THE BOY IN THE YELLOW BOOTS
Our son Simon is a beaming and bright light in our family. Since he was able to speak he asked questions constantly about everything. He also asked them repeatedly to be certain our answer didn’t change.
Simon was born at home and that evening was quite an experience for us all. With Daniel only 5 at the time and Izik 3, they were quite excited to witness such an amazing event. By being part of the birth, I wanted them to see the most amazing miracle of all in life…a baby being born into the world.
With yet another boy in our home, we instantly knew he would be called Simon. Since Izik didn’t have a name for 2 days after being born as I expected to have a girl (for no reason ;), when I thought of how much I liked the name Izik as did my husband, I also thought of (at the same time) and liked the name Simon. Instantly, we called him by name. I always say it was the experience of the day he was born that created such energy in him…and clearly it and he is here to stay J
When Simon was just a baby, he would throw food all over the place and make the biggest mess of any of our kids…he would also have the biggest smile on his face while doing so. We had a sweet woman that spent a lot of time in our house named Esther and often fed Simon and no matter what he did, she always called him “an angel from heaven.”
When Simon was 3 years old on a warm spring Sunday evening in late May, the boys were outside playing baseball. They had school the next day but they asked if they could stay out just a bit longer. I agreed as the weather was so nice and they were having a great time. Within just a few minutes Daniel came running into the house yelling that Izik hit Simon in the mouth with a baseball bat. Simon lost his first front tooth immediately and his dad (being the doctor that he is) pushed the one that was dangling back into place but a few days later Simon tripped on the carpeting in the hallway and it didn’t survive. He was front toothless for more than a few years and one grew in when he was about 6 but it took a little longer for the other one to come in. But as you can see, they are just fine.
I always say that Simon has a brain like my husband: filled with curiosity and wonder of how things work and what makes them work…and do they work well enough to be satisfied with? If not,
he will likely come up with another idea to improve upon what isn’t working according to his understanding or expectations.
Simon was (and is) a busy boy: he was the one who got into EV-ER-EE-THING!! He would try on my shoes when I would take them off (which had no less than a 4 inch heel) and try to walk in them when he was not even 2 years old and usually wearing nothing more than a diaper. When he was 3 he had a yellow bike and pair of yellow Hunter rain boots and he became recognized by everyone in both of the neighborhoods we lived in by his yellow boots ;) He wore them so much that he wore holes in the bottoms of them (even with just a diaper on) and I still have them and I will keep them forever!!
Simon wasn’t interested in reading books when he was young but in swimming and fishing and catching toads and biking in the woods with his dad and brothers. He wasn’t much for video games or TV but preferred to build things out of legos. He enjoyed it as much as his dad and he would wait until he got home and force him to make airplanes out of legos. He always wanted to make a bigger airplane than the one before…and there were times when they almost looked ridiculous. Simon didn’t care though and he would begin adding to them and rearranging their parts and when his dad would come home the next night from work he would often have to take them apart and redo them because he couldn’t let them be the new way Simon designed them ;)
When Simon was in Kindergarten our family went through a big change and we moved to the mountains about an hour or so from where we lived in Pennsylvania. This was in February of 2010 and the drive was about an hour and a half from where Simon and the other kids went to school. Simon and his brothers and sister had a few months left of school still, and we didn’t want to put them in a new school so late in the year so we drove them every day to their school. We spent a lot of time in the car each day and because Simon had morning Kindergarten and the trip to school was 70 miles, he was often late. I didn’t know that he wasn’t learning to read and his teacher didn’t tell me. Ever since, until this year and him coming to Park City, and having Mrs. Ingle, and being in a great class with kids that make him feel welcome, Simon struggled to learn. I have begun to understand that while Simon can learn to read (and has), because he doesn’t think in a way where text books interest him, it takes a special teacher and a special class to bring out his unique learning style and enable him to thrive. Many extremely intelligent people often do not learn so easily in a classroom unless they have a teacher like Mrs. Ingle.
The information in this letter is to be about Simon and what a special kid he is, but I would not be sharing the complete story of Simon and his success in this classroom as a new student in Park City if I didn’t also tell you all how amazing Mrs. Ingle is. I have interacted with many teachers having 5 kids, and I want to tell you that teachers like her are to be celebrated and forever remembered and thanked for their selfless devotion to their class. It is because of her investment into Simon (and all of you) that he now has the confidence to read and to feel that he can learn anything he wants to.
God did not make us all the same and we all have different strengths and weaknesses and remembering to help those who may appear to be struggling with something is always a way to feel good about yourself and also to remember there is sure to be a time when you may be that person needing help as we cannot all be good at everything all the time.
You will meet Simon’s dad tomorrow morning and while he struggled to read until he was in 6th grade, he is now a brilliant doctor who helps people all over the world.
Simon is now making up for lost time with his learning and he is excited to come to school each day.
I want to say a big THANK YOU to each of you for welcoming Simon into your class, which isn’t always easy part way through the year. You are all very special and I am quite sure you are all going to do very amazing things in this world to make it a better place.
And to my youngest and incredibly special child, I know for certain that every hurdle you have overcome was a choice. You chose to not let the areas of weakness become stumbling blocks in your future but to become the reasons why you will become successful…because as you have already learned, when you discipline yourself to be greater than what you struggle with, you will always come out on top!!