Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Speaking Truth. Acting in Truth.

His feelings are important.
His needs are important.
He can count on me.

The other day I read this post by dear Meg.  It moved me. I suppose it will move many of us in different ways as it is so personally adaptive to our lives as parents.

I read that post after have 2 days of struggling with my son. Struggling with LOTS of things in LOTS of areas. Sometimes my role in the process can make it better. Sometimes I make it harder. Sometimes, in an attempt to make things easier, I forget to convey important truths to his heart and our family.

His feelings are important.
His needs are important.
He can count on me.

We'd spent considerable time 'doing hair' over the course of 3 days. He likes it long. Does NOT want it cut or buzzed. Has great fear about it really. Which means that I have to take care that it doesn't mat and get too tangled. I'm not complaining. I like doing it. I love learning. I love the time we spend doing it. It suits his personality. That isn't said to discount the effort, energy and time invested.


On Tuesday, heading into school, he wanted to wear a hat or hood. He curled up in a ball, into my lap begging, "please." He clung to me, burying his head, "Please, momma." Finally convinced it was time to join his class, he did so demurely. Quietly.

This is not about a hoodie. This is about a boy, feeling ashamed, nervous, shy of standing out. A boy, who's mother repeats over and over, "different is good" "you are beautiful" "God made you just perfect".

These are truths. But they are words. Words, without action, can not sink into the heart.


Tuesday he was given a very special gift, from his very special grandparents, for a very special boy. We talked about it. In small bites. Here and there. So it would sink in- this special big boy bike.  And still, he received the gift, half hiding, covered as much as he could get away with.

Tuesday night, I read Meg's post. That night, I lay in bed, convicted. Him asleep in the bed next to me, sleeping cap on. Not having had to remind him to use it the past couple nights.  I listened. I heard. I saw.

My own pride was part of the many reasons I insisted on keeping his hair in twists for as long as I planned. I had invested a lot of time. I had worked really hard.

It's not about me.


Speak truth. Show truth in action.

The next morning. Even though we woke late. Even though the rope twists had only been in one day. Even though I had committed to be somewhere at 9am. I finally realized how acting these truths are as important now as they've ever been. I told him these truths.

His feelings are important.
His needs are important.
He can count on me.
... and said...
"if you want, we can take your twists out before school."

We arrived at school an hour and a half late. Circle time already in session. He joined his group promptly and said "Look. My hair is soft today. Do you want to touch it?" And he went around the circle of friends and teachers bending over, proudly offering each one an opportunity to feel his 'soft hair'.  When he'd made the loop, he stood up, tall, looked at me, offered a big small and sat down.

It doesn't matter what I may think it looks like. It isn't about me. It isn't about how long it stays detangled. It's about him. Finding identity. Feeling strength and pride in how he is made. In how he is becoming. In who he is. In who he is becoming.

Another reminder, that I'm still new at this parenting thing. Lessons remain new every day. Pride has no place in parenting.


S said...

Oh how I know...and he's beautiful with any kind of hair.

Cam and Meg said...

Love ya friend! Keep speaking and living truths to him. You are doing a great job.

scooping it up said...

so lovely. sometimes we all have to take a big breath and say, in the end all that matters is what he thinks and what Jesus thinks. screw everyone else.

Themia said...

You are a wonderful mom, my friend.

Overthinking Mama said...

this completely touched my heart... sometimes it easy to forget that its not all about us in life when we have children.
thank you for this gentle reminder.

God Bless you!!

Tara said...

I'm a single mom and would like to adopt, could you give me any advice on how to get started?

Shannon- said...

Tara, I have no way to contact you.? My first suggestion is to sit down and talk to a homestudy agency. Do not commit to them. Do not commit to anything. But sitting and talking with them will fuel enough questions in your mind to really get some action items and questions formulated. Pray. A lot. At a certain point, find local families to talk to and online forums to 'stalk'. You'll get a feel for it .... that is all just the beginning.

The Lost Planetista said...

Holy cow- we had *the exact same situation with hair* this week...and came to *the exact same conclusion about hair* this week. For real. Freakin' weird if you ask me. :)

Shannon- said...

TLPista- we are cosmically in synch! (as long as we aren't... you know.. n'synch)

kn said...

This was sooooo beautiful my friend. Quinn was very like him at that age. Shy in certain situations. Hiding. Even though at times he was the center of attention and loved it - but only on his terms.

Hair was a big thing for him. I think it is for many kids that age. So is fitting in.

Amazing. Him. You. You're writing. Thank you!