Depending on who you actually talk with, people will either think I am a complete moron or a genius. At times I am not sure which group is the correct group. I do know that when it comes to my son I am usually spot on correct or was until the brain injury occurred. Now even I am wondering if anything I am doing is correct. But hey, this is about Aidan, not me.
I know I got things totally right before the accident especially when Aidan was just born. I knew before he was born that I would first off have to do the exact opposite of what my parents did with me, that of course was a great move on my part.
I quickly realized he was a very special child, and yes I know, every parent says the same thing as I am now. I guess the difference is, I had many people telling me just how special he really was, lots of Doctors, child care experts, and anybody that had any idea of children in general realized he was very different from other children his age. What made me so smart was my recognizing I needed help to foster what gift he had, as I knew I did not know anything about children at that time.
Just a couple of examples for you to understand my thinking here, first off, he spoke 2 words by the time he was 4 months old, yes 4 months old. I do have plenty of video of this for those that refuse to believe, I have had to show those videos, nobody doubted me afterwards. By 6 months I was teaching him sign language so he could tell me what he wanted. I honestly could not stand the crying, so I taught him how to sign for milk. How to sign for more milk and enough milk. He learned to tell me when he wanted to sleep, when he had enough play, many other cool things most 6 month olds could not do.
This got us into the language labs at the University of Toronto, they wanted to study my boy for themselves. By this time I had a solid team of child care experts working with me to teach him everything we could. They still follow him today, not as much now, in fact many want me to slow things down with Aidan, give his teachers a break. He tested at a grade 3 level before starting JR kindergarten.
The day he learned to stand on his own 2 feet was the day he started to learn about balance, as a former hockey player I would body check him, yes lightly people, but enough to make him stagger, but he rapidly learned to keep his balance. This of course led to his future daredevil attitude, and man even now I cringe at what he tries to do. But I taught him he is allowed to try basically anything he wished as long as it meets my safety measures. You want to jump off the roof Aidan, no problem, make sure there is a soft landing. We did when we were young, I saw no reason to say no.
I get so annoyed listening to parents complaining about their children and their terrible 2’s and 3’s. Personally I loved those days, compared to talking to adults, I thought the conversations fun, and when you look through the eyes of a child, enlightening. In fact I have little regard for most parents, so many say they do everything for their children, and they do, but their children never learn anything as everything is done for them. I do not really think that is solid parenting, but that is my point of view, and why today at the age of 6, I am looking for kids 10+ to actually be able to play with my son. Physically and mentally he is just ahead.
I call it my gift. Likely the only thing I can give my son, a huge advantage in life, the ability to think for himself, act for himself, deal with life himself. I fully allow him to fall flat on his face when possible, it just happens very rare. I make sure he is humble, well spoken, and kind to everybody. He knows full well that when dad is not happy, his few toys I actually allow are given to children that have even less than we do. I make Aidan take his toys to places like Goodwill or Value Villages, and hand them over so he can learn valuable lessons. He never makes the same mistake a second time. Cruel eh.
I have no money, no health, and now almost no memory, so I teach him languages, math, the love of the outdoors, tracking and survival, I teach him that no single religion is correct as almost all religions actually teach you to exclude those not in your religious group. Personally I feel this totally wrong, and I teach him to be spiritual, and include everybody until they prove they can’t be trusted, again I feel this a more fair system. Everybody in life has value, and you can learn from them, sometimes lessons can be hard, by teaching my son how to gauge others early he again will be further ahead when he is a man.
As I have no desire at all to push him towards any future employment, he learns everything. My only requirement from him is that he tries his very best at anything and everything he does. Again, many of you may think I am totally mean, but hey, that applies to fun, games, practical jokes so our home we have created is, well lively to say the least. I have bowls of chocolate bars he can have anytime he wants, cookies, ice cream, pops of all sorts, anything a child would love, I offer to him without any questions of how many, eat what you want son. HE always asks for Broccoli or Cauliflower first before any junk food. Hey dad, I ate a plate of Brocs for second breakfast, may I have chips now? Of course you may, you have eaten the good foods first as I have asked, eat anything you want after, I don’t care.
I will soon start posting some of the pictures from the last few weeks events we have been involved in. Needless to say he was the only child able to complete the courses I had him at, and when the owners of these places found out he was only 6 they all came to watch him in action. I have some great video that I am unable to put up here as I have no money to pay for that privilege, but he was able to climb a circular set of pillars that rose in height to about 30 feet off the ground, and when you reach to top, you just jump off and let the ropes take you down slow. I am not sure I would do that now, but he did it while laughing as he did the rock climbs as well. No one other child was able to do it period.
My life is for my son. My life for me no longer matters, my health will never get better, in fact I am likely in a mobility device within the next few months. That will be nicer in fact, then I won’t have to hurt myself so bad to actually get to where we want to play, I can save the energy for the play only. The pain that will cause is nothing new to me, so I don’t worry about it. The losing the ability to walk does bother me a lot. As I want to play as well, I feel leading by example will further teach my son, and I am all about teaching my son everything I possibly can.
This is My Gift to him.