We knew when we put Martin in public school that socializing would be problem.
It has been.
Academics: Not a problem.
Speech/language: Fading as a problem, except for social/pragmatic usage.
Behavior: Sometimes a problem (the silly, detox-y days), but his teacher handles the behavior masterfully.
Socializing: Problem alert.
Last month, in the post titled, “I’m the Issue,” I wrote about my concerns for Martin’s self-esteem.
At night, when the reading is done and the teeth are brushed and Martin and his stuffed Minions are tucked under organic linens, I sit on his bed to tell him that he’s a great kid and very, very loved. If he’s having anxiety, I make him repeat: “I am safe. My mom is in the house. My dad is in the house. My mom and dad will keep me safe, and I will keep my Minions safe. I can sleep well tonight.” Sometimes we talk about the day he’s had, or the next day he will have.
“Is it okay,” he asked me two weeks ago, during this intimate time, “if people don’t like me?”
I said, “Of course it is. Everyone has some people who don’t like him or her. There are people who don’t like me. There are people who don’t like Daddy. You can’t make everyone like you.”
“But is it okay,” my beautiful eight-year-old son continued, “if no one likes me?”
I am a failure.