You have probably heard me say that Griffen is my quirkiest child. This is true, he is about as different as different can be. Griff is his own little man, always has been. His brain works overtime, and from the outside his thoughts seem quite random. To call him an independent thinker is an understatement. He is something like hyper, just busy I guess, and smart as whip but unconventional as heck. His cleverness often comes across as arrogance and his internal processing makes him seem aloof.
When he started Kindergarten his teacher had him tested for both ADHD and dyslexia. He’s a brilliant kid though, so he passed both tests with flying colors. Honestly it left us all a little unsure about what to do with his inventive but off track mind, enormous appetite for information and constantly moving body.
Some God help and a little research helped me discover that Griff has something called Edison Trait. What does that mean exactly, well- “They are spirited individuals who live life with passion and determination, firing out an endless stream of questions and often recklessly pursuing their own desires (like Edison, who wanted to see how fire worked and accidentally burned his father’s barn to the ground). They are conundrums, children with a profile that is both intriguing and maddening. These children are appealing, daring and entertaining. Yet they are frustrating, demanding and difficult to raise. Their temperament and intellectual style will shake the stamina of the most devoted and patient parent. “Forget mom doing anything except challenging this child. These kids are physically and mentally hyper; they can’t shut off their minds.”
My heart soared and sank all at once. The first thing I thought was “Awesome, I get to raise a little Edison!” the second thing was, “Great, he’s not going to grow out of all this off track, out of the ordinary stuff.” That was five years ago. And he certainly has not grown out of it. He has sort of grown into it. I’ve implemented some of the boundaries, behavioral and dietary suggestions recommended for Edison Trait kiddos, and that has certainly helped.
But the thing that has helped the most has been to really embrace what a unique kid he is. He is fully entertaining and extremely bright. And as he is maturing, our conversations are more and more enlightening. He’s a vocal kid, in touch with his emotions and his vocabulary is endless. His invention notebooks take over an entire bookshelf. This year he was fortunate enough to get an amazing teacher. I’m forever getting notes that say “I so enjoy Griffen!” and “What an awesome kid!” It’s been sweet for sure to see him blossom and develop as he’s been not only accepted but affirmed by the people around him.
So often in the past my fear has been that he would get lost in all the Go Go Going! Of his mind. It can be a challenge for him to relate well to others because he is so internally busy. My heart has ached for him as he's had to work through some tough issues. God has really helped me put it all in perspective though. I've struggled with wanting to help him steward his gifts, trying to explain the importance of listening and being respectful, and making sure he doesn’t feel all wrong or inadequate. There is honestly a careful balance for me between being enthralled with his brilliance and wit, and getting absolutely frustrated at his lack of focus and attention.
This handing my worries and fears about my kids over to God has been somewhat revolutionary with Griffen especially. It’s freed me up to see him for him. I can understand his uncommon strengths and weaknesses, and lay aside my frustrations to help him with his. And he in turn has become more secure and easier to connect with. We laugh together often, mostly at his jokes. Where there was sometimes tenseness in me and insecurity in him about his quirks, there is now a confidence.
He is exactly the kid God created him to be. And to further confirm that, here are his notes from church last week:
"Hear and obey faith is the foundation God wants us to believe him. Faith is believing no matter what. God wants us to immerse our faith in him. the book of Salma's has over 100 Iwills in it. Note to self have great battles and victory. God delivers everyone. Believe in god t'ill the end. assignment: read John. I can prophesie"
I don't even know how to explain how melted my heart was when I read that. And then last night we had this conversation:
Me: You're a smart kid, you know that Griff?
Griff: Yes, actually I'm one of those people that is aware of their intelligence.
Me: Well you do you know why you are so intelligent?
Griff: Because I'm good at transferring information into knowledge.
Me: Okay. And how do you think you're able to do that?
Griff: Basic logic and quick wit.
Me: Okay. And where do you think you got those?
Griff: Are you trying to get me to say that you're smarter than me?
Me: **Sigh** No. I'm trying to get you to acknowledge that God gave you your intelligence.
Griff: Well of course He did. He gave me everything. He made me. He made everything.
I love, love, love that I get to be his mom. I love that he came to me just last week, put his arm around me and said “I’m glad I get to be your son.” I love that imperfect as we both are, we are exactly who God created us to be and becoming more so all the time.