We are the champions
When something happens, good or bad, C often tells me the story in bits and pieces, sometimes over a period of days. Because his perception of events is often different than other people’s, he sometimes doesn’t tell me what I need to know in order to fully understand the situation and help him process it. I’ve grown better at asking the right questions to get to the bottom of something while still allowing his telling of the story to be in his way.
The other day at school, a boy in C’s class called him a “loser.” The interesting piece of the story here is that C was running to get a ball at the time, and he got it. He took the word “loser” so literally as to mean he lost the race to get the ball. His point was that he DID get the ball, so he was a “winner.” He was upset, not because the boy meant something far more all-encompassing than C’s understanding of the word, but because the boy was technically wrong.
I was so thankful in that moment that he doesn’t comprehend the connotations of the word. I was so grateful that he sees things in black and white so he didn’t understand how awful and powerful a word it can be. For him it’s about the definition, not the nuance. Yet someday he will understand that word, and all its negative undertones. For that, I fear, he is sorely under-prepared (aren’t we all?). I can only hope when I told him that he is in fact a winner, it, like the other positive things we try to say to him whenever possible, settled into his psyche enough to help counteract some of what will surely come down the road.