Tuesday, November 17, 2009

psalms for autumn

On the drive home from the library tonight Martin sang another one of his wacky psalms. To make even a bit of sense of it, you must know that he had just picked up a banana at a kid's cooking class at the library. So here goes:

Raise up your hands to the green light,
Raise up your hands to the yellow light,
Raise up your hands to the red light.
I am waving the banana,
And it is Martin's banana,
And all the Christmas lights are shining,
Christmas is so huge,
And I am so huge.

This song is mostly nonsense, unfiltered response to the traffic signal, some food, and the newly installed Christmas lights all over downtown Wooster. At the same time, it is a sign of Martin's recent verbal leap. For instance, yesterday he disobeyed his new tutor and ran away from her in the college parking lot. When I asked him about it, I received this shockingly long reply that basically cohered with reality:

"Um, I was just holding Miss Jamie's hand and then I was not holding Miss Jamie's hand and I was running out to the street and I was not listening and then Miss Jamie she just grabbed my hand and I was not listening and I will get a time out."

This is a child who, a year ago, we were trying to get to answer yes or no questions 50% of the time we asked them. This is a kid who we were drilling every day with the hope that he'd take more than one turn in a conversation. We were yearning for something, anything sensible to escape his lips. And now we're getting paragraphs. They might be full of run-on sentences and repetitive, but so are many of my students' papers.

I'm just so amazed by it all. So amazed that we made it through the library cooking class, even if he refused to eat the food he helped make. So amazed that he knows what Christmas is after several years of the day being nothing but a nuisance to him because it changes a typical daily schedule. So amazed that he's reasonably happy and making progress despite all the ups and downs we've had with schooling and tutors this fall. You are huge, Martin!


  1. I think the song is really good. Compared to some of the nonsense lyrics I hear on the radio, it makes a lot of sense. It has repetition and it has a story arc. I kind of love it.

    Also, this is a huge leap. Martin is huge!

    There is a good chance that I will begin to use the phrase "Martin is huge" to celebrate any achievement...or a really good banana.

  2. I can certainly relate.....these children are AMAZING!!!!!

  3. A shout of acclamation! Martin IS huge.

    That kid's going places, Jen, and I think he's going to continue amazing you.

    I think he should add a selah in there someplace. ;)

  4. Each day he amazes me and he is blessed with such wonderful parents - how proud I am of all of you.
    Miss Sasha indeed has a "huge" brother