Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Bookworm and Quirky - Different in Amazing Ways

Last Saturday was a day sans our “kulilit” (Gabee) because she had school to make up for class suspensions. It was Garrett’s schedule with his developmental-behavioral pediatrician whose clinic is a two-hour drive from our place. Garrett had us all to himself from the afternoon until the next morning. While I got almost teary-eyed while placing our orders at a nice restaurant we went to for dinner without Gabee, it felt okay just to have Garrett that night. It was quiet, and Garrett enjoyed our undivided attention. I resolved that Gabee would have her chance, too, to have me and her dad just to herself. I feel it’s a good arrangement to take out each of them separately on a few occasions. At their ages, they still tend to outdo, outtalk, and outsmart each other.

We have been open that Garrett has ADHD which explains his talkativeness. Being labeled with ADHD does not make him any less. He is a bright and charming boy with or without it. In fact, I think it is his nature to be compulsive about acquiring all kinds of information. He is a bookworm in the full sense of the word: a person unusually devoted to reading and study; a bookworm who prefers reading to just about any other activity (Merriam-Webster). He craves to read. And his interests run a spectrum, from fairy tales, G. Stilton, H. Potter, planets, business, medicine, cookery, to everything else, even showbusiness! He’s bound to read whatever he gets his hands on. The quirkiness manifests itself in his impulsivity to talk, to share what he has read. He blabbers, unmindful sometimes if he is being listened to. He goes on and on. But, he is improving, having better control, and taking cues from his audience.

We were all delighted when he started “really” talking when he turned three. He impressed the principal at the interview for admission into first grade with his questions about cockroaches. He unknowingly turned the tables and ended up asking the principal “did-you-know” questions. The principal sensed a problem in terms of his focus and keeping to the direction of the conversation, but acquiesced that the school’s strong science program would suit this inquisitive boy.

That inquisitive six-year-old boy will turn 11 this month. In those five years, I am certain he has read more than what I have read in my full 38 years. No kidding. He reads everyday. He reads while he buttons his shirt. And then he dreams about what he has read. He smiles, laughs by himself as he conjures up images of Roald Dahl’s funny characters in his mind. He must have scoured the library collection at his school already. Since first grade, that has been his haven, the place where fetchers and teachers would find him.

My little boy is fast becoming a man. It scares me, yes. I hope the scientific in him would douche the fantasies running in his head. May his interest in Bloomberg Businessweek rub some good business sense into him, and his love for Mabuhay magazine get him to places I can only dream of going to.

I believe my boy can be whatever he chooses to become. I try and encourage him to know his purpose, to have a goal, for, I tell him, if he doesn’t have one, every little thing he does would always feel like a task, like getting out of bed in the morning. I am not sure whether I should be prodding him early on. He is a kind and smart boy, and he has it in him to reach his dreams and help others.

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