The Making of Bear

When he was 3, he finally started really talking. I knew he'd probably need speech therapy. Most of the boys in my family did.

When he was in pre-k, his teacher told me that it was December before he ever talked to her and she could see his personality emerge. He had some seriously cute speech patterns. Girl was gel. Cloud was clown. Adorable. Lamb would translate for him.

When he was in kindergarten, he was still so shy that he wouldn't talk to his teacher. We started noticing that if we couldn't understand what he was saying the first time, he would NOT repeat it. Even if we just didn't hear him. He'd just shut down.

When he was in 1st grade, his teacher asked me if she could have him tested for speech. Finally! I had been begging to have him tested and was told repeatedly it was all developmental. Sure enough, he qualified for articulation.

When he was in 2nd grade, he started emerging around November rather than December. Speech was building his confidence but he was still incredibly shy.

When he was in 3rd grade, his wonderful, adorable, fantastic teacher really brought him out of his shell. Their personalities clicked and she gave him a safe place to be heard and to just be him.

When he was in 4th grade, he once again had that special teacher who understood him and allowed him to be him. I had to stop using the label "incredibly shy" when talking about him. He was still shy, but comfortable enough to relax.

Now it's 5th grade. And I'm talking about Bear. My funny, sweet, adorable, and, yes, shy Bear. Today he had the confidence to get up in front of 240 4th and 5th graders to tell them why they should vote for him to be Student Council Treasurer. Oh, he was nervous. He was anxious. But, he did it. And not only did he succeed in public speaking but I saw him supporting the other candidates. It's hard to do what these 5th graders did.

And the students voting saw something in him. Ladies and Gents, let me introduce to you the 2008-2009 Student Council Treasurer.
BEAR!!! He did it! I could not be more proud. He could not be more proud. I videotaped his speech. I'm not going to post it, but I'd be more than happy to share it. Let me know in the comments. If you are so inclined, you can leave me your email address if I don't have it.

Thank you everyone for all your well wishes, prayers, thoughts, support. They mean the world to us. Ya'll mean the world to me. Thank you.


Valarie said...

That is great!!! I knew he was gonna win, his posters were just to awesome. :)

Bubba's Sis said...

I am so so proud of him! I have watched The Making of Bear for many years now, and he has grown into an incredible young man. I'm proud to be his "Other Mother"!

And yes, dear, do e-mail me the speech! I wish I could have been there!

Bubba's Mom said...

He won, he won! How Johnny Cash is that!! I, of course, did not know all of Bear's history, but he has certainly overcome it and is an incredible kid. As I've said before too, he totally cracks me up. What a great job you and Big D have done! You are all dear to my heart.

Anonymous said...

Well to go Bear!!! I knew you would win!!!I would love to hear his me
Auntie W


Good job Bear!!

You are lucky to have had some good teachers that knew just what he needed. It is amazing what can happen with a little time and the right encouragement!

ChrissyM said...

What a terrific story. Way to go Bear!!!

ChrissyM said...

What a terrific story. Way to go Bear!!!

Maggie said...

That is such great news!! Congratulations to Bear!! =)

Jamie Dawn said...

I'd love to hear his speech!!
Please email it to me.

Congrats to BEAR!!!
I love that poster!
Humor is always a good "sign" in a person.

To Bear: You should feel very accomplished about what you've done. You set a goal to become treasurer, then you did the hard work to achieve that goal. You will not always reach every goal you set, but I have a feeling you'll reach most of them.
Hooray for YOU!!!!!


Debbie said...

Yeah!! I am so excited. Now I know a celebrity and a politician. WooWee! I know you must be bursting with pride. I thought about him Friday. And I just now got time to sit down to the computer this weekend. Did you all celebrate?

Amy-littletoesandcheerios said...

Brought tears to my eyes! I knew with our prayers and his sweet face, he'd win. Way to go Bear, I mean Treasurer sir.

D... said...

Ya'll are so kind. Thank you so much.

Patois said...

Oh, my, that shy little cub has become a fearless bear. Send me the tape, please, please, please.

Melissa said...

I am so proud! I'm a little late reading this, but I would LOVE to hear the speech. Don't tell the other kids, but Bear will always be one of my favs!

Tales From the Eurovan said...

Way to go Bear! Yippey! I've been curious to know all week! Thank God for teachers who "get" our quiter kids!
Take care,

Misty Dawn said...

I literally have tears streaming down my face - I just luv that kid to pieces!