It likely goes without saying that parents get more out of kids than they ever expected, and that is certainly true for me. I couldn’t fathom my life without Jacob right now, how empty it would be in comparison. That isn’t a slam against anyone else, not my wife, friends or family, just a reality. He is the centre of our being.
I like seeing him get taller, so there is the physical growth. Getting out of the carseats I mentioned earlier this month, going towards more independence.
But a bunch of little things happened this week. We tried on last year’s winter coat, the one we’ve had for two years at least for him, and he’s finally outgrown it. Similarly for his snowpants. We already got him a fall jacket, and he’s wearing that this week without a liner, and he has one to get him into colder fall before he switches to the winter one. We already have a new hat for him and gloves. We’ll need new boots likely later this week. Those are small things, but it isn’t something we do often. They are small milestones. We picked up some pants and some shirts while we were at it, and he went in the change room all by himself instead of with Mom or I helping him. Another little milestone.
On a far bigger scale though, he has agreed he needs a bigger desk. Something that Andrea and I knew 8-12m ago, but whatever. He’s agreed. And he wants a monitor and separate gaming keyboard and mouse. He’ll keep using his laptop for now as his CPU, but we’ll add peripherals around it for him.
For both the monitor and the desk, he went online and found what interested him. He compared features, price, reviews, etc. Some of them didn’t have much info, but his rationale for each choice is sound. Maybe not exactly what Andrea and I would suggest, but it’s his decision, and they’re viable. Maybe they work out awesome, maybe they don’t work out great. Either way, we ordered the desk and bought a new monitor, keyboard and mouse today. He’d like us to buy him a full gaming PC too, but I’ve argued him back to trying it the way it is for a few more months and I’m hoping I can extend that to 2y when he starts school. Of course, if he starts playing Call of Duty-type games that have more graphics needs, I might not be able to hold out that long.
But he asked good questions at Best Buy and Canada Computers, he had opinions about what he wanted and didn’t, and overall, I was a trusted advisor/interface for his negotiations to help him get the info that he wanted, but in the end, it was mostly his decision.
And afterwards, I talked to him about things like commissioned sales, things we sometimes have happen when we’re dealing with salespeople who are eager to sell vs. eager to help. He saw that the first person we dealt with at Best Buy was more like “here’s what you should get” before even asking what we wanted vs. the person at Canada Computers who asked us how we would use it, gave us all the pros and cons, dealt with some misinfo I had about GSync vs. FreeSync tech for compatibility, etc. It was why we went to CC after BB…the salesperson at BB “flamed out”, and so we went looking for more help, which was what CC provided.
Yet, even with all that aside, one of the best parts of the day was that Jacob had a long conversation with one of his teachers today. He’s struggling a bit in PE with things everyone else can do and he can’t. Or at least, not anywhere near their level. A test done a few weeks ago was done to be inclusive but accidentally singled him out as not being able to do it…he bombed out at level 1.3, while the next person didn’t bomb out until 24 levels later (3.7, with ten sub-levels in each phase). So we’ve exchanged as parents with the teacher, just conversing about other options for him, and today Jacob told him what he wanted. Which is a milestone of self-advocacy on its own, and was his choice. He didn’t need us to write back on his behalf, he can do that himself in person. Which he did.
But the awesome part was that when he got in the car tonight, he COULDN’T WAIT to tell me about his day. He talked to the teacher and told him what he wanted to do. And then they talked about this, and the teacher told him about that. And then this happened, etc. A whole story from the conversation with the teacher, sharing blow-by-blow with us. After computer shopping, he went into the house, and went STRAIGHT to Andrea to retell it all again.
I sent an email to the teacher tonight to share the “bump” that Jacob had after the conversation, and to basically say, “Nice job, dude!”. That is the second time that he has been superexcited to talk about someone, and both times it was because they knew what CP even WAS. I think we’re seeing some craving there for a CP-type connection, or at least a connection that is direct to Jacob’s experiences.
It’s been a big couple of months for Jacob with back to school, and a new school at that. He’s adjusted to a lot. And he’s handling it well, for the most part.
Being proud of him gives me #MoreJoy. How could it not?