Good Thinking Parts of your Brain

Sullivan and I were talking about what it means to be responsible, and I gave him a

list that included:

  • helping find your own socks and shoes,

  • buckling yourself in the van,

  • keeping track of your own water bottle, and

  • grabbing a snack when you want one instead of yelling and whining about how scared you are to go to the snack cupboard, when I am literally in the same room. (The snack cupboard is in the front hallway, it is the coat closet. We even put up curtains instead of heavy wooden doors to make it lighter. There is a huge bright light in there, too.)

He really struggles with going to the snack cupboard, especially if it's dark outside. It's in our front closet. It's well lit and full of deliciousness, but he is still scared of it. So he says to me, speaking in all caps, his eyebrows raised high,

"Oh Mommy! I know I just have to use the good thinking parts of my brain to get rid of all the scary stuff!"

Amazed, I say it back to him so he knows I heard him (in addition to an articulation disorder/delay, he has lost his two front bottom teeth, and is harder to understand now). He goes on and explains it further:

"But NO ONE KNOWS how hard I have to yell at the other parts of my brain to make me not feel scared! No one understands how loud I have to yell at them in my brain!"

I think about my own anxiety and depression, I think about how hard I have to yell at those parts of my brain with my own good thinking parts.


Sullivan is a philosopher who, in spite of his young chronological age, seems to have a pretty good understanding of the human condition.

I think about all the other "background radiation" I have to push past in my head, every day. Diminishing thoughts, body image, ways of talking and acting that diminish others. Some days I win and some days I don't.

I learn from Sullivan every day. Today, I learned that who I want to be, SHE lives in the "good thinking parts" of my brain.

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