My six-year old, Zuki, came home with a "Camper Of The Week" button last week. His division leader called me to say the vote was unanimous because he goes out of his way to do good.
"Really?" I thought. "Are we talking about the same boy, here?"
Then I asked, what kind of good...exactly?
Apparently, there's an autistic child in their division and Zuki instantly became his best friend.
"They're always together," she said.
She explained how difficult it could be for kids with special needs to adjust to other kids and vice versa. It doesn't always go smoothly and to find this kind of bond is special.
That night, I looked at my little man and wondered what I'm missing. I mean truly, what am I missing looking with these eyes that's focused solely on being a mom. Could I see him as a person, other than my son who needs to stop sucking his thumb? Is it possible to watch him play with his friends without worrying who's going to get smashed in the face with the G.I. Joe sword first?
It made me wish that I could be a fly upon the wall. Inconspicuously spying on him to see what he's like when mom's not around. I thought I had a good idea of how he might be interacting with the world outside but now it's clear, I really have no idea.
Why am I surprised? How many times have I done things my parents know nothing about. I can honestly say though, none of them ever earned a button actually celebrating it. For the most part, I'm lucky nothing seriously caught fire.
But who knows - there's still plenty of growing up to do. It's just nice to get good news once in a while. When you get news like this, it makes you believe - for a little while at least - that everything you've been trying to teach them, good manners, sharing and putting on clean underwear is actually sinking in.