It ain’t easy having one of “those” kids

by Janelle Hanchett


Before I had kids, I used to look at other people’s offspring and think to myself “Why is that kid so annoying? Why don’t they do something to fix it (and by “it,” of course, I was referring to the child in question).

And then I had my first kid, and knew she wasn’t going to be one of the annoying models, because I would nip that shit in the bud and mold her into a well-behaved non-irritating version.

And to be honest, it kind of worked (well, I thought it did. Now I realize kids are who they are and parental guidance is probably not the ultimate determinate of a kid’s behavior. It turns out THEY HAVE PERSONALITIES! (who woulda thunk it?)). At any rate, my oldest kid has always been a level-headed, engaged, poised child. She sits in restaurants, chatting with adults. She generally obeys the first time you ask her to do something. She’s independent, self-motivated, focused , and driven. She does well in school. She remembers to brush her teeth and floss, and write in her journal and write thank-you notes, and she does her homework without being asked, and knows how to keep calm when necessary, hanging out with adults with a grace and confidence we all find immensely appealing. She is the quintessentially not-annoying child. Damn, she makes me look good. She blows my mind on a daily basis.

Ah, but then I had Rocket.

And let’s be honest: Rocket is, on a regular basis, really freaking annoying.

Why lie? He is.

He’s loud, intense, and constantly moving. He’s like a tornado that makes noise. Most of the time, if Rocket is awake, he’s knocking things down and pissing his sisters off. He’s tying things together and rigging up traps and filling the sink with water and forgetting about it. He’s making the most irritating heart-stopping nails-on-chalkboard screeches you’ve ever heard in your life. He’s making sounds no human has ever made before, and should never make again.

He’s banging toys and accidentally breaking things, often.

He’s not brushing his teeth.

He’s ignoring your orders.

He’s drawing on the door of the car rather than opening it.

He’s forgetting his backpack in the backseat, and his lunch on the counter, again.

His shoes are in the bathroom but he can’t find them because by the time he gets down the hall he forgets what he was looking for.

He’s poking and prodding and flailing and flinging himself off the couch. He’s “hi-ya”-ing the folded laundry pile with a stick he brought in from the backyard.

He’s up in your business. He’s right against your body. He doesn’t always know when to quit.

He’s playing too hard, a little too long (and you find yourself saying “Rocket, please stop!” ALL.DAY.LONG.)

It’s a strange moment when you realize you have a kid that irritates people. It’s a piercing reality when you see the look in people’s eyes, saying “This boy, he’s too much.” And you see that The Excessively Uptight pretty much can’t stand being in the presence of your son. Sometimes, they’re mean to him, and you want to break their faces with blunt objects, and grab your boy and fold him up back into your belly, where the assholes don’t exist and he’s safe.

But you know what’s the most amazing feeling in the world? When you realize you don’t give a shit what they think, and you’re set free from the insane notion that your kids should all fit perfectly all the time into society’s idea of a “well-behaved” child.

I have a boy who doesn’t fit. He doesn’t fit in school. (He “makes up Kung-Fu movies in his head” during class.) He’s seven years old and not reading yet. He gets “below basic” marks in every area on his report card.

And you know what? I don’t care. And I’ll tell you why:

The other day he was playing with 9 cubes and he all the sudden said “If I had four groups of these cubes I’d have 36.” And I asked him “Dude, Rocket, how’d you know that?” and he said “I don’t know. I saw it in my head.”

And he’s fascinated with planets and cranes and mechanical devices (he’ll stare at a gadget forever, until he can explain how it works). He builds complex Lego systems and memorizes how to get to places in other cities even though we’ve only been there once.

(He told me when he was five he was “born with maps in his brain.”)

He’ll listen to Jimi Hendrix for hours and after hearing Miles Davis he said “This music seems simple, but it’s actually really complicated. Will you get me some more jazz music?”

His heart’s so big it’s like a constantly exploding star. When he gets upset he looks at me and says “Mama, I LOVE YOU,” as if that’s what’s going to fix it, that’s where his strength comes from, from loving others, and hearing that they love him back.

And I do.

I love him so much my heart breaks sometimes just looking at him, my little son, because I can’t believe I could cherish anything as much as I do that little boy.

And his teachers say he’s doing just fine, when I get worked up and want some answers, about why he isn’t reading yet, and why he just won’t quite fit. They say he’s a natural leader and a joy in class and they love him as much as I do, well, almost.

If I were honest, I’d say “why isn’t he meeting my expectations? Why isn’t he fulfilling MY VISION?”

Because he’s somebody else, doing something else, that maybe I don’t understand.

And yeah, sometimes it’s fucking annoying.

But the rest of the time, I listen for his music, and hear the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard, and I feel more alive myself, watching this kid dance moves I’ve never seen before, feeling my feet start moving right alongside him, knowing if I practice long enough, we’ll be dancing together.

  • jen

    this is a beautiful post…makes me cherish the differences in my beasts…they dont fit a mould and thank christ for that…lovely words..thankyou.

    • renegademama

      thank you, Jen.

      • Amy

        <3 Thanks so much for sharing this <3 Tears of joy and understanding for me, too :o). You're an eloquent writer, and clearly an awesome Mommy <3 Rocket sounds a LOT like my 2 (and like me, too). We are Aspies: we have a thing (blessing and a curse, as with most things) called Asperger's Syndrome, though none of us have the official diagnosis (yet!) I mention it because I didn't know that about myself until we started seeing signs of it in our son, and understanding that it's part of us has been essential in making the everything easier <3. Understanding the anxiety and different learning style; food training so we can tolerate a wider variety of foods; help with pragmatics and behaviors, sensory issue self-regulation (ie coping with loud noises, tickling, bright lights, etc), using obsessions to teach or calm… Different is good; my little man is amazing in oh, so many ways =) All the best to you and your little ones <3

      • Helen

        Hi, I recently found this website and thought it amazing.So many of us think in pictures and don’t fit the boxes or tick the squares…. we are meant for a purpose so be happy and delight in the differences.

    • Jeremy

      Tears in my eyes too. Stumbled onto this site and so happy i did. My little guy is the world to me, but man he can make you just want to scream sometimes! Your words fill me with joy and remind me to appreciate the one-of-a-kind beauty that is my little “tornado”. A momma friend was discussing a fail/triumph during potty training the other day. I responded that I think all of parenting is a form of fail/triumph. My little guy has brought me higher highs and lower lows than I thought possible and he’s not even 3 yet. I wouldn’t trade him for anything.
      Much love, J

    • Pam

      As a teacher, I’ve seen lots of those boys and girls. We understand , but also see the other side of that ‘annoying’ child. I actually like to celebrate that because I , to , can be more than a little annoying. Listen to the teachers. We love those kids!! I don’t want a class full of ‘perfect’. Life is not like that. Choose to enjoy!!

      • joanne

        Pam, So thankful for teachers like you! Can you teach my son? so far, his teachers have not wanted to try to understand him… let me know which school you are at!!



    • Amelia

      Thank You! As I was reading this post I felt lime you could see into my house and into my mind. My oldest IS our familys Rocket. They could be twins. The comments about maps and his brain telling him so etc are all things he has said to us. He absolutely has to know how everything works. He can be so loud and intense and just plain crazy fearless aat times…ok, most of the time. Ive been told so many times that its my fault he is the way he is because I dont/didnt do this or that or the right way, Ive pretty much felt like a complete failure asa mom. We think part of his extra quirks are from SPD and he will be tested for itnext month so we can get him in OT to help but over all hes just a 6 year old boy with a brain constantly in overdrive. Thank you for your post. I dont feel so alone.

      • Sara

        My son was diagnosed with SPD too, and did OT once a week this year and it helped
        Tremendously! Plus I learned some great soothing tricks for him to help him wind his energy down. Pressure on his body, swinging motions, and soft/silky textures are all soothing for him. So when we are in a store or something and he’s all
        Ramped up and can’t stop moving/touching/jumping out of his skin and is having trouble focusing – I give him a big squeezy hug and away side to side, and he will usually reach behind me and play with my pony tail. I can feel his whole body melt. It’s so awesome!

    • Coneets

      great post… My kid is that kid and i love him to BITS 🙂 he to looks at me and says Mommy I love you… and waits for me to say it back 🙂 Melts my heart every single time.

  • Sarah Fowlie

    tears in my eyes. I’ve got one of those. Kooky, brilliant little wally that he is. And he’s my only (and like to stay that way) so he’s got a whole heap of my expectations laying on his shoulders. And it’s nice. To leave that at the door and just let him be. And love him. And let him love me back (without being gruff, apologetic, grumpy). Thank you for a lovely post.

    • renegademama

      “brilliant little wally…”

      so good. thank you.

  • Aschala

    If I didn’t know better, I would think you were writing about my kid. Wonderful post! If you’re ever in Sac & want a “playdate” with another loud, annoying, super awesome kid, please send me an email.

  • Elizabeth

    you have a visual spatial kid like me!!! love them….great resource “Upside Down Brilliance” I gave a copy to each of my sons teachers too

  • Marina

    Thanks for this, because I suspect I have one of those kids too – our first, a boy, and just … ‘hurricane’ is the word most people use. A loving, empathetic, music-adoring, number-fixated two year old who CANNOT stop moving. I didn’t realise how extreme it all way till I watched a friend read to her daughter and realised she were curled up on her lap instead of jumping from foot to foot. Or dancing. That’s our quiet time: I read to him, while he hops in place…

    Needless to say, I adore him. Not what I expected (I’m sedentry and bookish) but it’s so much fun! I can’t wait to see what he’ll become. And I can’t wait to meet his little brother, due any day now. We might just be a family of robust furniture and lots of outdoor time, which might not be quite what I’d pictured (me and my daughters, discussing Virginia Woolf together … That’s what I pictured, more fool me) but there’s something about being the trusted repository for THAT MUCH love and energy and passion and enjoyment of life which makes me catch my breath and delight in my child.

  • Rtaylo

    After having a mtg at school yesterday and being a mom to a porcupine (prickly on the outside and soft on the inside) boy this is exactly what I need to read today. Thank you

  • Claire

    Holy cow I was just thinking the same thing about my two the other day. Child 1 is just like you oldest. Child 2 is just like Rocket. On extremely bad days, I think to myself, if Child 2 had come first, I would have never had another kid. But then I remember how amazing each one is in their own way.

    • Julie

      I say the same about my youngest, in a joking manner, he’s a whirlwind! Shouts, runs, loud as can be! I’ve said many times, if I had my youngest first he may of been an only child instead of one of three! My eldest is ADHD/CAPD/undiagnosed sensory, but he isn’t like his little brother. My eldest CAN go off on tangents, sing when he “should” be doing other things, dawdle, procrastinate, bounce off the walls etc.
      I obviously wouldn’t change any of them for all the tea in China (all the money in the world is a different matter-jokes!) they all take after me with much of their father chucked in too! What’s not to love? 😀

  • Ashley

    Love this post! It couldn’t of came at a better time for me! P.S Your site is GREAT!

  • Marisa

    I have one child. She is like your oldest. I have friends who have children like Rocket. Some are impressed with my daughter, but I just remind them, it’s her personality. She’s easy, I tell her what she needs to do and she does it.

    I love children like Rocket. When I was teaching, to be honest, those children were my favorite.

  • MamaHawk

    Rocket and Jeremy are two peas from the same beautiful pod. *swoon* I was just thinking yesterday about the great pic of the two of them when Rocket was about 4 months old and was giving Jeremy a knowing eye. Pure hearts and energy, those two. I just think, all those other Excessively Uptight mothers will never have the joy of hearing a perfectly sophisticated and spontaneous mash up of gangnam style and Twelve Days of Christmas.

    Love you!

  • Kathy G

    Other than when he was three years old and disruptive in the local library pissing off the old farts, my son was not a “rocket”, he was quite a bit quieter but always in a different world. At first his teachers said he was passive ADD. I refused to medicate. My son had no problem concentrating, he just preferred to concentrate on other things. He is a thinker and a dreamer. He is a writer and a comic. He is an artist and an arguer. He is not a people pleaser. He is a picky eater. He listend to every kind of music he could get his hands on. He made up big whoppers about how he wrote code for games, wrote music and produced movies on YouTube, traveled over Europe when he was in middle school. His counselors briefly suggested he was mentally unbalanced and might be a shooter a la Viginia Tech d/t his obsession with Green Day lyrics. (he is not). He still finds inappropriate things immensely hilarious. He did not give a shit about homework through his entire school career until he got to community college where he is now a scholar. Go figure. He still will hardly get up before noon unless he has a class or has to go to work. He will still stay up all night playing video games. His room is still a contender for hoarders. He hasn’t fallen in love yet. He does love his Mom, Dad, and his dog. He also loves logic and philosophy (which he discovered in 9th grade). He is 20 and does not want a car. He has voluntarily gone up before a crowd of people and performed a stand up routine he wrote twice and according to him, bombed each time. He hates team sports. He can strike up conversation with anyone and likes to meet and get to know unusual people but has no use for assholes. At various times in high school he has wanted to be a minister, a bartender, a stand-up comedian, a psychologist, a surgeon, a lawyer, Ralph Nader or Cesar Chavez. Now he wants to write comedic screenplays and novels. He can live here forever if he wants. He is a constant unfolding joy and a sometimes pain in the neck.

    • TeriTyner

      Oh Kathy G….you give me hope! It was almost like you were describing my own spawn (who is now 14). Brilliant, but totally uninterested in applying this brilliance to anything academic. He is passing, barely. His room looks like an animal lives there…loves it when its clean (read: when I clean it)but cannot/will not maintain the level of order and cleanliness I would like to see. If I have learned anything from my son, its “relax…let it will be fine”. He has forced me to have faith. Not sure if this is a good thing or not, but I’m going with it!!

    • renegademama

      I absolutely loved your comment, Kathy. It gives me hope and energy and inspiration. thank you thank you!

  • Renee'

    Beautiful post – I totally get it. My oldest grandson is a “Rocket” and I couldn’t love him more. He beats to a different drum, his own drum. His actions frustrate you one moment and the next, he is hugging you telling you that you are the best grandma on the face of the earth. I love kids like him; he is the kind of kid that keep life interesting. These children are amazing and we, as adults, have to keep that in perspective! Thanks for the post!

    • renegademama

      This is identical to my boy (as you said). One second he’s driving me nuts the next second he’s kissing his baby sister’s head saying “I can’t take her cuteness!”

  • Penny

    Oh boy do I have one! In fact, I think Dylan was even more annoying than Rocket at Rocket’s age. Always in trouble with every other mother giving me the evil eye. I actually sold my home and moved to another town to insulate him.

    He does get a little less annoying with each year of growth, or maybe I become more tolerant of it? All I know is that the kid makes be laugh until my stomach hurts! He is not a clone or cut out of the disney channel and I love him for blazing his own trail, even if the trail is on fire behind him.

    I only have three years left before he is hatched. Wish I had twenty more.
    Rocket is a GREAT kid. I’m jealous you have 10 more years with him. Enjoy it!

    • renegademama

      Dylan is one of my favorite teenagers. The first time Mac met him he said “I really like that kid.” I hope Rocket grows up to be just like him. I genuinely enjoy the company of your son, and that’s pretty weird considering he’s 15! 🙂 you’ve helped me a lot Penny. Thank you.

  • Shan

    Love this. And him. And you.

  • Wraste

    I was a Beastly Child. My mother dealt with it by removing me from the situation.
    I’m happy that you’ve come to terms with the personality of your child. I’m happy that you love him, as is good. But I have no understanding of why you would subject other people to him and not teach him what is and is not acceptable in public.
    It may be a hard lesson to learn, but it CAN be learned. I learned it and I was the same as Rocket.
    You wanna let him be a wild thing at home? Excellent. Teach him that being free and wild at home is “the thing to do.” But then instill the need for restraint in public.

    It’s part of the social contract that I feel many parents have lost sight of.

    • renegademama

      I knew there’d be somebody who interpreted my words as “I let my kid do whatever the hell he wants like a wild hellion.” Yeah, I don’t. That’s my whole point. I’m constantly struggling to teach him the “social contract” most of us find so easy to adapt to. But rather than punish and demean him, I work to recognize that he is different indeed, but enjoys his own form of creativity and brilliance that shouldn’t be destroyed merely because people (ahem, like you) may get annoyed.

      “Subject people to him?!” Nice.

      I have a question for you: why would you subject people to your baseless accusations and unfounded assumptions?

      Don’t you know that violates the “social contract” between well-behaved adults?

    • Penny

      And…comments like that is why I sold my house and moved to a more kid friendly community.

      Normal childhood behavior is not a disease, it is not bad parenting, it is simply age appropriate trial and error learning on the part of the child. They do not need to be “subjected” to negative opinions from adults who make them feel as if they are “bad” kids and are of less value because they have not internalized some unspoken social rule. They simply need to test the rule, to see how it applies, and adjust according tho their learning style and personality. Nothing more!

      Although my child has made all the social mistakes possible, he is also the 14 year old boy who drop everything to help you when you need it the most, asking for nothing in return. He will sit with the toddler on his lap and play with her for hours because he enjoys her spirit.

      So what if he dances and screams when you deem it in inappropriate. He has a beautiful soul and adults can learn a lot by his example.

      • Megan

        It sounds like you did the right thing by moving to a community with more kids. I don’t have kids. There are some I love, but mostly I find them hard to be around. This doesn’t mean that I don’t understand that kids are kids, or that parents are doing their best to raise them right. I get that. It’s just that the screaming and breaking branches off of trees and pulling dogs’ tails gets old really fast when you are not a parent.

    • Penny

      And may I add, we as moms, do not “let them” do anything. They do it all on their own because they are often strong willed. If I beat him, you would label me a child abuser, but if I accept him and all his struggles, I am “letting him” be a wild thing and subjecting him to others.

      Very offensive!

      • renegademama

        GO PENNY!!!!! Get ‘im! (or her, but whatever)

        • Melissa

          I find these mommy blogs so very interesting and yet so very the same: look I’m cool I use swear words and belittle my child in a forum that his friends and future employers will one day see, but it’s OK because I’m kind of funny.

          Then you have the comments, OH the comments.

          The ego pumping, glorifying comments are left and the ‘other’ comments are met with sarcastic rage oriented at properly shamming the commenter for having the audacity to be honest and not use the word ‘love’ 12 times.

          What exactly are you teaching your child by being so defensive towards a person that has a perfectly legitimate point of view? So people that have a different paradigm than you are to be lambasted for their alternative points of view because the differing opinion clearly does not support your paradigm/(what everyone’s paradigm should be) and if you don’t property sham this person the world might will explode.

          You say yourself you find your child to be irritating and annoying yet you deny the fact that you ‘subject people’ to that kind of behavior, well, every day I would assume. What a positively delightful little world you must live in!

          Congratulations on being a tiresome, bore like all the rest.

          • Liv

            Hey look! A troll!

            Whoops – better be careful about “shamming” her. Might come back to bite me.

            Seriously though – I totally get you. It all seems so easy when you have no kids and you’re watching that brat at the mall thinking – why doesn’t his mother/father get him under control”? Real life doesn’t work that way.

      • nasta

        well i have one of those too 🙂 sooo happy i found this blog and sooo happy I am not alone with a child with “personality”

      • Jessica

        I hate trying to decide between wanting people to think I “let” my son do whatever he wants or spanking him and being the mean mom with the crying kid that says “stupid mama, don’t hurt me.”

        • marigold

          jessica, be the mom people think is letting her son do whatever he wants.
          These children will tell you when you are hurting them unjustly. Mine looked me straight in the eyes and told me, “YOU DO NOT HIT!” just like I’d taught him a few years prior.

          Use your words. 🙂

    • Mom of 5

      let me guess wraste….you have no kids!? Only someone with no kids could make such an ignorant statement! well, actually that’s not true either….plenty of people with kids make such ignorant statements, that’s usually because they are…Ignorant!!

      • renegademama

        Over here at Renegade Mothering, we don’t take any shit from anybody — AND I LOVE IT.

        Seriously, you women are my heroes, movin’ in and schoolin’ old what’s his face (her face?).

        It’s just so good.

    • Cath

      I have 2 ‘Rockets’. Sometimes you can’t leave. Sometimes grocery shopping just has to get done. I have left stores nearly in tears because of judgemental looks from people who obviously share that attitude. Sure, my reaction is my problem etc etc. Still, think about YOUR actions.

      • Megan

        It’s not personal. Please know that. It’s nothing about you at all. If we did know you, I’m sure we’d like you and your kids. It’s that your kids, whom we do not know any more than we know you, are making our grocery store experience miserable. We know you have a right to be there and need to get your things too, and we try to time it so we won’t be there at the same time as you, but when it turns out that there is no escaping you, it puts us in a bad mood. It can’t be helped and no one is saying you should do anything different, but you can’t expect your fellow shoppers to delight in your children the way you do.

        • Amy

          If you are not a mother you will never understand the way your world gets flipped upside down when your child isn’t the “perfect” one that society thinks they should be.First off is you are not a parent why are you putting your opinion in on a mommy blog anyway.Second you are not walking in any of our shoes! This is great so glad I got to read it because I know how alone you can feel when u have a child with personality!!

          • Andrew

            Amy, you are coming off as sort of a real b$@#%$. I’m not going to itemize the reasons why, because you won’t get it anyway.

    • Tiffanymomof5

      So I’m a mother of one of those children. He is 9 now,an because of people who think like you and pass it onto your children, my son is labeled at school as different and undesirable. He is the sweetest kid and will defend his friends to his last breath. But he doesn’t have any in out new place we moved into because of snobby stuck up people with the attitude there must be something wrong with him because he is different than us. Open your eye, stop judging people, and especially stop judging children and fellow mothers and fathers as we struggle to raise successful and quality human beings.

  • shauna

    girl, he is a brilliant boy. our schools generally don’t do enough to coonect with kids so bright. you already know all of this. i’m honored to be apart of your world, where i get to peek in on how he will grow and change this world. thanks!

  • Katie Vyktoriah

    My little guy is just starting to develop his personality, just in time for the birth of his little brother in a few weeks. I keep thinking I won’t be able to cope, as he’s SO overly rambunctious and… well… he’s a BOY. He’s the most affectionate wonderful amazing little guy I’ve ever known, but he is also a terrifying handful. If I end up with two like this, I think I may go insane!

    But this post reminds me how very much in love with him I am. And even though he refuses to settle down for even one minute of his hyperactive day, I wouldn’t change a thing about him.

    You have such a way with words. x

  • missy

    my middle kid just started reading now that he is 9 1/2, now that his brain is good and ready and not quite so busy building engineer neurons. yes, that would be almost 5 years (half of his life!) of people asking him to read, expecting him to read. and him not reading. your Rocket’s a lucky guy to have teachers and parents who appreciate him.

    • Laura

      This also describes my son. My love and appreation of him grows everyday! However my response is more about the reading concerns. Many boys need direct instruction in phonics. If your child has a hard time calling words of the page ( sort of stutters while they read or poor spelling) PLEASE investigate WILSON READING SYSTEM. It is an amazing multisensory approach to treaching kids to call the words off the page.

  • Lisa

    I have 2 boys, and both can be incredibly annoying. They are always doing too much, never understanding when enough is enough. They annoy people everywhere I go, and I had them thinking I was going to mold them into the “non-annoying” kids I expected everyone to have before I was a parent. Oh how I see the error of my ways! When I found out my older boy had Asperger’s, it started to make sense. It is being a crazy little boy like they all are, but on steroids. At times I see my friends little girls and wish I had it so easy…but they are such smart and loving little guys, and who really cares what everyone else thinks!!

  • WorkingMommaWithABaby

    Before my son was born, I ready EVERY available baby book that discussed how to shape your kids into perfect little adults. I thought I would be a hot shot mom with the most well-behaved kid ever. You know what? I forgot to account for his personality. He is almost two years old and I can tell that he isn’t going to fit the social mold. And honestly, it just makes me sad that we have a standard “mold.” My kiddo isn’t going to be told to “be acceptable” to others. He is loving, smart, and funny. That’s acceptable to the people that matter.

  • Jenny

    Thank you so much for actually putting into words the thoughts that are in my head! It is so comforting to know that I am not alone! I don’t have any kids of my own but I look after 8 little ones 5 days a week which is so amazing to be able to do but sometimes I feel like I am stuck on an island with no one who gets what I’m going through on a daily basis…. you do!
    Thank you so much for writing!

    • renegademama

      Eight little ones FIVE DAYS A WEEK? My goodness lady, you probably know more about kids than I do. And kudos to you for trying to understand them. But seriously, EIGHT? That must seriously increase the annoying factor.

  • Christina

    Oh Rocket, If you were my student I would always look out for you! I have a major soft spot for the kids that “annoy” other adults.

    And Janelle, my daughter is that girl too. I worry, all the time, that she will be labeled or hurt by those that cannot see the amazingly charismatic, vibrant, shinning little human that she is through all the annoying little pestering she does.

    Like for instance booby trapping the front entry last night (lots of tying things up was involved)to protect us from harm while we slept and in the process loosing my car keys which I could not find this morning and was 10 minutes late to work!

    ~sigh~ best of intentions! Gotta love her!

  • Mom of 5

    Yes, I do have a child just like that!…actually I have 2!, but seriously I have 3 like that!! 2 of my kids were considered the “easy” ones. After 5 kids the one thing I have learned is that…I know NOTHING! They all have such different personalities, and as they get older, they change as well. My “easy” daughter became not so easy when she hit 7th grade, and my “hard” daughter completely mellowed out when she hit 4th grade. Not only do kids go through stages in life, just like we do, but as they get older they learn how to cope and manage in better ways just as we do. Your boy sounds absolutely PERFECT to me.

    • renegademama

      I learn so much from you, Mom of 5. Please keep coming back and writing things. Please!?

      • Mom of 5

        Thank you Janelle! I learn so much from you as well!.. and as long as you keep writing, so will I!! <3

  • Emma Woo

    I just discovered your blog and wanted to thank you for helping me through a shitty day. I was up all night vomiting and am now looking after my three mental children on my own. I have just sat here and laughed until I cried and now I feel I have the strength to go on.

  • Chazzzman

    I loved this so much. You are very lucky.

  • Kimmi

    AMEN! I love reading your blog posts… well said, really enlightening and so honest and true. Keep it up!!

  • Heidi

    Society has never had a place for the brilliant non-conformists. But all you mamas be unashamed and raise those boys up good because they will be the ones who alter history and save the next generations… then who will be laughing??

  • mikki

    Rocket sounds like my girl. I want to keep her her but teaching her how to be herself and to fit in just isn’t working. So I just love her sensitive brave little heart and wipe her tears and listen to her loud loud laugh.

    One thing though, bring Rocket to a GOOD developmental optometrist, just to make sure there are no visual perceptual issues interfering with reading! If you want I can get names for you in your area if you email me where your area is. I know somewhere in CA but if you give a city i’ll give a name.

  • Helena Villarta

    Your blog, which I was introduced to today, has made me cry, smile,scream, laugh (resulting in me peeing in my knickers, courtesy of the prolapsed bladder my youngest gave me as a thank you gift for bringing her into this crazy world)all in the space of half an hour- to my husband’s amusement, I shoul add. More importantly, it made me go upstairs to my still-awake children (at 10 pm, they must’ve read your post on sleep training while I wasn’t watching them!) and get into their beds, cuddle up with them for a while and embrace the fact that they are who they are and not who other people (sometimes me, I have to confess) expect them to be. (All this despite the fact that I’d spent the last hour, yelling from downstairs, telling them to go to sleep.) Made me tell them the most honest ‘I love you’ of the day, one that came from the bottom of my heart, one that almost hurt as I said it.
    Made me stop feeling an inadequate mum, with my first child because I fell in the trap of trying to meet other people’s expectations and with my second, because I didn’t give a shining shit about their expectations and decided to do it my way, or more accurately, my child’s and mine, ‘our way’.
    You must’ve been told this a million times but, do you know when you first read about all those feelings that you know oh so well but that you’ve never been able to describe or put into words? Well, this is it. This is what I felt when I read your posts. In my little, crazy -or maybe not so crazy- world, you have just become the Bruce Springsteen of motherhood. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • Tina

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Beautifully written. My daughter is also a little “rocket”, and often have I found myself questioning our parenting skills or asking myself why we can’t have a “normal” child. One minute she will be this brilliant, lovely, caring 6-year-old, the next minute she’ll be this whining, reliant little brat, that just drives you bat. shit. crazy.
    She also finds reading and writing incredibly hard, but numbers? She looooves them, if it was up to her, maths would be the only subject in school. We are very lucky to have found a great private school for her, where she is accepted for who she is, not what she can do or how she behaves. And we are trying to let her be, and not feel bad about her weirdness, but embrace it. It’s not easy, is it, with people giving you the look and waggling their fingers under your nose…but we’ll manage. You seem to be doing a great job, by the way. I love your blog and can’t believe I have only just discovered it.

  • Debby

    I can hardly see through the tears as I write this! THANK-You for validating my son and me as his mother! He is 13 now and we still struggle through many things, but he is truly the most loving human being I have ever met and he has taught me a world of lessons that I keep forgetting and of which I am so thankful he reminds me! He can make me laugh like no one else on this earth! The amount of work he must do on a daily basis just to focus and do what most of us find easy humbles me. Again, THANK-You.

  • Mari Gomez

    Thank you for the laugh! I could so very much relate to almost everything you have written (mine isnt in school yet). Yes, its not easy having one of “those”, and its not easy dealing with the looks of disaproval from the rest of the world, nor hearing “My God! What’s wrong with him? So and So (older siblings) wasnt like this!!” For the longest time, I didnt understand what was happening. Now I know. I love my baby through and through.

  • Athena Hammond

    I have just visited this blog for the first time and am so heartened to see so many women trying their asses off to embrace the kookiness of their kids. I too am the proud owner of a child who was spectacularly annoying for much of his young life. He drove most people bananas with his endless insane ideas and activities (including me, as a single mum) and never stopped talking. Really, even in his sleep. Now, at 15, he is a total fucking winner. Hilarious, loving, kind, a bit mental and perfectly able to be quiet for extended periods of time. Thanks so much for reminding me how awesome “those” kids can be.

    • renegademama

      Isn’t it amazing that so many rad women have gathered here? I feel super lucky, every time I read their comments. I love that you called your boy “spectacularly annoying.” Well said, and welcome!

      • Athena Hammond

        Thank you, I’m looking forward to plundering your entire back catalogue of posts!

  • Stacy

    This was great…

    Question… Have you considered having your son evaluated for possible autism? I know… Scary word… My daughter is so similar to what you described. She was diagnosed with high functioning autism this past fall, and while i am not so mich into labels, u derstanding her diagnosis has really helped me manage behavior, and have more patience when the crazyness arises.

    In no way am I trying to offend… Just thought i would share my experience

  • Stacy

    This was great…

    Question… Have you considered having your son evaluated for possible autism? I know… Scary word… My daughter is so similar to what you described. She was diagnosed with high functioning autism this past fall, and while i am not so mich into labels, u derstanding her diagnosis has really helped me manage behavior, and have more patience when the crazyness arises.

    In no way am I trying to offend… Just thought i would share my experience.

  • Louise

    absolutely gorgeous. that rocket is going to go places farther than our eyes allow us to see.

  • Mallorie

    I just pissed my pants reading this. I dropped off some dinners to an elderly couple last night. I was so tired from running around all day. My kid proceeded to climb all over their furniture. She looked kind of horrified but in my head I was like “fuck it. Im bringing you dinner”. She turned to me and said “we have 18 grand and great grand children,” Oh thank God was my only response.

  • Jesica

    Oh my goodness I love this post! I too have a child like Rocket, he goes by the name of “Hurricane” most days. He is intense, loud, emotional, wild, and fiercely loving. One minute he is driving me bonkers with his intense need to argue a moot point, and the next minute he is squeezing the life out of me with a giant hug and telling me I am the most beautiful mother in the entire world. He is absolutely exhausting but exhilarating all at once!

  • SHellyvonb

    This blog f*cking rocks. I do not have kids, and I am taking all of these hilarious, poignantly well written posts straight to heart. Your little rocket sounds a lot like how my current boyfriend was in his childhood- hugely empathetic, music aficionado, hyperactive, a wikipedia brain constantly ‘on’ and had a tough time in school, even though he was ‘gifted’ and struggling with the feeling of being an intruder who didn’t belong, on the cusp of being ‘found out’. He is now 40, manages a server for a huge international company and just discovered that he is on the autistic spectrum with aspergers. It can be daunting going there, but knowledge is definitely power in cases like this. Your boy sounds like an absolute treasure – and from my experience it sounds like there’s more to it than personality.

  • Lauren

    Thank you for this post! I don’t have kids but it creates a new perspective for me. I see little kids all of the time and think to myself “Why doesn’t that child’s parent control them or do something about them?! They’re so OBNOXIOUS!” But this brings all of those things back into perspective. We need to love these children for the crazy, brilliant, irritating, precious little gems that they are. They don’t need to be changed or forced into a mold of “the perfect child”, they need to be accepted and loved. We have to recognize their talents and their gifts, even when they aren’t the conventional talents. Maybe he’s not reading but he’s doing wonderfully with math and music. Now, I will be less likely to glare at “annoying” kids and their parents and realize I should be taking notes. I should be enjoying life as much as the little one is, because they aren’t concerned with what I think or what anyone else thinks. We should all take notes from little kids that love to have fun.

  • Kendra

    Thank you SO much for this post!!!
    I definitely have one of ‘those’ kids … And I say: ‘to hell with all those smug parents of one well-behaved child!’

  • Angela H

    Um. I LOVE this. Thank you for putting into words something I have been unable to do.

  • Ellisha

    My Malcolm sounds a lot like your Rocket. Thank you for reminding me to accept him as he is. It’s hard.

  • Katie

    I totally have one of those kids. My 3-year-old bounces off the walls from the second she wakes up until we force her to lay down and sleep at night. Before I had her I would look at my oldest child, who was fairly well behaved, sat at movies and restaurants, and listened when I spoke with her, and think to myself…parents with one of “those” kids aren’t doing something right. BOY WAS I WRONG!!!!! My youngest is so very loving but can drive me up the wall!! So glad that I am not alone in this.

  • Kaleigh Bowden

    I swear you’re talking about my Silas. It breaks my heart when people say that he’s “too much to handle” or ask me if he has ADHD or something wrong with him. He’s just Silas and I love him for every loud, forgetful, defiant thing he is.
    I also relate because I was that kid and I remember not being invited to birthday parties or left out of “quiet events” but I know that I will do for him what my mother did for me and that is love single quirk.

    Even if I want to put my head through the wall sometimes. Seriously. How do they hit that screeching note? I couldn’t if I tried.

  • Not ready to admit it

    Wow. Just wow. I have “that” kid as well. I wish I didn’t give a ahit bit I do.
    My heart has broken for him more times than I can count. He struggles with friendships. He is intense and there is no question how he feels, if he’s happy the world is great, if he’s mad you know it, and if he feels emotional pain he screams and screams and screams. He is 6 and he “should know better” but he just can’t control his intense reactions, and the more he DOES controll his emotions the more intense he is when he losses control.
    Thank you for not letting me feel not so alone if even for just a little while.

  • Melzie

    ahh you don’t know how much I needed to read this and be reminded of the truth within it. thank you thank you thank you.

  • Patti

    This totally just made me tear up, on the train. You asshole. I have my very own Rocket and he is just as awesome…and annoying 🙂

  • Layla Sing-Lee

    Loved this article!!! You have described my 7 year old to a T. Thank You. I needed this 😉 xx

  • Dana

    Oh, I get this. My daughter is that kid for us, in her own unique dramatic anxious loud sensitive high needs way. It’s exhausting and most people don’t get it – how hard it is for us and who she really is beneath all the crazy.

    Your posts are so dead on and so familiar that it makes me feel less alone in this crazy parenting world. Thanks for telling like it is and being hilarious.

  • Boxertdog

    If your boys don’t act like that you worry about them.

  • Carley

    I loved this! And just like many have said, sounds just like my kid! My oldest son has always been busy, too busy to sleep even, wheels always turning. I’ve had many teachers receive one of my now famous strongly-worded emails because of their treatment of my baby boy. He’s almost 15 now and I swear he never stops moving or thinking! He was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome when he was 8. Such an amazing kid! People need to learn compassion for these super busy, super sweet kids!

  • Louisa

    I know you wrote this almost two years ago, but I just discovered it. Great post! Describes my little one to a T. His highs are HIGH and his lows are LOW. He is always moving, always talking, and always pushing the boundaries, but I never realized I could love anyone as much as I love him. It’s hard not to take it personally when people are put off by his intense personality (even his own grandparents sometimes). Everyone seems to think he is over-sugared and under-disciplined. But he really isn’t.

  • Alex

    Ah! I have a Rocket too! I so loved reading this, my heart bursts with love for my “exuberant” five-year-old son… yet for all the judgemental looks I get I could never live another moment without him, he makes my world shine brighter.. and when he’s a big guy I just know he’s gonna take over the world.. Long live the Rockets! xxx

  • ferocioustoad

    I needed this. I feel like you jumped in my head, changed the names to protect the innocent (ha ha) and described my son. He’s a HANDFUL. It’s gotten to the point that we homeschool just so he’ll get an education and we don’t hang out with certain people, including family members, because they can’t hang. My son said the EXACT same thing about maps a few years ago and I was blown away. And music? He’s an AMAZING drummer (not just a proud mama… professionals ask to give him lessons, for free because of his natural ability – which he did NOT get from me) and I suggest you consider it for Rocket. It has helped his focus (7 years old and little focus? Nah…) and I’m ridiculously proud of that. Can you tell? In any case, thank you for your post. You’re pretty rad for being able to be truthful AND loving, because most people just get cold and frustrated. Good show.

  • ~Christy

    I cherish this change in perspective! Thank you so much for sharing this. It’s a gift. Truly.

  • Aphra

    And here I was thinking I was the only mom on the planet who thought, let alone said out loud, that her kid was annoying. Thank you for saying it … ALL of you … so that I can quit feeling so guilty and move on with loving my red-headed tank!

  • Karen Beri

    Usually actually parenting your children will result in a child that you will not view as “annoying”. Without boundaries, enough physical exercise or stimulation “not fucking computers, or games, Ipods or other brain rotting devices most kids will be annoying little assholes. Be a parent, get involved, stop whining and guess what, you will have a child that you will enjoy. Common sense.

    • Nicole

      That’s the whole point, some very well parented kids still don’t fit the “perfect child” mould. If you think she’s winging you didn’t read the article or you have trouble with comprehension.

  • Laura

    I am not the only one?? You made me feel less alone in this world.
    Thank you.

  • Stoatwblr

    I WAS one of those.

    It makes me wonder how the heck my mum put up with it.

  • L.T.

    Admittedly, I’m a child of the 50’s and 60’s, but my father would tolerate no slip in discipline. I was “fidgety” but I got over that after I learned that dad could wail on me with his leather belt for hours (it seemed) until I “acted like a human bean”.

    So if I look at your “hurricane” tearing up the store, it’s not with judgement. Not empathy either, sorry. It is me wondering after 50-odd years: Was my father correct, or do I need a complete do-over? Restitution for the years of belt whipping maybe? Aw heck, just buy my book.

  • Jessica Ayers

    I am literally in tears as I write this while simultaneously hiding in the bathroom from my “annoying” kid. This blog post just freed me of so much guilt, shame, embarrassment, bewilderment and the list goes on. If I saw you in person I’d give you the biggest hug you’ve ever experienced. Instead I hope you settle for this…thank you! You put a voice to nearly every thought and concern I’ve ever had about my son and there is such strength in knowing you are not the only one. Thank you, thank you, thank you! From the bottom of my heart…thank u!

  • LindaQ

    I have one of those too! He is now 26 and how he and I have survived I don’t know except that we say I love you a lot. Keep up the good work

  • Trina

    My little Rocket has recently been seen by an OT. We found out that he needs more sensory input. He can’t sit still and listen because he’s trying to make sense of where he is. He’s not ADHD as was looked for as an easy fix by his Preprimary teacher. We found out that he is very good at attending to his sensory needs (jumping, running, lifting heavy things, sitting really close, high giving really hard). With a little bit of support at school to make sure he gets sensory breaks, he’s beginning to learn his sight words and writing stories. Love my little rocket!

  • Sarah

    This made me tear up. I have a daughter who is wonderful and horrible and annoying as crap. i sometimes wonder how we’re going to make it! Glad to know we’re not alone.

  • jessica

    I know this is an old post but I just found it and can relate. My 4-year-old girl is intense! Side note though — it sounds like your son might have synesthesia. It’s a really cool thing to have (I have it) and the type I have has me seeing numbers and maps in my head in a different way than most people. You should research it. There are many forms but what I have is the spatial form. It’s an awesome superpower!

  • Byrd

    Brought tears to my eyes. My son Elias will be 4 June 18th and is the most wild, silly, hyper, aggravating, smart & loving boy I have ever met! lol he jumps off of furniture, beats his brother up (he plays too rough lol), doesn’t listen, is a little mouthy, but he hasn’t the biggest heart. More people should be like our boys. I love him so much it makes me cry sometimes. He is my best friend. My little protector. He’s truly amazing. Idc what anyone thinks of him. He’s perfect in my eyes. I’m so happy to have come across this. Made my day for sure. Definitely going to hug my baby now. (:

  • Natasha

    This is my child too. My heart has been broken more than once by people making remarks about him, saying they could “fix” him if they had him for a week, blah, blah, blah. He is who he is. I don’t always enjoy it, and I do daydream from time to time about that child that does listen, isn’t resistant or defiant, does well in school, wants to cooperate instead of always pulling in the other direction. The child that fits my mold. But the one I am lucky enough to have is perfect in his own way. I love him every minute of every day. He is who he is and that is more than okay, no matter if he fits any mold in the world or not. No matter if people think he need to be “straightened up” or not. Thank you for this post. ♥

  • rickie

    Maybe it’s because you named him Rocket.

    • renegademama

      Rocket is a nickname, asshole.

  • Kate

    Sounds like you have a little sensory seeker on your hands (my son has full blown Sensory Processing Disorder). While I wouldn’t change my son’s personality for the world he did need occupational therapy to be able to learn to speak and to achieve at his full potential. I suggest getting the book “The Out-of-sync child has fun” or just goggling for ideas for (in particular) “heavy work” activities. Could be just what he needs to get regulated enough to learn to read.

    • Cyndy

      Evaluation (and some advocacy) by an occupational therapist were extremely helpful for both of my kids; wish we’d done it sooner. It was not covered by insurance, but, looking back, I’d pay 5 times as much to have that information and support 5 years earlier.
      (And, the evaluation itself was not miserable, actually almost fun.)

  • Katherine

    I found this through Facebook. I swear you could be describing my five year old. It’s so hard to parent him and as we embark upon school, things are already difficult. I rarely find parents with these same struggles so thank you for making me feel just a little less alone.

  • Loni golden Warrner

    This is so great, I can’t relate so much! My son is so much like yours, especially the city thing just a different type of music!! I’m so glad to have read this and slightly freaked out how much I relate.

  • me

    I’m not seeing this profound message/relief some people seem to be getting from this. It seems like there’s some kind of assumption that all of this can’t be true, while it still being true that the child can learn how to behave in public (or at home), and the idea that the parent IS still responsible for that, and DOES still have the power to change it.

    Yes, children have their personalities and are their own people. They are still people who are learning, taking in, and processing information about how they should behave in given situations. They may not learn that behavior the same way, but it doesn’t mean they can’t learn it. Having two children growing up in the same household and ending up with different personalities doesn’t mean “well- if this one is behaving then /I/ must have done everything right, and the other child just doesn’t have a personality that allows him to behave”. There could be a million reasons for the difference… maybe he learns differently, maybe there were differences, even if subtle and unconscious in how the two kids were disciplined, or treated. I catch those kinds of things in myself all the time- I KNOW if there are times it’s obvious enough for me to catch it, there HAVE to be instances that are more subtle where I don’t.

    I don’t have the handbook for how to be a good parent, all I know is that the results of my parenting will be reflected in them, and if they are being ‘annoying’ in an unreasonable way- especially in public, it’s my duty (to them at the very least even if I decide not to care about everyone else around me in society), to work on that. All I’m really hearing is “my kid can be a handful, but it’s ok since he has some other very awesome parts of his personality”. Is that really profound? You’re just saying that like all people, they have a multi-faceted personality… as expected. But the world is filled with people who are super talented in some way (born leader, great actor, great artist, genius IQ), and yet are jerks to the people around them, and nobody wants to work with them. It seems to me like taking the attitude of “well, I see my child’s brilliance shining through, so who gives a crap if I can’t control his behavior, and he’s not interacting appropriately in public”, is exactly the kind of thing that would foster that type of personality ultimately…

    My kids have their own personalities…totally different pepole. And I’m positive they aren’t going to meet my exact visions/expectations for the people they will ultimately be (what their interests are, what their talents, strengths/weeknesses are), But they WILL continue to pick up and respect the values and expectations I have for how they will be behaving in our home and in public; and that will be the foundation of who they are throughout their lives.

    • Artgirl

      Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Glad you are such a fabulous parent. You obviously do not have a kid like Rocket. Maybe you think you do, but you don’t. If you did you’d have a whole new attitude.

      • Grid

        I don’t have a Rocket. I have a boy of 7. He’s a lovely kid. He CAN be well-behaved, but he’s also defiant and and boisterous and doesn’t do his homework without a struggle. He can read, but he hates to write. His handwriting is a disaster, I wouldn’t care, but he can’t read his own work and neither can his teachers or I. On the other hand, he makes friends easily. He’s clearly charismatic and even attracts friends among the well-behaved. 🙂 He’s incredibly generous and he loves people.

        I’ve almost certainly been over-indulgent of his behaviour. That’s MY personality. But it’s also my responsibility. He will have to live in a world of people who won’t be indulgent of his behaviour. No, I can’t CONTROL him, but I can modify his behaviour and I can certainly choose where I take him and I can impose consequences on him when he doesn’t behave well. I haven’t done that as well as I could.

        I coach kids in sport and I see the impact of Rockets and Sprockets and all the other types of kids on others’ enjoyment and experience. It may not be fair to your kid who’s a bit different, but it’s also not fair to all other mothers’ beloved offspring when their experience is diminished. It’s also not fair on all the other kids when the super-compliant super-stars get snotty about the kids who are less conformist. I try to watch for that, too. When I have to watch out for a kid who’s probably ‘mid-functioning autistic’ (I know that’s not a real diagnosis, but you probably get my drift) so that he doesn’t wander off and drown while trying to teach other kids skills that they really want to learn, it’s frustrating. It’s heartbreaking when one of those kids who’s so keen looks up with me, without malice, and says ‘It’s really hard to learn with X here.” I totally appreciate why his parents are bringing him and I want him to be part of the club, but as the kids grow older and the gap between concentration grows – it’s going to only get harder. (Although thankfully our club is developing a programme for kids like X so he doesn’t have to leave when things get too hard.)

        OK, I do get that while I don’t have a kid like Rocket – I do have my own struggles, too. And it’s not ok to write off my son’s bad behaviour or my own lacklustre (at times) parenting.

  • Cece Yaseen

    Hi, I just want to say that I loved reading this. I have a son who is now 13 years old and i seriously thought you were describing our lives. He has always been a boy with many struggles. For instance making new friends is so hard for him, concentrating and focusing on anything is not at all thing he can do for a period longer then three minutes, he doesn’t seem to understand people have and or need their personal space and i hate to say this but he does sometimes have a tendency to annoy people. He is my first born, I love and will continue to love and be there for him forever but sometimes find myself not knowing what to do with him sometimes when he says or does certain things in front of people. He is delayed academically in some areas but the same with your son my sons teachers all adore him and love him. I do accept him as he is but truthfully i just wish it was a bit easier some days. I have three daughters who are younger then he is and i don’t find myself worrying about them as much as i do him. I just want to say before i write to much and or too long that reading this made me feel better. I know that there are people out there with similar situations and its just nice to hear their stories. It gives me the feeling that its alright and that we as a family will be alright. Thanks so much..

  • Celine

    Renegade! Did you write this about my son??? My first son was the one that all the other parents wish their kid was like. My second son, Phoenix, is just annoying! He annoys me, he annoys my friends, he’s annoying in public. And yet some people just think he is hilarious and love his personality. And the hardest thing is its the same shit that annoys me that makes me think he’s amazing but I find myself wanting to squash squash squash all of that crazy out of him. I’m sure if I did that I would think he was one of those boring kids … Sometimes when he’s watching a movie or doing something quietly he suddenly needs to remind himself (and anyone else in a 5 kilometer radius) that he is still alive and just lets out a three second ear-peircing screech. As I speak he’s screeching over and over because he just hammered some of his dad’s bolts into a 2×4.. Anyway, thank you for your solidarity. Our annoyers will grow up to be bold, strong leaders one day, right?

  • Dinah

    sounds like a fantastic child with great resources! If he continues having trouble reading, take him to a Davis-Method facilitator, to discover even more potential (I’m not one of them, but I have witnessed some amazing results with friends). Check “The Gift of Dyslexia” or “the Gift of Learning” by Ron Davis.

  • Nikki

    Thank you for sharing this. I have a feeling Rocket and my oldest could keep each other busy for quite some time!! Your story was inspiring. Love it.

  • Karina

    I freakin love you and your voice. How incredibly honest, earthy and down right full of heart. Your child is the vision for the future, go with it, run with it and let him teach you. Don’t worry about the reading, he’ll catch up. Do what you are doing best, loving him!

    Thank you for such a great post.

  • Mal

    Who cares what those depressed half-wits think anyways?! I’d much rather be surrounded by people filled with life and love. So glad you appreciate and love him for his strengths. The world needs more people like him. Especially now.

  • Jennifer Crooks

    This post has really made me cry, probably not helped by bring 39 weeks pregnant.
    Your older girl could be my big girl Chloe and your rocket could my crazy boy Dylan.
    He is crazy, crazy in his own wonderful world but he is the most adorable, loving boy I’ve ever met.
    Thank you for this post.

  • Cathy

    Have you been spying on my son too? “the most irritating heart-stopping nails-on-chalkboard screeches you’ve ever heard in your life. ” – yup!

    Thanks for cherishing your Rocket anyway!

    Also, have you seen Reading Eggs? All 3 of my boys love playing it. But don’t worry, when he sees the need for reading, he’ll teach himself in a matter of a week or two and suddenly he’ll be reading technical manuals and Harry Potter and you’ll wonder how it happened! x

  • Meghan

    Your post is awesome. I work with students w special needs and a lot of them are this way. I love them!

  • Cyndy

    I cannot read your blog without crying (and have been tear-ing up throughout the day thinking about it). You see, my “rocket-child” was unfortunate enough to be born first, before I had any confidence as a parent. Sadly, I spent way too long trying to change him, trying to make him be what other people thought he should be. 🙁
    Honestly, I believe that I partially succeeded; hence my tears. In some ways, I did change him. He could not withstand all the pressure from school and the world and sadly from his parents, to not be so _____ ?intense? ?sensitive? ?curious? ?active? (sigh)
    Like on How to Train Your Dragon, “You just gestured to all of me.”

    Thinking I was making him better, I broke him (and let others), and now I just want him back the way he was. My advice to all of you is to love your “rocket-child” (or children) and be patient. IF they have good hearts, if they know love and acceptance, they will learn to be less annoying when it is important. You might be surprised at how good they are at knowing what REALLY matters (possibly better than you and I). Thank you for the blog. Since mine is not quite an adult yet, I will keep trying to nurture my “rocket-child”, but trust me, it is much better to nurture first and tame second – much, much more difficult the other way around.

  • sylvia

    every child has some type of problem or so and every mother faces chanllages in her life….but God does not make mistakes and my son the same way were I just want to pull my hair out but then I think I was not perfect child either and I say he my gift from God no matter what and I love more then anything…..your son cutie pie and gift so enjoy him for one day you just don’t know what happens and they grow up so fast….good luck and god bless you all

  • Leigh

    Such a lovely post made me chuckle as Rocket reminds me very much of my little boy. x

  • Sacha

    This is my boy! He’s seven also and has the most beautiful head of shaggy hair. I actually submitted a piece over at offbeat parenting about my boy. He dances through life by my side, he lives inside his head, he doesn’t read but I’ve figure out it’s because he is so enthralled with stories and plot. He’s interested in The Ukraine. He has such poor body awareness and is so poorly coordinated that it hurts. But he is the most amazing soul and has such understanding. I get this. Thank you for writing it. Parents of kids like our boys need to speak out because when you don’t, it’s isolating. Here’s my piece:

  • Kristen

    Man, tears running down my face. A lot of what you wrote here rings true for 2 out of my 3 kids (and the third is too young to guess yet, although he is clearly a different beast from birth). They are intense, they are in your face, too much of anything is never enough. They are exhausting. They love life with an intensity and passion that is hard to fathom. They want to understand EVERYTHING. They want to touch me ALL THE TIME.
    We are fortunate that they seem to throw the same enthusiasm into school and learning as they do everything else and the more structured environment of school/kinder actually works for them (the challenge and the boundaries help them).
    I know they drive people crazy, fuck me they drive me crazy on a daily basis. But honestly, I will take their passion and enthusiasm, and tears and meltdowns because they show us all how to live a creative and boundless life every day.

  • Wanderingsue

    Love this post; haven’t read all the comments, but just wanted to make sure you know home education is a wonderful alternative, just in case school ever stops suiting your amazing fellow. Unschooling is about letting kids follow their own interests, and it’s blowing my mind! Just something to have on your radar.

  • Chrissy

    I highly recommend the book “upside down brilliance” that discusses visual spatial thinkers. It gave me a whole new perspective on my sons and how to engage them on their mental playing field rather than try and force them onto someone else’s. Great post.

  • Joy

    Sound so much like my daughter, she has SPD and auditory processing issues (and we’re thinking ADD). She can’t stop, won’t stop, and has done all the things on your list. The shriek makes me crazy! It sounds like an old car with a bad belt amplified x 100. It’s all sensory seeking, exhausting. She talks so loud, in your face, pressed against you touching and tugging. It is hard for this sensory defensive Mama, but I wouldn’t change her for anything. She is exuberant and amazing, and driven not to miss a thing. Her sisters are generally well behaved human beings so there is comfort there, it isn’t my mothering: it’s all her!

  • mary

    Beautiful! 🙂

  • Jim Day

    The reason he’s not reading yet is he sees words as single objects rather then combinations of letters. Think pictographic where each word is perceived as a single object with associated meaning. In order to read he has to learn thousands of objects each with their own meaning. Initially he’s going to have trouble but their will come a time where he will reach a critical mass where he’s memorized enough words (images)to not only put them together in a fluid fashion but where he will also read much faster then everyone else because if you can see words as objects rather then all the letters you eventually can digest them much much faster then normal.

    I’m not speaking theoretically here, I am your kid 40+ years later, and I went through this same thing. I could not read until sixth grade but by eighth grade according to testing I not only read faster but had far greater comprehension then my peers, and by collage I could read 400 pages of assigned books with good comprehension in a single night.

    Though I experienced this myself it took me decades to really understand it. One day I was rapidly flipping through a book looking for my favorite Cormic McCarthy quote for an writer friend. He suddenly asked what I was looking for since I was flipping the pages far too fast to read anything and right then suddenly I realized that I was actually looking for the shape of the words on the page, like a drawing or painting. Think about that for an second, it’s a little bit crazy. It’s a unconscious thing, in innate response but since I do this all the time (now I can see it happen) think how many pages my mind has unconsciously memorized the shape of in order to find my various favorite quotes and phrases.

    Spelling is going to be another big issue. Words with roughly the same characters are perceived as the same object so it’s hard to tell if something is spelled correctly. Words that are spelled right sometimes look wrong, words that are spelled wrong are seen as correct, and trust me this will never stop or go away. My advice here is teach him to type as quickly as possible, and spell check will be his freind. The danger here is self esteem. If he’s in a school where they only correct his spelling and ignore his ideas he’s going to really suffer. Personally I almost flunked out of high school but made it through Grad School and the only difference was spell check.

    Like I said I am your son. When I was five I took apart my Dads electric razor, accidentally fixed it by cleaning all the hair out and I can still remember (actually see) all the parts to this day. I remember routes to places I went to as a child and visually play them back like a movie in my mind. I can design and build pretty much anything in my head (Sculptures, Boats, Motorcycles) right down to the wiring, fasteners and screws without lifting a pencil, and then hold those designs for decades with total recall down to the smallest detail.

    More simply your son is not one of those kids, he’s one of those unique even gifted kids that can possibly do extraordinary things that others could not even dream of doing. That said he’s not average with sensitivities, and unique issues many will never understand. He’s got one big thing going for him and it’s you. You love him, you accept him, you’ve already figured out he is unique. Now encourage him to find his own unique ways of doing things, and to approach each task not in conventional manner but in the unique way that works best for him.

    Unique problem solving is what I like to call it, and that is the key, it will be like a game to him. I would strongly recommend encouraging him to pursue the visual arts. I make things for a living, unique problem solving is all I do, and it’s pretty much what I’m made to do.

    Living outside of spelling and paperwork the most troubling part of my day is usually trying to figure out where I set down my wrench or screw driver. Thank God for a small studio where things are easy to find.

    Your piece really touched me, your son is incredibly lucky to have you in his life. Feel free to contact me through me email I’m not a child care specialist, or education guru but from what you’ve written I do think I might have a unique perspective when it comes to your son.

    Above all Thank-you!! Your piece just made my day.

    • Gael

      You have really helped explain how my son reads and thinks. Thank you.

    • Sue

      Oh my God! We have used exactly that explanation so many times about how my son reads! I tell people he basically sees a photograph of a word, not a typewritten word made up of individual characters. To hear from an adult that seems to have exactly the same thing as my almost 8 year old son has given me so much relief – you are what we have been trying to find for 4 years. From what we’ve been able to establish, kids like mine have traditionally been written off by our education system as problem kids who are disruptive and generally disobedient in class, when the problem is actually a learning disorder (I prefer learning difference) in a gifted child that creates incessant boredom. Luckily my sons psychologist told us all of this before he got to school so we knew what to expect. His school has actually been very supportive and work with us constantly to adapt to his learning needs, and although his grades don’t reflect his giftedness, he is showing as “average”, and always improving. However he sees a specialist gifted education tutorer weekly who is constantly amazed by his exceptional capabilities.
      Thank you for taking the time to comment on this article – you have no idea what it means to me as a parent of a special kid like you. 😀

  • Stacey

    I have one too. I have 7 altogether. This is number six. He’s 7 and very difficult to be around for most me and me often. What makes me sad is that his grandparents (his dad’s parents) spend hardly any time with him as a result. They take all the kids in turns and he spends the least amount of time with them. They are very particular about out ward appearances (constantly criticizing my 14 year old twins boys about their long, shaggy hair) so I can only assume he is too much of an embarrassment to take out and do things with.

    Part of me is glad he isn’t subjected to their criticism. But also, I know it makes him sad that every one else gets more time to go do something special.

    • K

      Stacey, I’m so sorry you have family that does this to your child. My parents are also these grandparents. My daughter (just turned 11) has been diagnosed with ADHD since she was 7. She is intense, annoying, persistent, defiant, argumentative, deceitful at times, but she is also the most sensitive, loving, caring, thoughtful little girl. Her grandparents don’t want to spend time with her, and have only ever taken her once, when she was 3, because my husband had open-heart surgery. I’m sad for these kids who are missing out on so much. I’ve asked my parents if they would take the kids (her brother is almost 8) separately sometime, just to give us a break. My mom said yes, but that was 2 yrs. ago, and I don’t speak to them anymore.

  • Soleil

    I recently saw a child like this in the emergency room. While I was talking with him and his father, he was watching the portable x-ray machine coming down the hall and parking outside his room. He proceeded to completely explain how the x-ray machine moved, worked, with the different parts looked like they did, etc. I asked how he knew so much and he said, I was looking at it. Absolutely amazing. It was the only time that he settled down, while he was watching the machine. I wish my own mind processed an eighteenth of what his does. You are a blessed mother.

  • Jenny

    The reason he couldn’t read is because the English language doesn’t make sense like math and maps and music. When my son finally got it he skyrocketed.

  • Megan

    Thank you.

    Someone finally gets how I feel in my head in relation to my son. Finally someone gets it.

  • Amanda

    From personal experience, sounds like he might be dyslexic (can see math in his head, very good spatially, building etc, trouble reading). You should get him tested, having a diagnosis is very empowering! Or read “The gift of dyslexia”by Ronald Davis.

  • Jen

    I wouldn’t want to diagnose via the internet but it sounds like your son has a textbook case of dyslexia, with all the gifts and challenges!
    With one area of the brain not doing what’s typical, the rest of the brain compensates, kicks into high gear and is capable of doing amazing feats of creativity, conceptual thinking, physical activity, charm, etc. A blessing and a curse. You might want to check out if anyone in your area practices the Orten Gillingham theory of education. It plays into what keeps the little whirlwind going while working out some of the (educational)kinks. It breaks none of his character and can make him feel more successful which will help keep his self esteem intact as he gets older. I teach kids with learning diabilities in middle/high school and I see so many smart kids that think they’re ‘dumb’ because they don’t think like everyone else and thier teachers can’t relate. It’s heart-breaking. Early intervention is key. Not being able to read by 7 isn’t typical however that doesn’t mean your son isn’t smart (obviously)and can’t be helped. You just have to advocate for him and push the school to find what works best for him. Sadly it’s in their best interest to pass him along with just enough help to squeak by. If you need any resources feel free to contact me. Good Luck!

    • renegademama

      He is indeed dyslexic. He was not diagnosed at the time I wrote this post, but I always suspected it (his dad and grandfather are dyslexic) and had him tested shortly after writing this. He is now being homeschooled and THRIVING.

      • Kassie

        I am glad I read through your comments. I read that article and I almost cried because I felt like I was reading about my own daughter. As I read all I could think was I wonder if anyone has ever told her, that her son is probably Dyslexic — because my daughter is. I am so glad things are changing for him and that he is thriving in home school.

  • Keri @ Reluctantly Suburban

    So very beautifully, perfectly captured. I cried with joy and recognition and relief as I read.

    Thank you. ♡

  • Nora

    This essay makes me feel happy, sad, wistful, relieved, and righteous, all at the same time. I had a moment of clarity at the pool the other day, watching my 7 year old integrate herself into a family of 4 who were having a swim. Nobody invited her. She just did it. They had 2 kids, which is probably what attracted her to them in the first place, but since she has no sense of personal space or boundaries, she spent the next 20 minutes splashing water in their faces and swimming between their legs. It even looked like she jumped on the father’s back, trying to get him to give her an involuntary piggyback ride. I cringed from my poolside seat, fighting the urge to call her away from them and let them have their privacy. But then she was giving their 4 year old daughter “swim lessons” and making funny faces at their baby boy to make him giggle. And when it was time for them to leave, I watched her thrust her confident little arm out, engaging a handshake with a proud introduction of, “My name is Sophia. It was nice to meet you.” And my heart melted. Because my annoying child is a social creature, and she really just craves interaction, whether it’s invited or not. And the things she does come from a good, perfect place in her heart. And I love that about her.

  • Louise Gustafson

    This made me cry. You are describing my son (almost). I had two girls first, just like your girl. Never a bad report at school, parent teacher evenings were just an ego stroke for all concerned. And then came Charlie. The difference was that his teachers did not get him at all. None of them. Even at a special school supposedly for children like him. I took him out of all schools at 13, but his teenage years were even worse. The loving little boy became abusive and violent, but it was because he was hurting so badly inside. My friends stopped visiting because they were frightened of him. I still loved him with all ny heart, the comment about wanting to fold him back into your belly to protect him really struck a chord with me. BUT don’t worry this has a happy ending. When he was 18 I rented him a flat because I couldn’t bare it any more and he moved out. Almost immediately everything changed. He got a part time job by pestering the owner of the local video and game rental store even though he didn’t have any qualifications or even a reference, but because he knew a lot about the movies and games. And he became their best and most reliable employee. He enrolled himself, in a community college and got the basic qualifications he needed to apply to university and was awarded a scholarship to study Computer Game Art and Design which is where his genius lies. He has achieved straight As through his first year. He is 22 now and has said that me standing by him throughout the difficult times, always believing in him and loving him despite everything he threw at me, is what has made him what he is now. And he tells me he loves me all the time. He is still different. But he’s going to be OK.

  • josh

    what a fabulous story… thanks for sharing your story, which is very similar to our 7 lad. he is full on and intense and once he’s on a high it takes ages to unwind him again. people look at us like we are bad parents…. but we love our boy and do our best. so what if he doesn’t conform…. he is a beautiful boy whos not that bad when you know him. thank you.

  • Seth

    I have a special needs daughter, she is invasive, aggravating, loud, dirty, aggressive, and impressively strong. But at the same time she is very much a girly girl, everything has to be pink and purple covered in make up and perfume. Now growing up very much a male it’s hard to come to terms with waking up with make up, or having come in to find my jeans are super short cut offs. She’s 11 now and I feel the trials are just beginning, though I fear I wished they were just ending. I would not trade her for any manner of well behaved children, because sometimes the wonder and curiosity on her easily readable expressions are bloody priceless. And at the same time her relentless harassment has trained me to be extremely patient, and observant parent I know. So much so that my friends who have been parents longer and have more children than I do, constantly are asking my advice, even though truthfully I feel like as a parent I feel like a stone golem trying to swim, constantly sinking and floundering. But when I look at the marvellous young woman I raised I am a proud father.

  • Barbara Griffin

    This is a beautiful article about an awesome kid. All kids are awesome. I am so happy for the author and all who have commented regarding that their child is the same. I truly am.
    Just wanted to comment about my child.. She is also an “annoying” kid…and should we only be honest if our kid is smart?…because my daughter is (or appears to be) dumb as a post. She does have other great qualities: loves everyone even bullies, doesn’t want things at the store for herself, but for others who she knows would like the object (whether or not they are really friends),and is always tolerant of her little brother.
    It is easy to be happy about your annoying kid when they also are smart, but when you are constantly worried about your child’s future, you don’t think that annoying is cute or endearing or anything, but annoying. You worry about their inability to learn, their difficulty in keeping friends and the fact that you, yourself, her mother, don’t like her company either. I love my daughter, but much of the time I don’t like her.
    I have done everything I can to give my daughter what she needs emotionally. (She will never know how much she frustrates me.) But it is incredibly fatiguing. Finally, I tried medication for her when she started crying about how she hated her brain. She wants to sit and read or do as she is asked or finish things she has started but she says, “My brain won’t let me.” She has told me that she is “happier inside” now that her medication allows her to concentrate. It is exhausting when you truly want what is best for your own child, but everyone thinks moms who medicate children are lazy and uncaring.
    Please remember that your experience might be different from other mothers. I’m not dissing anyone else’s child or experiences… just simply relating my own experience which happens to be different than yours. 😉

  • Heather

    That’s my Badger. She tempts fate and tries people’s patience. She makes my heart sing. She torments her older sister, then curls up next to her and tells her all the way she loves her. Thank you for sharing this. Namaste. H

  • Meredith

    Read. My. Mind
    But better and funnier.

  • Lisa

    Wish we were neighbours! Thanks for writing this.

  • Rachel

    I have two “picture thinkers” too. Aka visual spatial learners. Dreamers, discovers and dynamos (my favorite), Picture it and upside down brilliance are all good books – strategies to teach to their strengths, parenting ideas, etc.

    Loved the article! I can totally relate. 🙂

  • Karen

    Most of “those” kids (my 4 y/o son Jack included) need some great Occupational and Physical Therapy to help them be able to best process all of the Sensory information that is either not being sensed or is being super-high volume sensed. These problems with Sensory Integration are so often misinterpreted as ADHD, “the bad kid”, “the wild child” etc and are so often overlooked by the educational and medical communities. After about 16 sessions of OT, Jack is now obviously more proprioceptively aware of his body, is able to stand in one place for more than 1 second and can at least process what sounds he is hearing about 1/2 of the time….so, so lucky to have teachers be so supportive of and helpful to his development instead of just labeling him as “the busy body”. I am sad when I think back to 1st grade and the kids who were “weird” or “rotten” etc… We just didn’t know the right tools to help them process their surroundings! Sensory deficits are highly correlated in gifted children…much like the author shows us in her example with the blocks. I’m hoping all of these kids can get as much help for them to use their abilities most effectively and efficiently! Phew! Good luck! Also, when you google “sensory integration” you’ll find lots of stuff on autism. Yes, many, if not most children with autism have SI issues, but a lot of children with SI issues are not autistic, nor do they have ADHD. 🙂 happiness!!!

    • Kate

      “Yes, many, if not most children with autism have SI issues, but a lot of children with SI issues are not autistic…”

      That’s exactly what our first OT said after she diagnosed Liam with Sensory Processing Disorder. In fact, since so many of the behaviors that people think of as autistic are actually due to sensory issues whenever I need need a quick and dirty way to explain SPD to someone I tell them that it’s like the non-social parts of autism. Not even close to 100% correct but more than enough info for the random person behind you in line at the supermarket 😉 .

      PS: FWIW now that sensory issues are a diagnostic critera for autism in the DSM V a lot of kids with SPD can qualify for an autism diagnosis, especially if they (like my son) had a speech delay due to the SPD. I only mention it because if you’re having trouble getting insurance or the school system to cover OT or other services an autism diagnosis can help.

  • Gael

    Love this xx my first Josh ( my brother calls a model citizen lol) then I went on to have two more boys who don’t really fit that mould in any shape or form lol. I was always greatful for my eldest as I can say I parent them all the same when I get the looks from other people…. Daniel my middle one couldn’t just have a play day with anyone I needed to make sure the parents understood him ( his personality and energy as most just couldn’t do it) those that are in his life are amazing as is his best friend Jess who has aspergers and is a joy to have over for sleep overs:-)) Daniels heart is huge and so loving but doesn’t always get things first time or listen he bounces about and can’t sit still ever lol.
    It is the type of child you get. My youngest seems to be a mix if my other two … My bro tells me he’s the one to watch ( he wasn’t around much when Dan was little…) lolol he has noooooo idea. My eldest is very much a carbon copy if me lol so it’s been an education a good one. People need educated and be more accepting of children’s personalities xx

  • Nat the brat

    Get that child a guitar.

  • Sally

    I know this isn’t a new post but a friend pointed me here today because I really needed to read it. I have 2 of “those” boys – 7 and 9. And have been struggling with the 9 year old. Thank you for reminding me that he’s a square peg and that school is trying to make him something else. And I need to allow him to dance to his own drummer.

  • Rosie

    Just a thought-

    Einstein never fit in either. If you can, check oh his unpublished paper on his creative process… It’ll amaze you.

    You have got yourself a little firecracker, don’t worry about the reading, it’ll come at some point. Read to him at night so he can visualise the words.

  • Suzanne

    I realize this is not at all the point of this post, but have you considered a different school for your son? There are different teaching methodologies out there that I think would really benefit him. Waldorf method doesn’t even really start on reading til 2nd grade. He just might not be developmentally ready for it. Someone such a strong sensory learning style might just not be getting enough from reading to have it “soak in.”
    It makes me so sad to see little free spirits crushed by sitting at a desk all day and constantly hearing that they are failing.

  • Lee Jamison

    as a psychiatric social worker who sees the pain these kids experience from the “annoyance” of the people they offend (albeit inadvertently), please remember that kids do need to learn some basic social skills. How to apologize is a useful one. But, yes, kids have different personalities, skills and very special needs. High energy kids need space and outlets for that energy—and a sturdy, resilient environment (and sturdy, resilient parents)—and lots of love!

  • Kim

    My Rocket is almost 10. He was “below standards” for reading this year but only because he didn’t fit the school’s comprehension mold. I calmly explained to him he needed to focus and he pulled it off–he’s now above the standard for the end of the year. They get to where the need to go, just in the way that works for them. If only I remember this more. Great post.

  • Kirstie

    What a beautiful tribute!! So much of this also describes my daughter Rane. She is SO MUCH. ALL. THE. TIME.

    If they get married….they will take over the world……

  • Elyse

    Your Rocket is my Shepard… My husband and I just came to the realization we really don’t have any friends and what it comes down to is, my kids, my family, my household is too overwhelming for the rest of the world I guess! Shep is my oldest (by 4 minutes…he is a twin) and he is all of the things you described. I have taught Dance for 17 years of my life so I get girls and I have passed judgement on little girls that fit this profile and looked at moms of “crazy” little boys glad that I was not them. Now I am them! I have been gifted with 3 boys…who don’t really like Ballet! Shepard is the ring leader and the boss. Seamus his twin is polar opposite, and Sully his baby brother might just be an even more tenacious version of Shep. It is a hard realizations when it becomes clear that you’re parenting and kids freak out other people and so those other people are no longer interested in being your friend. Well, I say “grow the fuck up and chill the fuck out.” I just hope I can raise my “Crazy” boys to have more confidence, self acceptance and freedom than I was raised with.

  • Summer

    Good stuff! I Facebook shared 🙂

  • Gillian Ramsay

    funny, all the while I was reading this I was thinking-this kid is really bright-he just finds the whole world boring and cant understand why we all don’t work the way he does, and then you popped in the comment about seeing things in his head, mapping, all makes total sense. you have a really gifted kid there. All children are not born the same-God forbid that they were. Find a way to tap into the amazing brain that he so obviously has. remember if they cant learn the way we teach, we should teach the way they learn. Hope he has a great life!

  • Yolanda

    Fighting the tears. You described SO many traits that my toddler daughter does. She’s so rough and tough and LOUD (she growls and roars for fun) that we called her Wild Thing half the time. And we joke that instead of having a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other, she just has two little devils, lol. My oldest daughter is a dream kid, so obedient and poised. But my toddler is a beast, a fireball, a mad scientist. She has a high threshold for pain (she laughs when she gets hurt) and a sharp instinct for finding danger. She’s only 20 months and she’s always been fascinated by the mechanics of things, focusing on them until she understand them. She’s fearless and disobedient, but so clever that our other nickname for her is Stitch. We don’t go out to eat much because it’s not worth the trauma, and she’s certainly caused many eyebrows to raise. Yet, her heart is so sensitive and pure, and she loves people with every inch of her wild body, squeezing the life outta you with her hugs. I’m a former teacher who, like you, swore up and down that my kid would never be “one of those” kids, and this little terror of mine made me eat my words. 🙂 Reading about your boy was such a pleasure and SO familiar. He’s lucky to have such a loving mom who accepts his quirks (even the ones that make you tear your hair out) and adores him.

  • Eric

    This was one of the most badass pieces of parenting journalism I’ve ever seen. As a new parent I’m constantly worried whenever my kid does something outside the social norm and…the idea to just sit back and embrace it is an amazing notion that feels absolutely right. Thank you for writing this.

  • Trixieplus

    Tears, oh man the tears rolling down my face while I read this. My six year old daughter fits this to a T. She is my very own little whirling dervish. She adores me and I her but oh the pain of seeing “that look” and being overlooked for play dates and outings. But the sound of her music is something to behold. So beautiful and so very her.

  • Gwen

    Thank you so much for this post. I am going to print it and put it somewhere that I can remember to look at it frequently. I have 7 year old twin girls, one is like your oldest…and one is not. 😉 Last night, for instance, she cut her own hair…dramatically. When I asked why, she said that she thought it looked good like this, and why shouldn’t she be able to just cut it herself so that it’s exactly like she wants it? The other day my husband found a plastic cup with a slurry of mud, leaves, sticks, etc…in my van, and when he asked why, the only answer was…”S wanted it there, of course.” She’s noisy, and she dances everywhere, and when she hugs it usually turns into a tackle. She is wild, and unruly, and stubborn. And I try SO HARD to make her fit in. And then I mourn that, because I don’t know how, really, to “civilize” her without breaking her. If she were too tame, she wouldn’t be herself. It’s a hard line to try to walk. And I was so, so grateful this year when her first grade teacher told me that he loved her, that she was a joy to be around, and that she was a good addition to his class because some of the kids needed to loosen up a bit. Thank you for the reminder that I am not alone in struggling to accept my kid for who they really are, and not who I expected to get.

  • Karl G. Siewert

    This had me in tears. I feel this way, for different reasons, about both of my younger two. I wasted way too much time worrying about what other people were seeing and not concentrating on WHAT IS BEST FOR MY CHILD.

    Thank you so much.

  • Yvonne

    This is my boy and my relationship to him exactly. Love it, thank you!

  • Gisela

    Thank you for posting this. It made me cry. My boy is 9 years old and as I read this I thought of him, because this is him and me, but like you I don’t give a shit either what anybody thinks. :_)

  • Britta

    My 10 year old sounds a lot like your 7 year old. I knew something was up with him, but couldn’t ever figure it out. It turns out he has Sensory Processing Disorder and a weird eye condition. He couldn’t read until he was 9 years old, until after he did a year of vision therapy. And he’s still working on “fitting in” with other kids by doing occupational therapy for his SPD. Things are getting easier for him though and I’m glad I found what he needs.

    This kid can do just about any math problem, and he is 4 grades ahead in Science. “Not being smart” had nothing to do with his reading, he is so smart. It’s hard having a kid who doesn’t fit the mold. But the magical part of it, is they aren’t expected to fit the mold, and they can just learn and grow without the pressure of matching what other kids can do. And when they finally get it, the rewards are so much sweeter.

  • Anna Rode

    Beautiful post!! –find a Waldorf school!!

  • Jennifer

    THANK YOU for posting this! I love my boy beyond measure…but see some of this in him. I need to stop being a control freak and let him be who he is…an AMAZING, smart, sensitive, quirky, kind young boy.

  • Melanie

    Having a child that you just can’t get to do what you need them to do is frustrating. not understanding why they can’t empathize with your tone and look of frustration is maddening. In our family, we call it socially tone deaf and we have one son who is just that. I liked that you compared your two kiddos because we also have an “easy” child, one who doesn’t have to be told to do things 100x’s, who grooms himself, gets invited to so many parties we’re going broke just buying those damn birthday presents, and in general has a light spirit and easy manner. My older son is an intense, in your face, pacing, stinky pre-teen who is both incredibly smart and dense at the same time. Yes he is annoying! And sweet, and loyal, and funny. Thank you for writing this honest depiction of life with a child that doesn’t fit into social norms. People think that “perfect” kids come from “perfect” parenting, parents who pat themselves on the back and think “good job!”. And it IS hard work and you do need to be thoughtful. But at the end of the day kids are their own people!

  • Marsha Kirby

    Thank you for writing this!!! It describes my 3 year old son perfectly!! We have a 7 year old daughter who was (and is) considered the “perfect” child & my son is, well as we put it, all boy. Into anything & everything he can, breaking things, playing super heros (which includes his version of karate, shooting & sword fighting), wanting to touch everything & not listening. The last thing he wants to do is sit & work on numbers, colors or the alphabet. Kids are all different & learn at different rates. I wish everyone would understand this!

  • Jamie

    I got one of those kids too…. its really fucking annoying, it brings a puking feeling in my throat to realize I have to take this child outside in ghe daylight and be seen with him, because YES he will throw a holy terror fit, scream like bloody murder for the duration of the outing except for the minute you attempt to speak to another adult, at that exact moment he will say mom approximately 92 times, running away down isles or around corners, climbing counters, making the most annoying poofing sound repeatedly varying in yelling it to whispering it, demanding his way, shaking his body back.and forth over and over, this kid is a pure nightmare to be around….. no joke. Its like waking up in hell every day, and I guess I can say that cause hes my own kid, but once in a rare blue moon will.a moment of solace come where I can see some hope. Its so fleeting I cant even think of an example. So, for now, im stuck.with him the.way he is, driving me crazier than a mother should be allowed to be, and waiting till naptime and bedtime.. thanks for your post, atleast im not alone in my dislike toward my childs behavior and my lack of understanding that shit.

  • Carol Lowe

    I had “one of those kids “…he is an adult man now but i can remember just wanting to pull my hair out…could not figure him out for my life….he was so intelligent.. but yet got Fs in school..what in the world had i done wrong that caused him to be like this??flash forward some years and he is a fine outstanding young man…with a son..whom.. i may add is “one of those kids”…i think it is just that we are all different…our minds just decipher things different and as much of a struggle as it may be that is just the way we are made up…and in so many ways that is wonderful because what a boring world it we all thought the same way..

  • L. Cook

    WOW! Just wow. I could have written this myself about my kids at ages 5 and 9. Sounds so much like my daughter and son. My daughter is the oldest and was such an easy child. Until she hit 13. My son was a challenge when he was very young. Now at 27 and 23, they are both college graduates. My daughter just got married and they are intelligent, beautiful, delightful adults. Looking back, I really, truly miss those years that I thought would never end. Enjoy them!

  • Jayme

    I just bawled reading this. My son Aidan is two and he’s so beautiful and loving and smart…and loud and ornery and we can’t even begin to sit down to eat with people etc… he’s a handful. He’s like a 40lb bag of screaming snakes when he’s mad. I needed to read this today. Thank you!

  • Kristin Farnum

    This brought tears to my eyes as over and over I have felt the same way and said the same things! Thanks for sharing this and helping me realize it really doesn’t matter what they all think! My little seeker is so precious and so wonderfully made! She brings joy to my life like none other!

  • Elizabeth

    Wonderful article about your Rocket. I have a son who was bullied by a teacher because he is his “own” boy. He is loveable, funny, smart, and respectful but he doesn’t do well when backed into a corner. He wasn’t liked by his teacher this year but he has been blessed by two wonderful teachers in Grades 1 and 2. I learned a valuable lesson this year about standing up for my child and advocating for his educational/social/emotional needs. He has many gifts to give and loves life. As an educator, it makes me so sad to see teachers who only can teach to one style or type of child. We need to be there for all of our students. They are all a gift and they can all learn and share wonderful things with us. We can all learn from them too! I wish you the best in raising your children. Enjoy!

  • Theres Just One Mommy

    Yep. They are each one made in their own individual ways. I bet God has big plans for your little guy.
    I’ve got one of my own that is just this side of annoying….and yet so amazing at the same time!

  • EclecticNana

    I just stumbled across this thanks to a friend on FB. You have nailed my granddaughter Athena completley.

    Most adults love her, despite her annoying ways, simply because she is so loving and polite. Unfortunately there are those people, including her first grade teacher, who are hell bent on “teaching her” how to conform or insisting she needs medication. We know that due to abuse/neglect before she came to us she has anxiety and PTSD and the manner the teacher chose to make her learn was to take away her recesses. She wanders the classroom making sure everyone else is okay, can do wonderfully and exceeed grade expectations IF you can get through the boredom and anxiety and get her to do the work. She is loud, boisteroius, daring, loving, helpful, everyone’s friend, and at times enough of a challenge to make me want to scream, despite having worked in the mental health/ developmental disabilities field for 25 years. In the end she is our “Hug a Bug” and while I wish that school was easier for her, I wouldn’t change her for a minute. Her spirit is without compare and I can not wait to see her achieve her goals which include being an obstetrician (she decided on that when she was a little over 5 and has not varied from it except to tell me that when she is done being an obstetrician she will be a vertrinarian so she can help horses have babies too) and watch while she shows the world what she can do.

  • Dan

    He, he, he, his, him. Let’s face it. We have been programmed to have no tolerance for natural masculine behavior. He’s aggressive, he’s willful, he’s boisterous, he’s spontaneous, he’s in your face and he’s impulsive. That’s how testosterone affects a person. And modern western society can’t have that. He’s one of “those kids”. Oh, you mean a boy. The fact he doesn’t “fit in” to the homogenized school system speaks volumes to his independence and free thought. Beware! They will label him, insist he be medicated and treated as an outcast because he will not “conform” nor “submit”. He is a natural born leader but only girls are empowered to do that today. He doesn’t do well in the classroom because he doesn’t want to sit in a chair in a room for 6-7 hours every day listening to someone try to teach him something his mind is not interested in. His thoughts are advanced well beyond telling time and counting money. He may be the next Miles Davis or the next Tesla. As he gets older he will channel this energy into something far greater than anything he’ll be taught at school. That is, if he’s not neutered first.

    • Schelle

      Thanks Dan… couldn’t agree more. I have two boys (8 & 6) who are both all of ALL OF the above… they are loud and in your face, full of “I WANTs”, arguing and wrestling and never keeping still. If I stop the car for a moment to get a drink bottle or fulfill some other request, my eldest is unbuckled and out the door because “my feet hurt from sitting still”… I am (too slowly – hey, I am a girl, and I only had a sister) coming to realise that all my growling and yelling and pleading for calm in public places, for concentration (on what I want concentrated on) at lesson time (at least I was smart enough to commit to homeschool from the very start) is not going to change a damn thing about them and that does not make me a bad parent… it just makes me an annoying mum with annoying kids. I am going to step up to the impossible challenge. I am going to embrace the wackiness, weirdness and wildness for the wonderful blessing it is, and I am going to mediate for my boys instead of trying to shut them down. I know that if I join in their silliness, they feel heard and we can tone it down or change direction together, and we are all laughing and feeling good… whereas if I am strung out and uptight and hissing “just get it done” through gritted teeth, well… no-one feels good. My boys are not the work in progress. They are perfect, just the way they are. *I* am the work in progress. Thanks for the reminder!!!

      • Schelle

        I am also going to stop feeling inadequate because I don’t want to go and get them labelled. They refuse to take medicine even when they are sick, so how is a bunch of acronyms going to help them? Everyone I know with a rambunctious boy who doesn’t fit the mold is taking them to paediatricians for testing and feeling better about them when they get a nice little label. Sure my boys are probably on some spectrum – most days they are a whole rainbow in motion – but too often I see that attaching the labels looks like just another way to make them fit a (different) mold. Maybe I am just being naive, but I always did think pigeon holes sucked…

  • Amy

    I have a similar son. He is visual-spatially gifted. Perhaps this profile also fits your son

  • Michael Townsend

    Fuck me you’re describing my son to a tee!

  • erynnsilver

    when I see a person with a kid that’s ‘difficult’ in the traditional sense, Ialways try to meet their eyes and smile. To elt them know thatit’s ok to have kids liek this. Because I KNOW that the hardopnes are the soecial oenes. If we can get them through childhood with their minds intact, they can change the world. So I smile. Maybe it helps a little. Too often people worry more avbout the onlookers than the child, whehn the child is really all that matters. They’re our future, and worh the inconvenience.

  • Robin

    Great post. I have one of these, about three years younger. I suspect kids like them are extremely bright and super-creative which accounts for some of the wacky behavior we have the pleasure of experiencing. And really, would we want to trade that in for a so-called typical kid? No way.

  • Holly

    My son is almost 2, and totally a Rocket. I fully endorse what your saying except the behaviour out in public. I am often embarrassed at his inability to sit and eat his supper and the way he irritates myself and other patrons with his screaming etc. Every time we end up leaving bc I feel it is unacceptable to have your child ruin other people’s evenings when they have paid for it. How is that fair for parents who are getting out for a night or a couple that doesn’t have kids? Show respect for everyone and leave if your child is being a nightmare.

  • mjsee

    Preach it, sister woman! I raised two of these dudes. Elder Son is 28, married…and working on a PhD in physics. The Boy is 25 (and not really a boy any longer…but he will ever be The Boy online) and works IT as his dayjob and does comedy improv at night. I am inordinately proud of both of them.

    But…yeah. We had our moments with meanies. And, yeah. They could *both* be fucking annoying. In their own sweet ways.

  • dee

    This is my youngest son, who now plays Big 10 Rugby, speaks five languages fluently,lived abroad by himself at 17 and will graduate from university early…I was previously that bitch who threw stones,I am now that empty nester mom who is thrilled he had the courage to live outside the box…I wish I had this 18 years ago…kudos for learning to let go of the expectations and embracing his joy

  • Sam

    Wow!! This could have been written about my girl!! She’s 3 & something else!

    Everyone who meets her just loves her.

    Reading this really eased my apprehension about her starting school in 2015! 🙂

  • Erin

    Wow, what an amazing and honest article. Thank you for writing this. I can assure you that you have just made hundreds of parents feel like they aren’t alone. I can certainly relate and while I have gone through many emotions and point of views, as my son gets older and I get to know him better my perspective has changed. And, I’m also glad he is not a child who fits into a mold. His quirkiness comes with special gifts and I cherish my sweet, affectionate, passionate, wild and determined child.

  • Natasha Batsford

    I’m a mama of one of “those” children and I am in recovery from being crippled by fear of judgement every last time we went out. You’re right, it’s bloody liberating 🙂

  • April

    I really needed this today. I have twins that both fit the bill but one especially these days is working my last nerve on a very regular basis. It’s making it so hard to want to be around him. I’m exhausted and worn out. But, those moments where she shows how loving and special he is, the moments when we get just a hint of calmness is when I see how awesome he is. A year or so ago it was hard, before their diagnosis I couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong. I dreaded going out in public and for mad/pissed/sad when no one wanted us at play dates. I’m slowly getting thicker skin and not giving a damn what peoples issues are with my kids. They rock and we are so lucky to be their parents.

  • Sue

    Love this article. Describes my youngest to a tee! Luckily though most people find his annoying things endearing because he has such a unique way of seeing things. We were lucky – early on we knew he was unusual – I often said to his child carers “there’s nothing actually ‘wrong’ with him, but there’s something different going on”, often followed up with “he just sees things so differently to most people”. Well, lucky for us, at 4 his speech therapist assessed him & found he had a “profound comprehension delay” which basically meant he had trouble understanding & following an instruction. With Primary school due to start we though it would be good to have a psychological assessment done. Although an expensive process, we found that he is a profoundly gifted child with a serious learning disability. The speech therapist was spot on – his ability to hear, comprehend & follow instructions is close to non existent. At 4, his visual “IQ” had him in the top 2% of his age group. His verbal “IQ” though – less than 1%. We had him re-assessed just before 7 with identical results. The reports provided by the psychologist were very comprehensive, and have helped his school enormously in knowing how to educate him. We’ve been very fortunate to have a public school that WANTS to work with him to help him learn anyway he can. He’s been seeing a specialist gifted education tutorer since he was 4 & yes it’s expensive but we’ll happily forfeit takeaways & movies to make sure this continues. He still struggles to read, but his maths is amazing.
    He drives us nuts, just like you, loud, annoying, frustrating, exasperating. But then he does something brilliant, and it’s all worthwhile. And the best thing? When I catch him staring off into space & I’m wondering “where he’s gone”, he snaps out of it, see’s me and simply says “I love you Mum”.

  • Lake

    I highly recommend the book, The Right Side of Normal by Cindy Geddis. It was a big game changer for me and the book has been spot on with my visual spatial active boy.

    I pulled my boy out of his private school 2 months into 3rd grade. It was so clear the teacher did not want him there; I was shocked a teacher could be so foul. He homeschools now. What a blessing for him, to learn on his own timeline. He became a fluent reader at 8. Now he is learning to spell at 10. The timeline of learning for visual spatial right brain type children is quite different but in many cases they are very bright children.

  • Pam Obmann

    My daughter sent me this article because it was identical to her and her brother. I was always told he was a “handful”. On the way to school I would test Vanessa on her times tables and he was in the back seat answering (he is three years younger). Both of my children are blessed with understanding Math. Both are excellent writers but my son who never reads can spell anything and is always correct. He can recite all sports statistics and is a very funny young man. Yes he was a handful and sometimes still is but I love him how he is! Thanks for sharing and making my day!

  • MLou

    I, along with my 3 co-workers, have 8 “Rockets” aged 6-11. Today was our last day of the school year and we all cried especially for the 4th grader who is moving on to another school. They can drive us crazy every day, but we love them all. They are amazing. They are a joy. They have come so far and as I wrote on the styrofoam airplane I gave each one, May you soar to new heights.

  • Aggie

    My son who had a teacher that referred to him as “Tasmanian Tanner”……and failed him in PE for “outbursts”….he was 7. How do you fail PE at 7 😉

  • Julie

    What a fantastic post. My Rocket is 8 & we lovingly refer to him as our nutty professor. He has the most beautiful heart that just over flows. I wouldn’t have him any other way. After reading your post I don’t feel so alone.

  • Jennifer

    Let me say I FRICKIN LOVE YOU!! & I’ve never met you… I am not a stalker, I swear 😉 I can so relate with “normal” 13 & 6 yr old girls and an 8 year old boy with Tourettes. I loved reading this – thank you 🙂

  • Trinity

    I love you and this post and your son is LUCKY to have you. 🙂 Brought tears to my eyes…I can feel your love for him. Lucky, lucky, lucky boy. And he may not fit into our antiquated education system but man o man he is going places (his name is Rocket). Chill… 😉

  • Brie

    I absolutely loved this post!!!! The first couple of things I was like mmmm ok yeah I could see how that could be annoying but by the next couple and through to the end you described the most gorgeous little child and make me feel all teary and warm and gooey!!! I think sometimes we have little ones that we might not look at how amazing they are for being different and themselves! I know sometimes I can take for granted how I have two crazy, sometimes annoying little kids that are my whole world and I wouldn’t change them at all. Thank you for opening my eyes in a different way!!! Keep enjoying your kidlets x

  • Julia

    Thank you for sharing! I heard this again the other day and then read your article. Confirmation me thinks!
    On Children
    Kahlil Gibran

    Your children are not your children.
    They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
    They come through you but not from you,
    And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

    You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
    For they have their own thoughts.
    You may house their bodies but not their souls,
    For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
    which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
    You may strive to be like them,
    but seek not to make them like you.
    For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

    You are the bows from which your children
    as living arrows are sent forth.
    The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
    and He bends you with His might
    that His arrows may go swift and far.
    Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
    For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
    so He loves also the bow that is stable.

  • Evelyn Wolke

    I totally get it. I have twins, and BOTH of them were precocious, hyper, perceptive, early verbal, disruptive, loud, loving, special, brilliant, DIFFICULT children. Their Internet names were NitroLad and KatieKaboom. The good news: they’re almost 20. You WILL survive. Your Rocket will almost certainly (or perhaps already has) run into trouble in school, where they may insist on anything from “counseling” to psychiatric care, special school environment, medication, or all the above. Some may be incredibly helpful to him, such as a structured, consistent environment in which to learn, but I’ve found that modern schools seem to fear boys at the best of times. Now, our Nitrolad needed all those things, and we were fortunate enough to find a psychiatrist who understands him to from top to toe and has treated him well and avoided a diagnosis until he was sure. The school he finally went to was wonderful, but not prepared for a highly intelligent student who had no immediately discernable learning disabilities.

    KK was another matter. Whilst we were trying to get NL into a learning environment that would work, she was in a disaster of a mainstream school where we had to fight for interventions for everything from necessary speech therapy to teachers who resented her because she was literally smarter than they were. She went through everything from sexual harassment to bullying and beyond in these so-called “zero tolerance” schools. To add salt to THESE wounds, she is gay. I am still disgusted with these mealy-mouthed assholes who said they were trying to help her while they required her to conform to some unattainable standard. Normal. Right. If you people were normal, I’m proud to be a weirdo.

    Now, two years after graduation, my daughter is going to attend her first full-time semester of college. NL, after making a promising start, seems to be developing his social skills on the Internet (I suppose it’s a start), and is beginning to come out of his shell a bit, but is not really ready for prime time quite yet.

    FWIW, that’s a thumbnail sketch. Have I made mistakes? Myriads. But despite that, I have always done my very best to love, acknowledge, respect and accept my children as the unique and precious spirits they are, allow them to grow at their own pace, and do my damnedest to remember that they are their own people and won’t be mine forever.

  • Nicole

    This was such a great post! My two children are the exact same. My oldest has always been calm and had perfect manners in social situations. Then I had my son. I am a very strict when it comes to manners, so having little chaos running around “roaring” in people’s faces and screaming while people were talking has been a huge test for me. I understand some of the comments about people being annoyed by these kids. But honestly, until you’ve had one, you will never understand. I’ve had to learn that there are certain battles that nothing is gained from fighting. He has a TON of energy, he is VERY loud, he makes odd noises and asks questions that are inappropriate because he simply wants to know the answer. He also is very loving. When he plays soccer and a little girl falls he stops and helps her back up. He is a cuddle monster. He loves music and sports and learning (as long as it’s what he wants to learn about!). He’s only 5, and I’ve had to learn very quickly to not yell every time he steps out of “normal”. And there is also plenty of behavior that I absolutely will not tolerate. This article helped me to realize that I’m not alone out here! Thanks!

  • Annie

    I love this post!
    Brings back so many memories of my kids. I had four children, two of them were “those” children.

    The photo of Rocket looks so much like my boys, and your honest annecdotal sounds just like them and me, too.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Please feel free to visit my website where I have a Memorial to my youngest, Charlie.

  • ML Rydings

    Just … thanks. I SO needed to read this post this morning.

  • Lolly

    Yes. I have a “Rocket” JUST LIKE YOURS, only that’s impossible, b/c they are unique precious creatures, but . . . I’m just sayin’! We have homeschooled ever & always and for the first time, this fall, will be enrolling him in school at age 11 (he’s SO a ‘tween!’). And I am scared to death that the faculty & other students won’t “get” him like our family & neighborhood do. I want to give him resources like regularly scheduled art classes and band, and things I have topped out on at home . . . and yet, I know I see him in a light others don’t . . .except when I DON’T! And I get upset with his unique ways (like turning the washing scrubby into a plunger while washing mugs, never parting from LEGOs when called away for an otherwise family-oriented-task, having the sloppiest of all bedrooms on Planet Earth, questioning all authority all the time . . .), and it takes a brilliant momma like you to remind me. He’s a “Rocket.” I am to be loyal to him, not to the naysayers & line-followers.

    I defer to Steve Jobs’ brilliant graduation speech at Stanford in ’05 to finish my garbled thoughts.

    Thank you.

  • Traci Johnson

    You are going to need to find him a school that caters to his genius. He will bang his head against the wall in public school. He will totally excel in the right environment!

  • Lyn

    Not my son…my HUSBAND! This describes my husband. Totally. And he is 62! He must have been one of those kids. I will hug him when he gets home from work today, and stop trying to mold him into what I want him to be. Thanks for your words. Excellent piece!

  • The Art of Home Education

    Thank you for sharing. I felt a lot of recognition reading your story. Oh mu, annoying kids. I have boys and I don’t know they are loud and wild because they are boys of only their personality. We homeschool, which give the boys plenty of room to just be. Be who they are, without losing themselves in the system. I love the fact that you don’t care what others think, enables Rocket to be.
    One question: are you able to be patient all the tine? How? I sometimes just don’t know what to do.

  • Kollyn

    You have word for word described my two beloved children to a tee. My oldest, a girl, (now age 28)was everything you mentioned. My son,(now age 26) is described perfectly like your son. It was always so difficult to defend him to others when they saw him in action. However he has always had the biggest heart and one if the most living and compassionate people I have ever had the honor to know. Both if my children have had IQ tests. My daughter scored one point below genius. Of course, my son scored well above. He has always had a knack for “seeing” things, knowing things well beyond his years.
    Hold your son tight. Cherish every moment with your son. My son has never felt like he fit in anywhere, he has now tried to take his own life twice because he feels like a failure. He is now living with me and because of mental illness, will always have to be taken care of. Slowly he is recovering. I’m seeing him struggle but, he is finally figuring out his place in the world. He will do well helping others. He going to try to be a social worker. He will excel at that, he is truly a compassionate soul. Encourage your wonderful son to fallow his innate ability to love. Thank you for being such an understanding and accepting mother. I know he will do well with your love and support.

  • gitte

    I’ve just read this blog and was crying. I reallyneeded this. I also have a rocket. He’s my firstborn(5yrs) and i’m so proud of him that when he sometimes talks i get tears in my eyes. His psychologist wants to test him for asberger but his teachers only want to see him as a problem child out of a broken home. He is treated so often so unfairly that i just want to cry. So what that he is loud and active and a bit too much. At least he is not such scared little boy which cannot take anything. And im not saying that he i not a mommies boy. He also has his soft side, he is so loving and caring and understanding. Yesterday he came from home with this beautiful model of a mouse and a brrd flying high on a stick, he made in kindergarten. As he explained to me how and why and what it is a woman tired to get through and by acident stepped onto his model. It broke. He did not cry. He just said its ok and he will fix it again. The woman felt very bad and later on my boy was crying for the woman because she felt bad. How amazing that he can sense and understand this womans feelings. My Rocket doesnt use the terms of maps in his head. He talks a lot about his brain and everything which amazes me he says that he learned it himself. Thank you so much for this. It gives me new strength

  • Ricardo

    i will write in spanish to express my feelings right.
    agradezco tus palabras y describen con mucha exactitud a Claudio. el siempre ha sido un tornado pero a la vez inteligente y cariñoso. en la escuela hasta el momento ha logrado los objetivos pero es quien mas se esfuerza para lograrlo. podríamos decir que mucho a dependido de la motivación que el tenga para lograr cosas y esto ha sido una constante en su desarrollo en la escuela y en la familia. ellos deben tener las los objetivos siempre claros y las metas deben tener alguna clase de recompensa ya que ellos siempre ven mas alla.
    Es difícil el dia a dia pero todo los esfuerzos son necesarios y se que lo hacemos por el amor tan fuerte que nos une.

  • Rene Carrillo

    Very thoughtful and real. I worry constantly that I am failing my kids. Those moments when we are shown how amazing our kids despite are fears are treasures. I wrote this song about how bittersweet being a parent is.

  • devin

    My son is the same way. His name is Rykker, but all of my coworkers call him Rocket, because every time I take him in to work, he runs around everywhere and gets in to everything. He is often guilty of subjecting us to what we call the ‘velociraptor squeal’..even other kids at the park will come up to me saying, “Man, your kid screams loud!” He’s always either running ahead or lollygagging behind inspecting something. I remember before I had kids, I would see children like this in public “misbehaving’ (or really just being their own curious over-exuberant self) and their mothers standing by looking helpless or, more often, scolding incessantly. I would think to myself, “Gosh, he’s just being a kid. Why is she so impatient and why is everyone staring?” I would have to bite my tongue and change direction to keep from leaning in and telling a mom to lay off, because I was that kid myself and I remember what it feels like to be treated like a constant annoyance. Now that I’ve got my own little tazmanian devil, I realize that I may be doing some moms a favor by reminding them that some of us understand and don’t have unrealistic expectations of toddlers/kids. It’s easy to sometimes get caught up in others’ expectations. Usually, when I go to the park or the zoo or museum with my son, it’s just he and I, and I let him lead the way..even if that means walking in circles or staying to look at and discuss something for a loooooooong time. We went to the zoo with another group a few days ago and it was painful. I was so torn because he was constantly running ahead or dragging behind, and everyone else was getting so annoyed to have to constantly stop while I patiently reeled my child in. It’s like they all expected me to kill the fun..and that’s eventually what I found myself doing as a result of my insecurity and the constant scrutiny. Rykker was lagging behind, spraying the overhead mister on the side of the path, pushing the button for everyone else to make sure the water never stopped flowing. I though it was sweet, but the rest of the group was really far ahead and I’d endured enough accusatory glares for the day so I was beginning to feel impatient myself. I began to prod him to come along, but of course he didn’t listen…so I found myself telling him, with a touch of petulance in my voice, to “Come on now! We’re gonna get left behind, buddy. Everyone’s leavin’ us.” The best thing that could’ve happened, happened: There was a middle aged special needs lady walking along with whom I assume was her mother. She spouted off to me, “You know, lady, he’s just trying to have some fun! He’s bein’ a kid and doin’ what kids do..havin’ fun!” The older lady with her quickly stepped in to try to silence her, probably expecting a backlash from me. As she told her outgoing daughter to mind her own business and tried to shuttle her away from us to avoid an altercation, I could hear more protests, “..but I don’t understand the problem. He’s just being a kid!”. To this, the mom replied in a forceful whisper, “Just shhhhush..It’s none of your business!” It all came full circle in my head. In another situation, I could’ve easily played the same roll as this outspoken angel and that older lady was doing to her daughter what I was doing to my son, and I didn’t agree with what either of us mothers was doing. I’m just that mom. After I resumed my patience and waited until Rykker came to me, I scooped up that sopping wet little boy in my arms, gave him a loving squeeze, and sprinted along to catch up with the two women that had just passed me by. I looked at the daughter who had spoken out and I looked at her wide-eyed mother, then I looked back to the daughter and said “You know what, lady? You were right. Thank you.” As I smiled, they both smiled. Then I put Rykker down so we could walk his own meandering way back to our group.

  • Kitten B

    My middle son is 7 yrs old. This pretty much describes him to the letter. I cry at night sometimes wondering if I’m failing him. He hates with the fire of a thousand burning suns and loves just as fierce. He can be the most thoughtful. He can be the most hurtful. He is exhausting at times. I love him so much it makes my hair hurt, but I worry about him 75% more than I worry about my oldest and youngest sons. I alternate between letting him just be, and then I see that look in people’s eyes that you mentioned. It was good to read this today. Thank you.

  • Lynne Miller

    Great article! I have a son who’s struggling in his first year of high school. It’s been a frustrating year for everyone. I tell myself my son is who he is. Maybe it’s not realistic to expect kids to conform to what teachers and other adults expect of them. I love my kid just the way he is.

  • Celina

    Thank you!! I have a little boy just like yours 🙂 and was at the playground a few months ago. I watched my 2 others play ” normally ” while my Tony ran around the playground- way too loud, way too fast, bumping into other kids, scaring some I’m sure. I could feel the annoyance of some of the other moms. I was going to go over and remind him, for the billionth time since he was born, to use a quieter voice, to have safe hands and feet. But instead I just watched him, with all his amazing energy and spirit and huge smile and had one of those moments. That’s WHO HE IS. And it’s beautiful. And we have been trying so hard to make him into something he just is not. And if he can’t be himself at age 6 on a playground on a sunny spring afternoon, then… I don’t know what. So I said nothing. Yes, I’m a renegade mom! Thanks for letting me known I’m not alone.

  • Tess

    Your story sounds exactly like me! I had the ‘perfect’ little girl first, then when I was pregnant with the second child, during a scan, I decided to find out the sex of the baby – a boy! I was devastated. Never in any if my imaginations had I ever thought I’d gave a boy. I know make up, cooking, shopping, fashion…… What was I going to do with a boy?? I’m so glad I found out the sex because I don’t know how I would have reacted in the delivery room if I’d suddenly had a boy. Anyway, when I first saw him as they stuck him on my chest, he was crying with the cute trembly bottom lip (he basically wanted a breast stuck in his mouth 24/7 from the minute he was born), I fell hopelessly in love. He is just like your son, but he is so kind, and loving and sometimes even I want to strangle him, but I can’t imagine not having him. He’s the one who brings me cups of tea or whatever if Im Not feeling well. He tells me he loves him a hundred times a day with so much gusto and feeling, it always makes me smile. People say that they failed to cut the umbilical cord at birth because he never leaves my side. At school, he’s an angel, but doesn’t perform well academically and the teachers love him too. He’s obsessed with dinosaurs and even though he’s not doing great at school, he can tell you everything about them. He’s great with maps and locations, and he loves to watch documentaries about ancient cities etc. I know he’s going to grow up to be a fantastic member of society. I know he’ll be a great cook, and be kind to animals and the underdogs of this world. I love him so much I think my heart will break in two sometimes. Thank you for shring your story!

  • Jeniphish

    I was Rocket (only my parents called me “Flash”)…I did all those things, and somehow they let me live. Now, my youngest, Escher is like your Rocket. He’s now 14…and his reading caught up, but his body and his mouth are more teradactyl-like than human. Some days it’s so hard to be me and have a little mini-me…glitter, noisy, confetti brain. But I learned to love me for all my weirdness and I practice patience with Escher (it’s soooooo hard!). What a wonderful piece of writing…it’s nice to know there are more members of our karass out there!

  • Linda Archinal

    Well said. These days throwing a label on and then putting a kid who is active on drugs is standard practice. It sounds like you are tracking with your boys strong points. I would bet if letters and words were presented as a puzzle needing to be solved he would instantly know. Keep it up- he is the star of our future

  • Susan Kochan

    Thank you so freakin much for writing these wonderfully beautiful, truthful words on parenting children who don’t fit into our molds, children who will always color outside the lines. Reading your words was so incredible to me, I sat reading in tears. Tears of happiness that someone understood, humor, because you have to have humor to mother this kind of child. Like you my first did everything right, friendly, outgoing, smart, great grades, etc., by my second, Mary, was ummmm, not an easy child to raise. At first it was called Separation Anxiety, as she grew up at 12 her diagnosis was Severe Panic Disorder with Depression. She was afraid of so many things, could face crowds…you get the idea. Mary was beautiful, difficult, creative, smart, funny, aggravating ! Manipulative, sweet, all these things that at times amazed me by her poetry, and art, and the beauty and details she saw when most others didn’t. I never got a moment without her hanging on me, usually holding onto my arm, it would drive me CRAZY!! So many times I wished for her to just leave me alone…just go away for a while. Stop the constant fighting with her sister. She started getting better, right meds, new psychiatrist, growing up? Who the hell knows, probably all combined. She actually went with her sister one day to a camp where the rest of the family were staying. I had had an outpatient procedure on my neck, injury from an accident the year before. Her Dad and I were going the next day. We were so very proud of her for going!! Without me! First time ever, and had spent the whole day having fun without me there. Then, at 10pm we got the call that is every parent’s nightmare. There was an accident. They had to lifeflighted my older daughter in critical condition, to a major hospital. Mary died at the scene. I miss her every minute of every day. It will be 15 years in July, I often wonder what she would have grown up to be. Were her fears founded? I just don’t know. But, enjoy that beautiful little son of yours who doesn’t seem to fit the mold. Enjoy his brilliance, his differences, thank you for putting into words the truth, and how sometimes you are the only one that really knows the beauty in your child, and to tell the rest to go to hell! Your words inspired me, even after all this time.. It was like, YES!!! Finally! Someone put the words to the feelings! Amazing! So Thank you. Thank you for reminding me what it was like being Mary’s Mom. Hang in there, you’ll get thru it, and bless those beautiful children you have! Life changes in the blink of an eye., you’re a wonderfully insightful woman! Each of your children is lucky to have you. Thank you for writing that wonderful article!!!

  • Deanna

    I cried as I read this. 12 hours later I’m still crying. Not only because this is also my son but reading through the comments I see many others have this child. I am not alone. And there is hope. My son is autistic, has sensory issues, is quite possibly dyslexic, and to boot he is extremely high functioning and can sound like a genius at times. So I get the looks, he can’t be autistic if he’s intelligent and isn’t rocking back forth in a corner, right? He’s just a spoiled brat because no one at the table can have scrambled eggs with their breakfast because the smell bothers him so much so we don’t order them. And he’s just lazy and we’re lazy parents because if he can read music and play piano he can learn to read like the other kids, right?? And more tears… So much happening in our lives right now and this post with these comments have given me renewed strength and determination when I felt like just giving up and giving in. Thank you.

  • Shelley

    So glad I read this!! I also have one of “those”
    kids!! It is such a challenge. He is the only boy, 7 years
    old and drives his sisters crazy, not to mention mom
    and dad!! He too is very smart, a math whiz, a cool little dancer,
    great with games/puzzles/Legos and will sit for hours
    counting money or playing with a deck of cards.
    We had an incident this week at my Mother’s house where
    she did not agree with his behavior and it has been bothering me
    until I read this post. My mother is raising my niece and nephew
    due to a sister on meth, which I know is hard on her. However, she basically
    Is raising them to be robots and to be scared of her. They
    are not really allowed to be theirselves and get caught
    Up in adult drama and gossip. They act perfect in stores and eateries
    because they know they will get it if they don’t! This was how
    I was raised and I don’t want this for my son. I am breaking the cycle!
    I love my son in all of his irritating glory and think he is amazing!
    Thank-you, Thank-you, Thank-you!!!!!!!! You Rock!!!

  • deemail

    Please try to get this kid as many math and music books as you can, (musicians, mathematicians, and therefore, computer programmers are code-breakers…..seriously, I have known very few programmers who were not amateur or pro musicians). Clearly, he is gifted in both areas…. get him some math logic puzzles and math workbooks that are way ahead of his age, he won’t be able to do everything in the book, but you will be surprised at how much he can do and it will be encouraging to him that there are things in them he still has to learn…that’s right, I said ‘encouraging’…these kids do everything so easily for their own age group that they don’t realize there are things out there that will still be fun to learn. Keep his brain busy and his body will calm a bit. You are letting him be himself, (really important)… now you just need to find things to help him learn to control himself. The easiest way to do this is to find challenging activities…and I mean challenging. He will be happy with the legos (and other constructive toys) for awhile, but buy the remote motors and other advanced accessories and watch him invent his own world. My oldest son was seven when he built a lego helicopter that had rotating blades and it was about 2 ft high and 2-1/2 ft wide. The blades rotated with a battery operated remote, and he did this in one afternoon all by himself. My son (now 44) grew into a 3-D guy…he can see anything in his head and build it…. he designs tools and makes them as part of his job. Your child has a great place in this world if the ‘establishment’ doesn’t try to squish him into a hole into which he does not fit! Good Luck … from one mom to another…..

  • deemail

    Just one thought after reading your other comments….please think carefully and long about any ‘special’ schools. When you segregate children from their average peers, you end up with a school full of the top 5% of the intelligence quotient. What that does is to take a child who is at the 95th percentile of the general population and make a loser out of him. That’s right, I said ‘loser.’ Not one kid in any of my school classes didn’t know exactly where he ranked against all the other kids in his class. And if he has the lowest grade in a room full of little genius’ it won’t matter to him that 94% of the rest of the world didn’t do as well as he. It’s the real world he has to learn to live in, not the world of all smart people. He will have to learn to do what he can and be who he can be, all the while, becoming patient and considerate of the ‘average’ people around him. EVERYBODY has a great idea once in awhile and he will be able to discern better and value everyone more than most if he is given a chance to learn to live in the real world. Some of those kids who won’t do as well in school will do really well in social settings and with luck, they’ll take Rocket along with them. This can’t happen if they never meet the rest of the world.

  • Bo Abrams

    Spot on Renegade mom. My friend sent this to me cause she said “Hey, this could have been you writing”.
    Oh the humility of having the “perfect” first child and then the ass kicking from the reality of the alternate universe that surrounds my second child. We joke that it’s not theoretically possible for one 9 year old to take in as little food as he does and still have the energy he exhibits. But the creativity, the generosity, the enthusiasm that he throws at the world, I am so glad he’s in my world (when I am not telling him “Enough with the r2-d2 mimicry!”).
    and talk about polar extremes when I go to parent teacher conferences. I get massive praise for the first and a stern talking to about the second.
    Like you though, I like myself a whole lot more now for the shift I’ve been through and I wouldn’t trade either one in for a different model.

  • Lashawn

    This was absolutely beautiful. I have a rocket of my own who is seven. The coincidences between the two were haunting. My son has Sensory Integration Disorder which is the reason he comes off as “annoying”. It also makes it harder for him to learn how to read. My son is seriously spatially gifted and is a creative artist. Reading about your own struggle to except your child has allowed me to remember why I love my boy. Thank you for these insightful words!

  • Karen Compton

    He sounds very much like my son who lives with Aspergers and other peoples opinions of him every day. He is deeply caring and extraordinarily irritating too! But I love him most of all when he feels free to truly be himself (which thankfully is most of the time now!) He has learned to ignore opinions from people that he hasn’t asked for and to be true to his heart. It turns out that other than the hypersensitive hearing, inability to sleep at socially acceptable times (making school difficult), being bullied, obsessions with transport and alphabetising EVERYTHING! He is a gifted musician and Mathematician….who’d have thought the disruptive boy could turn out so clever? Certainly not his teachers!!! His colleagues understand him and he is hard working and popular.

    Thankfully, the most important thing for me is……HE IS HAPPY! <3

    Rocket…being yourself and making yourself happy is more important than you will ever know.


  • xian

    unbelievably my son to a T, and totally understand this im in tears of both happiness and sadness, sadness only for those who cannot and will not understand. Love my sons both of them beyond belief yet Rydah my youngest and the “one of those kids” is the one i can have so much fun with…..xox and ty for this. its awesome.

  • McGarry

    I’m not being rude, & I don’t know if anyone else mentioned it above, but to me it really sounds as if Rocket is dyslexic. His spatial intelligence is extreme – it sounds as if he can’t comprehend things two-dimensionally, which would cause issues with pretty much every aspect of school, but hi three-dimensional comprehension is outstanding!

  • em

    i have one of these too! he is the one i worry the most about; he is the one i am the most protective of. he is amazing & infuriating. it is always good to hear another mama’s learnings as i learn.

  • Laura

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! It’s so comforting to know that other parents out there are dealing with the same kind of children. It’s also comforting to know that there are other children like this. My son is so much like your Rocket. It’s easier said than done to ignore society’s ideas of what is perfect and acceptable and to recognize your child for the special gift that they are… I’m trying to be better at this every day and this has helped so much. 🙂

  • Al

    So many of us have them. Mine are just like yours, but both boys. The older one was a dream baby, doing everything at the right time, bright and easy going. Then – bam! – we had the second and life’s been one big roller coaster. He’s been diagnosed with ADHD and mild ASD and we were having a conversation with him only last night about what makes him special and unique. I know that if we had had him first we wouldn’t have had a second; it has been such hard work – not least because he has never needed much sleep. But I wouldn’t change him for the world. My bundle of love and imagination and energy. He wants to be a scientist and work on time travel and space flight. We need these sorts of thinkers to make great leaps forward. Thanks for writing this. It’s good to know we’re not alone.

  • Carla

    I, too, have a son just like you spoke about. He is now 19 and the most polite, educated, well spoken, intelligent young man you will ever meet. And yes, growing up, he was a hand full. They tested him and he was G&T ( gifted and talented). His LEAP teacher said he was the first student she had had in years that was truly gifted. At this same time, he was diagnosed with ADD. I put him on medication for ADD so he would focus and be able to study and be what I thought he should be. Until one day he looked at me and said ‘why do you have me taking this? Do you not love me the way I was?’ Those words hit home……. He was off the meds the that very moment. And as I look back – I was very wrong. God created my little man this way for a reason – and that reason – well that is to be seen. But I know he is going to do a lot of great things – being HIM the way God intended for him to be.

  • Shabana

    phew…eyes filled with tears. there isn’t a mould perfect and unique enough to fit my daughter. And it has taken a considerable effort on my end to celebrate the hell out of this girl. I was a compulsive people pleaser growing up and it was a struggle for me to watch my child consistently doing things and evolving in a way that was so different from all the other kids. the greatest gift of having a child that’s so brilliantly unique is that you learn to see with your heart. and what a beautiful world it is when you’re finally able to do so.

  • ashlea

    Great Great piece. I identify a lot with it. We are a family of ADD’ers. I have seen above comments of parents of Asperbers, etc. I really think ADD is on that spectrum somewhere. So many same characteristics of the spectrum. Sounds like you have one hell of a smart, independent and strong little boy.

  • William

    I hope I’m not to late to warn you about the public schools. They generally tell you about a problem way after the fact. Usually too late to fix whatever it might be. They will probably never teach your son to read properly because they have too many positions for remedial reading teachers. Those particular jobs can’t be cut like sports or art or music. It pays to be inadequate in teaching the three r’s. Your son is also a perfect candidate for drugs to keep him quiet. If they had had those drugs when I was a student I would have been drugged to the max. The last place I wanted to be was in a class room when there were so many interesting things I could be doing outside.

  • Jen

    Mine can be one of those annoying kids and not everyone sees his gorgeous side so it’s sometimes been a hard road at school. Some teachers get him but many don’t. Last year a teacher made the comment that he’s bright and inquisitive, not like some of the other potatoes they teach.

  • Marnie

    Thankyou for this post!! I have 4 boys and to be honest I don’t think any of them ‘fit’ the mould! Your post has reminded me that I need to stop struggling with my own issues of what I ‘want’ them to be and celebrate them for them! I need to learn to say “I don’t care what other people think”! To us they are all awesome in their own special way!!

  • Bec

    I know what you are saying, both mine are like this to some degree, beautifully frustrating!!!! They’ve seen many therapists which has helped a great deal, most of all good nutrition ie. improving their gut health and boosting their vitamins, and OT for sensory issues ie. they are sensory seekers looking for deep pressure stimulus, movement, noise etc. and it has helped immensely. I love their personality and uniqueness and to be able to manage the frustrating elements as helped them in social settings, internally with their own emotions and with learning at school. They don’t need to change, just be understood and that makes all the difference:)

  • Charlie

    Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for writing this article! I was smiling through tears as you described my 6yr old wild fire! In my moments of clarity I realise that we are great parents, but there is still that nagging doubt that I have first pancaked my first born.

  • bushmama

    Fucking life changing. I have that child and have always felt like I need to keep him from annoying the uptights. Thanks for this.

  • KCB

    LOVE this article.

    I have a Rocket of my own who just graduated from High School. He is a wonderful kid, but drove everyone around him crazy. His second grade teacher used to make him sit out recess because his papers were not neat. (THE KID NEEDED THE FRESH AIR – HELLO). He drew and held imaginary wars during class but he totally was listening and she refused to understand that in doodling it allowed him to concentrate.

    His fifth grade teacher had to write him up for “reading” during science and math. The teacher said – i hate to discipline a kid for reading but he needs to pay attention…

    He took all the right AP classes, struggled through them but stuck with it.. he is a bright gregarious, loveable kid with a great ACT score and an average GPA but he is heading off to university.

    He still forgets what he was doing, where he is headed, what is due, who needs what, etc. All that said I know he will be successful but it took me forever to realize his path is going to be a different path then others or my own.

    I love him to the moon and back. I so understand him because I was him about 35 years ago…

    • KCB

      Oops – i should have said “I was HE about 35 years ago” 🙂

  • jakesmom

    thank you. just…thank you.

  • Amber

    Wow, thanks so much for this hilarious yet shaking post. I have a 5 year old son, Jack, sandwiched between two sisters, and he is scarily similar to Rocket. I love that you claim out loud, that the best feeling ever was to not give a shit. I’ve spent the better part of his life listening to parenting advice and trying everything to get him to fit in and only recently, realized that he and I are both happiest when I let go and just enjoy the perfect little spark that he is. He’s also incredibly annoying, but, like your baby boy, has these freckles across his nose that absolutely take me hostage. I’m totally in love with him. I’m so happy I stumbled onto your post today and will now be subscribing so I can laugh and ponder about being a mom along with you.

  • Mel K


    Ditto what several of the other women said about your beautiful writing. I found you through @LemonLimeAdventures on facebook. As I was reading your post I kept thinking more and more about my own son. A lot of similarities and it really felt good to read your post. My son drives me batty at times he truly does…he has SPD and a few other challenges including Selective Mutism. OMG the noises he makes!!! I try to let it go because I know he needs to do it but sometimes I can’t hear it anymore and shout “STOP!” too. He is as compassionate and loving as it sounds your boy is too. So like you said, while our boys are a little different I kinda like it that way. I love seeing the world through his eyes and how “beautiful” many mundane (to me at least) things appear to him. He is a highly gifted boy with sensory challenges and unfortunately deals with a lot of anxiety too. I’ve also learned that I too have sensory issues and it was through testing for him and filling out all these questionnaires that we discovered it. I always felt a little different and that something was “off” but couldn’t pinpoint it. Ah well I digress. I wanted to pass along a THANK YOU for your very honest and heartfelt piece. It was comforting to know I am not alone and that other parents experience similar days and similar experiences/feelings. Your son is a gorgeous young man and sounds like he is the life of the party. 😉 Wishing you and your family a great summer! Thanks again!!