First and foremost, DO NOT TELL MY KIDS I'M BLOGGING ABOUT THEM!
We have a pretty untraditional home life here on the Chicken Ranch. But then, we have some people living here who are … a tad outside the mainstream realm.
I’ve probably waxed philosophically before about right-brain/left-brain differences. It’s an over-simplification, I know, but honest, there are some people who process information in a way that is so asymmetric, that it leaves the other half of the world scratching their heads in confusion. I have two such teens, for whom traditional school, just was not working. They are what I think of as “right-brained” – very pictorial, but these kids are EXTREMELY right-brained, meaning, they seem to think in pictures – all the time. 24/7. Scary smart kids…, but very quiet about it.
Here’s an example of how it effects the way they communicate. My son is probably more right-brained than any of us. It has resulted in multiple diagnoses that I won’t go into. Sufficie it to say, he has had a bunch of different letters attached to him by a number of different professionals. There are ways to “cope” - to conform with mainstream education - but no real “fixes”. We decided long ago, there wasn’t anything to fix. He’s AMAZING as he is, and to change him would be to lose him and most of what is so special about him. He has an amazing means of processing information.
So, one day, we were perusing the aisles of the local Radio Shack, (‘cause that’s what unschooling families do,) and my son was being his typical self. He had decided on this day, in this moment, to only communicate in operatic song. Yes, everything… sung… like an opera, and it went something like this, (me paraphrasing). “Radio Shack has much to offer, if you’re the geeky sort who likes to experiment with radio active materials in your home… only they don’t sell radio active materials… because that’d be illegal… and get them put on government watch lists…” all sung to some random melody. You get the idea.
I now direct your attention toward the other child, the teenaged daughter. Head hung in embarrassment, she just wanted to get us out of the store without anyone calling the cops. And we did make a purchase, (nothing radioactive, I assure you, because, well, they truly do not sell little bags of plutonium at Radio Shack.) My son left the store, (still singing,) ran across the parking lot without looking, (‘cause that’s what he does,) and after a little detour, he jumped in the front seat of the car, shucked his shoes first, then his coat, pointed the A/C vents at him and said, “hit me with the cold.” Side bar: It’s the middle of winter and below freezing. There were snow mountains in the parking lot that he had to scale before getting in the car.
His sister sank into the backseat… and she was livid! (Bear in mind, she had just been subjected to the embarrassment of both her clueless mother – I, who speak to random strangers on any and every subject - and her brother - in a public place.) And she turned her frustration on her little brother. “You are so damned A.D.D.!”
Brother was not bothered by her insult. In fact, he giggled and said, “ADD, Eighty-eight, eighty-nine, ninty.”
Sister: “Hundred and fifty, you random freak!” (Be mindful of the fact that she had been sorely embarrassed… and she a teenaged girl… who just wants the power of invisibility.)
Brother giggled again, and held aloft his hand-held gaming device.
I wait for the next set of epithets to be hurled, like an observer at some gruesome tennis match. But instead, they both started laughing.
Sister, (still laughing): “See? It’s that kinda thing you’ve got to stop doing. No one – and I mean NO ONE – gets your jokes.” (Although obviously, she did… get the joke.)
Wait for it...!
I spend most of my waking hours just trying to translate what they’re saying. It’s not that I’m slow. True, I’m distractable, but I know there’s a secret language going on between them, and what was anger the second before, had turned into a shared secret joke, so I asked, “what’s so funny? What joke?”
Son holds up his game device and waves it in my face. “One hundred, fifty.” (giggle. giggle.)
Me: “One hundred fifty?”
He shakes the device, a DSI, at me again, like I’m supposed to “get it.”
My daughter has to put it in tiny words for me. “One hundred, fifty. It’s 'D S I' … reflected in a mirror.”
See what I mean? And I live with this on a freakin’ daily basis! They BOTH “got it”. How much else has been going right over my head that they haven’t put into tiny enough words for me?
So you see, we have to homeschool/unschool. I just don’t think the rest of the world is ready for this new evolution of kid. And what’s more, I suspect there are a lot of “these kids” out there. Maybe you’re one, and society, school, family, friends, teachers, are all trying to “cure you”. You might all be on government watch lists now. (At least my kids will be after this blog.) I just want you to know, you’re not alone. Yeah, you’re “weird” to the mainstream, but you’re also AMAZING… and it’s their loss that they don’t “get you”.
150. DSI… in a mirror. Sheesh.