Zach is my emotional twin. He's very sensitive, is acutely aware of others' feelings, is immensely compassionate, and generally experiences life in a very deep and meaningful way. But, he also thinks about things, sometimes internalizes what he sees and hears, and often tries putting two and two together in an effort to figure out how people feel about him based on things they say about others.
It can be torture to operate this way.
On one hand, I think it's the most amazing, fulfilling way to live .... vividly aware of others and intentionally trying to impact the world in a positive way. But it sure stinks to have those less-secure moments when you feel like you're on the outside looking in. When I see my kid feeling that way, I momentarily wish he could be completely oblivious to matters of the heart.
But, in all honesty, I wouldn't change our wiring for anything in the world. We are who and how we are, and God made us this way for a purpose.
But, somehow, despite that fact that Zach's heart and mind operate the same way mine do, I do not always notice right away when my guy is having a hard time. I get so busy, so distracted with all of our to-do's, that I don't hear the tone in his voice or see the pain in his eyes. (And when that happens, I praise God that I am not alone in this thing called parenting. My husband is great at catching what I miss.)
I'm so grateful for nights like tonight. Nights where Luke had a soccer game scheduled, but the other team forfeited (in advance), so our team scrimmaged instead. Since it wasn't a big game night, all the dads brought their sons while the moms and other siblings stayed home. Then the dads stood close to the glass ... leaving Zach and me alone in the stands. For 40 minutes, we sat there side-by-side, at times holding hands, talking non-stop as he shared his heart. (When I called it a "date" he blushed and said that was embarrassing. When did that happen?) I learned so much about him, and feel so much more equipped right now to help guide him as he matures and processes through life.
My mother's heart needed tonight, as I thought I was going to throw up just thinking (okay, WORRYING) about him last night. Thank you, God, for quiet moments of stillness - in an indoor soccer complex - to sit and talk with my young man. What a blessing to know his heart. And what a blessing to be his mother. I still can't believe you thought enough of ME to entrust these boys into my care.
I'm blown away...