Wildflowers for Jade: beautiful apologies

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

beautiful apologies

Yesterday as I was looking for Jaden’s old videos on my computer, I came across a cute funny video of a baby that Matt had emailed to me years ago. I showed Jaden and he became a little obsessed with it, and today begged me to play it for him over and over. I left it on repeat because I had things to do upstairs.
Later, I was online typing when I realized my sentence was jumbled together. I looked down to see my spacebar missing. Yes, missing. This isn’t the first time Jaden had pried the keys from my laptop; it looks like the mouth of an old man with broken teeth. I had, however, thought that he’d matured enough not to do it again.
As I launched into the impossibly difficult task of re-applying key to board, I scolded him a little harshly in my frustration. I went on a bit more than I would have typically because I wanted him to understand me, and what he did wrong. It’s so hard to know if he’s “getting” anything I’m saying sometimes.  It so often seems like he doesn’t, that Matt and I still slip and talk about him or in front of him like he can’t understand us, as you would with a baby. Or a child with dismal language comprehension.
Jaden sat in his Daddy’s lap, silently watching me struggle with the space key for about a minute. Then he spoke up in a sweet, clear voice.
“I’m really sorry, Mommy,” he said meekly. “I didn’t mean to break the computer.”
I stopped cold, the anger melting from me. When I repeat or write some of the things that Jaden has said, it’s often like a translation of a foreign language. I know that’s exactly what he said or meant to say, but that’s not always how it comes out of his mouth. This time it was the sweet angelic voice of two full, complete and clear sentences.
Not knowing how to respond in my shock, I landed on about the 5th thing I actually thought.
“Well, I don’t know how did such a great job of breaking it if you didn’t mean to.”
“I’m really sorry, Mommy,” he repeated contritely. “I didn’t mean to break the computer. I like the computer.”
My mind was still reeling so I did the only decent Mom thing I could do. “I forgive you, baby,’ I said, adding, “But I still can’t leave you alone with the computer again.” Then I hugged him.
Matt sat stoic but later (out of earshot) said “That was a beautiful apology.” I completely agree.

I don’t know what it’s like when other 2-weeks-from-being-a-4-yr-old’s speak. For me three sentences like that are a gift from Heaven that I would gladly trade a broken keyboard for. Not only the sweet clarity but the knowledge that he understood me.

Life with Jaden is like sliding doors in a revolving room. A room which I’m outside of, and he’s inside. Sometimes the door opens and I can see inside his beautiful mind. Then it shuts. I can’t say for sure, hopefully he will be able to answer one day, but I think that’s what it’s like for him also. Sometimes he understands us clearly, but too often it’s like being underwater. Or listening to life inside a closed room. It’s only my hypothesis, but it seems that way. So often he struggles to understand, repeating and questioning to clarify something we tell him, while his brows knit in confusion and frustration.

One thing I know; he is far more intelligent than his scores say. I would tear down those walls with my bloody fingernails if I could.

1 comment:

  1. He is a beautiful, wonderful, smart boy. Those scores mean nothing.