My Little Einstein entered with two other Attention-deficit/hyperactive disordered (ADHD) patients, all seven-years-olds, but Eddie with the added mentally gifted and Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) by his name, and Kat (SI) an adoptee from Austria. Eddie took only three-seconds to capture my attention with his scientific declaration, "I have a camouflage shirt on. I know all about camouflages."
Einstein's General Relativity formula (G = 8pi GT) popped into my imagination. Stretched to space and time (G) tells matter' to move (T) or teacher wake-up Eddie's on the move. He launched into a spiel of white rabbits in snow, daddy-long-legged spiders until I nonchalantly interjected with, "Of course, crocodiles with their toothy, crooked smiles camouflaged by hiding in the water. We all need to hide, but people hide differently than animals." Little Einstein's crooked smile said, "She knows." I returned the smile with the same look and said that I would enjoy talking more about camouflage when he had time. Gleefully, he dove back into his schoolwork. Eddie's going to be easy; I thought to myself.
These short encounters of exchanging "that look" told my children that I was listening and hearing. For Eddie it meant a profusion of scientific declarative knowledge. Trust developed, and he soon blurted out his hidden feelings during the shuffle of our daily classroom routines. I was rewarded and amused when we hunched over his math, and he quietly asked, if adults-mothers hide by acting strangely. "Certainly, for sure," I replied in true jargon while regrouping his double-digit subtraction problems. Without eye contact, I proceeded. We hide some things personal when it isn't the time or place to discuss a situation; but, here in the hospital you may speak freely with your nurse or doctor. They keep your secret to try to see what you are thinking so they may guide you.
Eddie's nurse left a copy of the following on my desk. Upon returning to his home, out-of-state, Eddie's mother emailed. Eddie said, "Mom, I guess it is up to me. I am happy to be me." My heart burst with joy as I pictured Eddie's chubby, rosy face moving in his space without camouflage, the ultimate affirmation. Eddie needed space & time (G) to tell himself to move toward what matters (T) - Time to share, time to heal, and time to care; in 'general relative-ity' that's all that matters.
Kaye is a teacher and author of multiple works including Valerie Valentine Visits Vincent Vampire