Thursday, September 29, 2011

Feeling Unspecial

One of the draw-backs to not having all your kids in the same school is that sometimes, one of them has a day off when the other one doesn't. Today is one of those days. Ben is off, Mitchell is not.

Matt and I thought it would be fun and special for him to be able to go to work with daddy all day. He is old enough to be able to do this on a real work day. During the times when Matt has to get work done, Ben can read silently, play computer games, draw pictures, and hang out with co-workers easily.

I gave him the choice of staying home, sleeping in, staying in his jammies all morning, and watching some cartoons or going with dad. He immediately chose "go with dad!!!"

Mitchell chose that option as well. Poor guy. I had to explain to him that he couldn't go along because he still had school. He was just crushed. He moped around all day yesterday and then this morning, when Ben and Matt were getting ready, he just kinda slumped down, bordering on tears. (Real tears are a pretty big deal with Mitchell - very rare.)

He even ran up the driveway, following them as far as the street as they drove away, then just stood there watching for a few minutes.

He came back inside and said, "Mom? I'm special too! Howcome I don't get something so special like Ben?" I explained to him that although he was just as special to us, sometimes things are more special when things aren't exactly even - when it seems unfair. Sometimes, in order to understand when something is really special, you have to also know what it is like to feel... well, unspecial. He didn't get it. He is nothing if not stubborn - his thoughts and ideas are no exception.

I tried to make every day life a little more "special" for Mitchell today without buying him things and trying to make up for what Ben got to do. Someday it will be reversed and Mitchell will be the one getting special treatment. Perhaps then he will get it.

In the mean time, I've got a mopey little boy, waiting for his big brother and his dad to get home so he can stop feeling so left out.

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