A few days ago, as we were driving away from our kids’ school where we had just witnessed our son’s class sing about “crazy praises” to God, my husband turned to me and said something about how sad some of StinkerRelly’s classmates look; especially next to our lively boy.
Now, before you go getting all technical about different personalities and interaction methods and all that … I know all that. I’m probably the biggest advocate for thinking about the other guy’s perspective you’ll find. But I’m not talking about personality or introversion versus extraversion. I’m talking about those children who walk around with no light in their eyes. Smart, beautiful kids with seemingly normal lives who look unhappy … or afraid. They don’t play. They’re little grown ups; and not in the good way. Those kids.
Here’s where my momma heart went with my husband’s observation…
Our son has some emotional issues. Not really “problems” per se. He’s a “feeler” and has trouble coping when life doesn’t roll out according to his expectations. I mean, he is only five years old.
On the flip side, when he’s really happy, he’s REEEEEALLY happy. Like, jumping up and down and flapping his hands and shouting and making weird voices and faces and running around like a chicken with his head cut off… Whatever he feels on the inside so encompasses him that his body has to get it out; both good and bad.
Understand. As his parents, we’ve been working overtime to teach him that feelings are entirely normal and healthy — even negative feelings — and there are healthy ways to make those feelings known to the folks around you. We’re even teaching him that different social situations allow for different measures of physical emotional expression. He’s five. We have a long way to go. After all, this will be something he’ll be learning until the day he dies. But it’s still our job to prepare him for adulthood.
Now, here’s the ugly truth.
Since he first started interacting with other children, this physical emotional expression has made him different. It’s probably the main reason we started working to teach him appropriate social conventions. I’ve watched, embarrassed (for him and for myself, to be perfectly frank), as he’s jumped up and down, flapped his hands, gotten in another child’s face, and made weird voices and faces instead of just saying hello. I’ve watched, saddened, as his behavior weirds out other kids and parents. I know that some parents don’t particularly want their kids playing with my kid because he’s strange. He is strange. That hurts…
But when my husband mentioned his notation of the “hollow eyes” in our boy’s class, I started thinking about how thankful I am for our highly emotive boy. How blessed I feel to have created a home life that is instilling security and allows for joy and creative freedom in our children instead of insecurity and sadness. How freeing it is to break generational cycles!
So now, instead of feeling embarrassed by my physically emotive child, I feel blessed by him. I see how God will use him to show His love to others. And I pray for those families who may not have the Christ-centered love that we continually aim to have in our home. That one day, they may know healing and peace through Him.
So here’s a link to StinkerRelly’s class’s performance in “grown up chapel” (as he calls it). You will spot him immediately, since he’s the one moving the most. 🙂
I cannot stand myself; how in love I am with him. ❤