I am quickly gathering up things for a late supper (staff meetings always throw me off-schedule), whilst putting away groceries and gathering up odds and ends. My son is talking to his father about the boy, formerly known as his best friend, who is still currently his “casual friend” in spite of their dwindling list of commonalities. So, word has it that said “casual friend”, who not only won the provincial foul-shooting basketball championship title for 2012, has also scored himself a new pair of $120.00 sneakers. Which his parents paid for. With their hard-earned money. And, to add injury to insult, he is also acquiring another new pair of sneakers in the near future for basketball which will cost a couple hundred more dollars. And all this is burning my son up inside and turning him slightly green with envy.
Me thinks it is time for another mother-son letter…
Why is it so hard to put your finger on the right words? And, why is raising kids such persistent, never-ending hard work? You think you nail it (see yesterday’s post), and the next day, there is yet more work to be done.
Ah, such is life.
My son is discovering himself, and his place in the world. He is learning that he cannot be the best at everything, and neither can he have the best of everything. But, what he just doesn’t get is this: why can some people have the luxury of having their cake and eating it too? Why does life work out so that some people get all the luck? How come some people can have the best and also be the best?
Why is life so unfair?
Good question. Most adults I know have a hard time answering this one.
My son is a very intelligent boy. He does very well in school, he is a talented piano player and a skilled illustrator. He can build with his hands in a way that causes me to marvel. He has excellent comprehension. And impeccably good grooming, remarkable for a boy of eleven years of age.
However, he is an average to (at times) below-average athlete. And athletics is where it is at when you are eleven. Especially with his group of athletically motivated friends and classmates.
He struggles with this. A lot.
He is insecure about himself and he tends to be very self-conscious about his abilities, appearance and interests. He so badly wants to fit in. Fit in with the guys who are above-average, that is. They are the power-holders, the movers and shakers. They dictate who is “in” and who is “out”. They pick the teams.
I want my son to believe that he is enough. That his personality is enough, his interests are enough, his talents are enough, his character traits are enough and his abilities are enough. That his personal possessions are already enough to satisfy and meet his needs. That the amount of money in one’s bank account cannot dictate what is enough.
Enough is enough.
I want him to own self-confidence. Yet, although I want him think that the sky is the limit, I want him to shoot for goals that are achievable. Possible. Within reach. And I want what he achieves to be fulfilling to him, a personal victory. I don’t want him to feel he has to add up to anyone else’s standards of success. I want him to measure himself against his own merit, and then to succeed at what he sets out to do. And although I want him to be sincerely humble, I wish for him to be quietly proud of that success.
I don’t want him to go through what I have gone through most of my life: feeling “less than” others around me because of what I am not. Rather, I want to instill in him and my other children that their cup is full and running over. What they need is within reach; they have what it takes.
It has taken a long time for me to believe this little thought, as it applies to me personally: that I have what it takes and that I have what I need within my reach to achieve my dreams. We all need to believe this about ourselves. To do otherwise is to settle for less than we are capable of living. To believe we are not enough is enough to disable us from living up to our full potential. We are not gifted with the ability of seeing into the future, and as such, we cannot ever give up hope. We die trying, if need be. To try is better than to sit and fade.
We are worth more than we think we are worth. We are precious and valuable in God’s eyes. We as humans are created and designed with enough stuff to achieve our full potential. By God’s grace, I am enough. And in the same token, my children are also enough. I pray this belief hits home sooner with my kids than it has with me. That their life is always lived out in quiet self-confidence, and that faith, hope and love are their guiding light.
My four children are loved, cared and provided for in ways that some children only dream about. They are encouraged, corrected, disciplined and cheered on by two parents that are committed to their well-being. They may falter, but we are there to help them get back on their feet again.
And, although that may not be enough for them to feel fully whole at the present, I pray that our love and dedication to their upbringing carries them until that time when it is enough. When love conquers all.
My wish: that they see that life is what you make it, using the time God has given you here on this earth to be all that you can be and all that you were designed to be. That good things come to those that wait. Although waiting is never easy. But then again, Rome wasn’t built in a day.