Monday, April 27, 2009

Dear Joshua

I heard what that boy said at church yesterday. You didn't hear it, but I did. You were playing with another little boy on the playground, and one of the bigger kids said something really unkind to both of you. Thankfully, you were oblivious and went about your way unscathed. I was not.

I hope that one day you will have children of your own, but until then, you will not know what it is like to watch your heart run around outside your body, vulnerable to injury beyond your control. To feel someone else's joy and pain more acutely than you feel your own. My heart hurt for you yesterday even as it was relieved at your nescience.

It's tough being your mom sometimes. You are so brave and so driven that I cannot imagine anything standing between you and your goals. You were not even three when you learned to swim and only four when you decided to dive. At five you could roller skate, and earlier than that you mastered riding your bike without training wheels. When you set your mind to something, you will not be stopped.

But, there is another side of you. The side that is shy and quiet and timid. The side that doesn't speak up when someone is standing on your foot or that tells me sadly after school that everyone else in class got two cookies, but you got only one. I don't even bother asking whether you spoke up because I know you didn't. You, who at 2 years old gave the other moms a heart attack by doing a forward roll down the slide at Burger King, are insecure and apprehensive when it comes to speaking up for yourself or approaching new friends. I know you. You want to join in with the other kids or get first choice of treats or be first in line. But, you won't. You will quietly hope it happens, but you will not step on other people or push your way ahead or assert yourself.

So, sometimes it's hard to figure out how to be the best mom I can to you. I know what a terrific kid you are, and I want you to let other people know it, too. But, I can't push you too much because I never want you to be someone you are not. You have the strengths and weaknesses God gave you, and I love you just the way you are.

I was so proud of you for joining in with the older boys at church. I know it was not easy for you to jump in. That's why it hurt me so much to hear someone deride you. He was just being an insensitive kid, but he had no idea how much courage it took for you leave your comfort zone. But, I know. And, as long as I have breath, I will be proud of the brave and capable and sensitive and smart person that you are.

I feel sorry for any kid who doesn't want to be your friend. He has no idea what he's missing.

1 comment:

Jaime said...

This made me cry. I totally understand and can relate to this.
I love the way you wrote with such candor and honesty. Love it.