My son can read.
He can read sideways and upside down.
In fact, he is more fluent when he reads that way.
Yesterday a kid called him a freak
and I said to that boy;
“No, Noah isn’t a freak – every person processes things differently and reading sideways is just the most comfortable way for his brain to focus”.
The kid looked at me like I was the freak, grabbed the book and turned it the right way around.
“You have to be normal, dude,” he said to Noah.
He didn’t mean it in a nasty way – he was just speaking his truth
and I wasn’t upset (neither was Noah).
I’ve learnt that kids react strongly to things they don’t understand.
It was interesting though to see how unbending and conformist kids can be – even at a young age
and how we struggle to accept anything different.
Luckily, Noah can read with the book turned to society’s ‘normal’ as well
is it lucky for him or is it just lucky for everyone else – me included.
With dyslexia and Irlen Syndrome the brain doesn’t see things conventionally.
It doesn’t mean that the dyslexic child is below average -
in actual fact, most people who have it are of high intelligence, their minds are amazing, intricate pathways that fire in the most interesting of ways.
Noah can retain facts about things I couldn’t even hope to remember
and his ability to recall minute details about a subject astounds me every day
but if he can’t express those to others then what a terrible waste that would be
and I imagine very frustrating too.
We have a black board in our kitchen now where we encourage Ivy and Noah to write words and then find others that rhyme
because Noah, amongst everything else, is a rhyming super hero – he just gets great joy from it.
He wrote the word dog but it was more like
b o back to front, upside down g.
He looked at it for a long time, as though he knew it wasn’t ‘correct’,
walked away, put his glasses on,
came back and fixed it up himself and then drew a picture of his bog turned dog.
I thought it was pretty cool that he’d figured it out himself
but there have been many times where I have made him change the letters around
because they don’t make sense to me
and I wonder if, in doing that, if I am teaching him anything except conformity
or whether I am just messing around with his way of thinking
and if that is really any advantage to him at all.
I guess in the grand scheme of things he will need to be able to function in his society
and that means making his brain conform to ‘normality’
but I hope, as he grows, he keeps a little bit of himself too
and maybe he’ll read to his own children someday from an upside down point of view.
Noah: so, tell me about him.
Immy: well, his name is ["Fred"]
Immy: and he’s my friend
Immy: and nothing. That’s it. Why, what else did you need to know?
Noah: well, is he a super hero, or something?
Can he shoot fire from his fists?
Can he fly?
Immy: No, Noah but he can sing.
Noah: Um, sorry, if he hasn’t got super powers then he’s just not good enough for you.
Noah – the ultimate judge in boyfriends.
‘Don’t do my hair like that. It makes me look like a baby‘
‘I haven’t grown enough to be taller than the kindy kids and everyone will tease me for being small still’
‘I don’t want to be in a new class, with new kids who are just going to stare at me all day’
‘what if the new teacher doesn’t know that I get sick, what happens then’
and when the tears started to fall,
after she had released all of that pent up stress, she said the truest thing of all;
‘I’m just nervous, I guess’.
‘Don’t worry Ivy. Whatever happens I’ll be there to look after you’
and he was
and the morning went just fine
especially when their names were called
to find they were going to be with their most favourite teacher of all
as they stepped into the second grade.
The girl’s eyes relaxed and a small hint of a smile skirted across her face
he might have fist pumped the air.
We’ve done birthdays and anniversaries in hospital before,
Easter and almost Christmas too
but this is the first time since Ivy and Noah were born
that we’ve celebrated their birthday here.
It’s a little bit sad,
kind of symbolic
but not altogether miserable.
The nurses and the new doctor have been wonderful -
I cannot fault their care for the girl
and all of our friends, who we’ve come to know on this journey
have wished the pair a happy day.
Noah is arriving tonight for a sleepover with his sister
and breakfast has been organised
so that when they wake they are together.
Just as it should be.
I mean, it’s not perfect or ideal
but we’re making the best of it all.
The Captains from Starlight, who reside in our hospital
have come for the last two days to decorate Ivy’s room
and make her laugh
and Ivy gets better and stronger each day.
Seven used to be my favourite number before William died
and then it wasn’t
but I still love this age.
where they wonder at the world
and everything is like a new adventure.
I love them too.
On the day they were born I wondered what it would be like,
how I would be
with two tiny babies to care for along with my grief
and my five other sweethearts who needed me too
but they’ve been my completion, really.
They are my biggest adventure so far.
So happy birthday, my gorgeous pair.
I hope seven is as exciting as you are to me
and as wonderful as ice cream and pancakes
with sweet, sticky syrup on your birthday morning.