Monday, August 11, 2014

An abnormal network of friends

Today I had one of my favorite piano students come for a lesson. His mom knocked on the door and one look at her and I knew we had a problem. She said that he was having a melt down in the car and didn't know if he would get out to come in for the lesson. I thought about telling her not to worry about it and we'd try next week but I thought about all those times when this same scenario would happen to me with Ike and realized I needed to do everything I could to make this happen. I went out and convinced a crying and upset boy out of his car and into my house. He was hitting himself and couldn't get calm. I reverted to what I used to do with Ike, the Big Squeeze. I would hold him and put pressure on his body and let him push back and it seemed to calm him. I tried it with my student and it started to work. By the end we were able to play a few piano pieces and most importantly he was able to calm down.

I was able to talk with his mother for awhile about their summer vacation. She told me of a story about an adult male that had the audacity to lecture her about her parenting while waiting for a bungee trampoline ride. My student was having trouble waiting in line and kept walking to the front. My friend would verbally call him back and he would eventually comply. This man manhandled the boy and told him he needed to listen to his mother and then proceeded to lecture my friend about how to be a better parent and how undisciplined her son was. She tried to explain to the man that her son didn't understand but he didn't care. She told me she was so mad they packed up and left to return later and even then she sent her husband because she new she would start crying if she went again.

All I could think was, this all could have been avoided if there was more awareness and compassion and less hasty judgement in this world. What is it about humanity that we are so quick to judge and then voice our opinion when we have little information or experience? After having a special needs child I would never presume to give someone else parenting advice unless asked for help. I also shy away from casting stones at another person's parenting for the shear fact that I would hope people would be as gentle with me and my haphazard parenting.

My network of friends grows with my age but it has morphed from people who share common interests to people who share common experiences.  I can look into my friend's eyes and see the exact same emotions and challenges but watch as they deal with them in their own unique way. We may be an abnormal bunch but we wouldn't have it any other way.

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