Wednesday, August 9, 2017

White House Dreams.

Mason moved back to college today while I am a gazillion miles away. Claire is still serving in Texas. Benjamin is working hard to get Ralph Northam elected governor of Virginia. Cate and I are here as part of Team Benjamin and will drive him home this weekend just in time for her to start school Monday morning.

So I am not sure if I am weary or nostalgic or a healthy mix of each but as we continued our sight-seeing of Washington, D.C. this morning with an early morning tour of the White House I was enveloped with memories.

The triplets were just beginning first grade when we hit a road block:

Little Benjamin needed to leave the classroom for a scheduled bathroom break at an inconvenient time for his teacher.  His attendant would take him but rather than wait for her to help him head back to class, Benjamin would speed back as fast as possible. 

Unfortunately, his teacher insisted the door be closed as she taught. Benjamin had no way to let himself back in.

He came up with his own solution. He started using the tray on his wheelchair to "knock" on the door. His friends would hear and one would come running to open the door.

I honestly thought he was a genius.

His teacher did not agree with me.

She stopped us at pick-up one day and strongly encouraged me to help him find a different solution.

I was just learning my Mama Bear role, mind you. But I was not happy. As the evening progressed I got more upset. I was absolutely convinced that this teacher -- who I truly adored -- was destroying his self-esteem. My internal Mama Bear voice was screaming that this was going to completely affect his love of learning. Completely. 

By the time I had these precious young learners to bed, I was beside myself trying to come up with a solution that salvaged his self-esteem, that allowed him to continue believing in himself, to keep soaring toward higher learning! (Because you know, first grade.....)

My trio had been in bed long enough for at least two of the three to be sleeping soundly when I heard Benjamin crying and calling for me.

Here we go, I thought. He is crying because he is so upset about this incident at school.

I rushed to his bedside.

Honey, what is it?

Mama, I am worried. He was crying.

I know, sweetheart. But Mama can fix it. Tell me what it is.
(Oh I was fairly seething by now. I was ready to storm the doors of the school the next day.)

Mama, I am worried. I am worried that WHEN I am elected President of the United States, they won't let you live in the White House with me.

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. But I knew enough to hug that boy close and assure him that WHEN he is elected president he can make them let me live in the White House.

Benjamin taught me a lot that night. Some issues just aren't issues for him. His dreams were not so easily shattered as needing a new plan for knocking on the first grade door.

So today,  as we toured the White House -- a tour that is part of our time in D.C. made possible because Benjamin is volunteering in the Virginia governor's election -- I was reminded of that sweet night more than a decade ago.

Benjamin assures me that his dreams today are more geared toward working with our political system than actually running for president.

But as his Mom, I couldn't help but smile as we took the behind-the-scenes tour to get to the elevator (I wasn't allowed to take pictures there sadly.) of the two of us rolling through the halls of the White House all these years after his little tears brought me rushing to his room in fear that we couldn't be there together.

Go get your dreams, Benjamin. Wherever they may lead you. I will forever be on your team!

Carol - The Blessings Counter