I Was Very Impressed.
It isn’t often that a kid with ADHD gets an unsolicited compliment. It’s sad, too, because there is so much to be complimented!
It’s just that the wild whooping and leaping, and the sometimes exceedingly loud behavior is so obvious, whereas the exceptionally pleasant behavior is usually not as noticeable. Often I just screech “STOP IT!” without giving it much thought.
But Dylan has always been an amazingly sweet, empathetic, deeply caring and emotional boy. So it was a welcome – but not a huge – surprise when one of his teachers put the following in a “P.S.” at the bottom of an unrelated email:
“We just finished an appreciation exercise in morning homeroom. Dylan’s comments were sensitive, showed a depth of understanding, and were quite well-spoken. I was very impressed.”
I didn’t know what an appreciation exercise might be, nor could I imagine what would inspire Dylan to be so open after only a few short weeks at school – and in homeroom, too, which is ungraded.
But obviously, he was moved enough to speak. And the morning homeroom routine is one reason why I so wanted Dylan to be part of this glorious Quaker environment.
So I asked Dylan what it was all about.
“Basically, we just came up with a compliment for whoever was sitting next to us,” he said.
“That sounds interesting!” I said, not hiding my enthusiasm. “So what did you say?”
“I don’t know.”
“You don’t know what you said?”
“I don’t really remember what I said.”
“So who did you compliment?”
“I don’t know.”
“Do you remember what anybody said about you?”
There’s something about this age that makes teenagers leave home and light up the rooms outside of the house, wherever they go. They become mature and gorgeous and wonderful. Other people see their kindness, comment on how polite they are, extol their virtues and recognize how great they are to have around.
And at home, they only grunt.
So I don’t know what Dylan said that was so moving.
But whatever it was, it sure impressed the teacher. And it doesn’t surprise me one bit.