Yesterday morning, I was complaining about all the things that I had to do. I was busy. I am always busy in September. That is the life of a teacher…especially one that is still adjusting to working full-time.
What I didn’t realize, was that my son was listening to my kitchen rant. I was listing out loud all of the things that had to be done as I filled my water bottle, grabbed my lunch and searched wildly for my phone and keys.
It wasn’t long before my son said, “Mama! Wait! I want to get something for you!”
He scurried over to his playroom cabinets and began surveying the space. I could tell he was looking for something that was important. “Here it is!’ He smiled as he ran over to me with something in his hands.
“I want you to take my Thinking Putty with you to school today. When you are feeling stressed or a bit overwhelmed, just squeeze it and pull it. It will help so much!”
As he said this, I half expected the angels to sing beautiful music from the heavens!
If you have been reading for a while, you know that the Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty has been a tool that my TBP has used to calm his body. It was something that took some reminders and practice, but he eventually found it helpful.
I looked at my big third grader and smiled. “Sweet Boy…this is so thoughtful of you.” I took the tin of putty and put it in my lunch bag.
“I want you to take my Zombie Flesh kind because I doubt others will have it and I’m sure they will be impressed.”
“Thank you, generous one!” I said to my son as I hugged him tightly.
“I love you, Mama! I love you more than anything!”
Honestly, that never gets old!
As I took my borrowed treasure with me and headed to work, I was experiencing many emotions. I was feeling happiness because he was thinking about someone other than himself. I was feeling relieved because he doesn’t need the putty as much. I was feeling proud, that he has learned skills that help him when he is overwhelmed. Squeezing and pulling at putty is SO much better than the old alternative!
As I drove, I was reminding myself about the importance of checking myself and my talk when my son was around. I wanted to model “how to deal with stress effectively” behaviors; however, when I think a little more about this experience, this was an opportunity for him to practice his skills. At that time, the student became the master and it was a great thing!