It’s been a month packed full of emotional intensity here on this site. I’m grateful October was the Emotional Intensity month, for in a week we’re going to be full-on into the hectic holiday season. Things have changed since I was a kid. Back in the day, the holiday season began when Santa appeared at the Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Now Christmas items fight with 4th of July decorations, arm wrestle with Back to School Supplies, and I’m pretty sure I saw a smackdown at Target this week when I popped in for Halloween candy. Anyway, my point…I think I had one…was that if we’d jumped into Emotional Intensity during the thick of holiday hysteria, I suspect a lot of us would just sit and shake, and spill our eggnog onto the keyboards. Best to get it acknowledged and out of the way early.

Today is a breathtakingly beautiful day in Chicago as I type this. The end of October is not supposed to be 75 degrees and sunny. It fills me with great joy to go out and feel the warm sun and silky air…but great dread as well, because I know what’s coming. My friends back in Colorado just got hit with the first snow of the season; that cold and wet is heading this way. Dude on the radio this morning actually said snow showers were possible, and I wanted to wash his mouth out with soap. Someday I want to live in the moment and not think of what’s around the corner. I know practice makes better, and I certainly need more practice in this arena. Perhaps I’ll begin by spending the day outside, and justify it by raking the leaves that cover the lawn several inches thick.

I’m slowly awakening to the fact that my youngest son has intensities of his own. Somehow I missed them, as his brother’s (and dad’s…and my) intensities are so much louder. His are sensual, and they’re less of the oh my God the seams in my socks are driving me insane! variety, and more of the Mom! Look at this absolutely perfect leaf I found! and Mom! Look at that beautiful sunset! and Mom! I’m so cozy snuggled up in this blanket, I’m like a little bug in a rug variety. This is the child who owns one pair of jeans, because he needs them for his Scout uniform. Otherwise, he lives in elastic-waisted track pants. Things taste wonderful or horrible. He loves music…but refuses to admit it because his parents are musicians. And this is the child who thinks he’s not gifted. 

Someday…and I look forward to this day…I will have a better handle on the intensities in this house, and my knee-jerk emotional reaction to them. In the meantime, I’m going to appreciate the gift of an unusually gorgeous Chicago fall afternoon, and check “rake leaves” off my list to boot.


Jen writes over at Laughing at Chaos when she has something to say. That hasn’t been much lately, as her own emotional intensities are doing their level best to take her down. She’s also the author of If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional. Her favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, thinks Christmas supplies should stay under wraps until Black Friday, and knows for a fact that Valentine’s Candy will make an appearance before New Year’s Eve.


2 thoughts on “Random thoughts, intense and otherwise

  1. I needed this today. Desperately. I’m trying to come to terms with my 4 childrens’ 4 different intensities. It’s a struggle. Today, we played in the backyard for a couple of hours to keep from having the house destroyed.

  2. Good reminder that emotional intensity is looks different for different kids. Just met with another mom who’s struggling to cope with her child’s emotions and they’re a complete 180 from what I deal with in my daughter. Enjoy the last bit of warm weather in Chicago!

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