working hard to remember stuff. And besides, we (the parents) don’t work hard enough with Lex on his spelling. There’s only so much time in a day.
But if he measured himself by how much he knows about the things he’s passionate about – dinosaurs, magic, animals, marine life, Steve Irwin, extinct animals, the world, etc, etc, etc, then his intelligence is not in question.
He has an amazing mind - a big curious mind that puts everything together from a big picture perspective. It’s an incredible thing watching that boy absorb knowledge and make sense of it all. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know how special that is. He doesn’t understand that this is true intelligence – massive curiosity and the ability to put enormous ideas together to make sense of everything.
And we continue to struggle to find professionals who get what Lex is going through. Any other issue they could help us with, but the impact of shrinking ear canals that started at birth (due to explosive tonsil and adenoid growth), meant he missed out on key language development years, and I believe the core issue has always been cognitive. We’ve recently had some more tests done, and finally, they agree. It’s a cognitive issue and that can be fixed.
So we’re stepping up his therapy now, focusing on this area specifically, and after this, we hope it’ll be done once and for all.
I have never stopped believing in this little dude. He’s our little magic man and one day, Lex will take on the world in the biggest way he can. He’ll do something remarkable – whatever that is. I know it. I’ve always known it, and I’ll never stop helping him get where he needs to be to do it.
But we’ve got to make sure he’s happy too. Confident. And aware of how bloody terrific he is. We try hard on that front every day, and yet, we know we’re not perfect. Parenting is hard bloody yakka I tell you. Bloody kids!
Anyways it was a tough time, a heart breaking time, and I wanted to share because our hearts are aching and virtual hugs are welcome. No matter what though, we’ll never stop believing in our Lexy. Our Magic Man is a special little dude and he’s going to be fine.
Sometimes we wish he’d hurry up, but the important thing is, he’ll get there and be full of magnificence and joy when he does. That's our goal anyway.
Yours, without the bollocks