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Amy Ijams
Nice Shot Amy


My son Jake made the kindergarten cut-off by three days.

To say he was a “young” five is to say the least. When in fifth grade, he was chronologically a fourth grader, socially in third, and academically… well, he hadn't been tested since he was seven, but all indications were that he was operating intellectually years and years ahead. So which version of my kid do I cuddle? At which one of his levels do I discipline? How can I expect his teachers to zero in on these nuances and not throw their hands up, treating him as a pain?

In kindergarten he told his teacher that he didn't like the way she had her reading groups formed. She poo-pooed his remark so he went ahead and rearranged the chart according to what he saw appropriate.

In fifth grade, the only thing keeping him from dominating the class with blurted thoughts and constant interruptions was diagramming sentences on his thigh that proclaimed his boredom with math.

Jake sees text – in any form – and instantly absorbs, digests, comprehends, and retains it.
Sounds, sensations, and memories are like living, breathing entities for him. Sometimes he can overcome them, other times they drive him to rage.

His peers call him stupid because he doesn't often join them on the honor roll. What they don't know is Jake has daily hurdles of functioning in typical, and socially acceptable ways in the classroom can be an overwhelming and an all-consuming effort. The truth is, Jake passes gas smarter than them, but I don't think he can wrap his head around that yet.

Jake delights in his striking resemblance to his mother and how he has quirks like his Granddad. He's developed and honed his ‘cool guy’ look to perfection and proudly calls himself a “total gamer.” Jake has made tremendous strides since kindergarten and knows it. This year he has friends. Not A friend, but several of them. They seem to genuinely like Jake and that makes this mama's heart sing.

Amy Ijams, A.K.A. Mama Jake
Tucson, AZ