I wish I could tell you what it’s like watching you grow, what it’s like being your mom – raising you. Putting it all in to words is so difficult, I never want you to look back and read my writings and misinterpret them. You are strong in many ways, you see this life through a different lens – a sensitive lens and I love that about you. We need more love in this world and your heart is the place it resides.
I’m watching you learn to face your anxiousness even when you’re uncomfortable. I see you, at your second basketball practice yanking on your jersey. You’ve pulled your socks up 15 times in 10 minutes, stretching them to the point of tearing them. You’ve rubbed your palms together obsessively, tried to shrink yourself and hide inside that jersey. All those ticks and fidgets are coping mechanisms to keep you going, and that’s ok. I see you kid.
I see you, staring at the coach listening considerately, soaking in every word, waiting until the coach yells “GO” for the drill while the others false start and are half way down the court and having to run back to the starting line. I’ve learned that those sensitive traits you carry bear positive qualities. Those qualities that cause you to listen intently, learn with intensity, and proceed with advantage. You haven’t discovered that part of yourself yet, but I have.
I’m watching you conquer your fears with a plan of courage.
Each time you run over for a drink break, and get more and more comfortable with your team, and your coach I’m watching you. You aren’t noticing that throughout the practice you look to me less and less for validation, because each time you throw that ball up you’re discovering that validation in yourself.
This isn’t just your first year of basketball, it’s your first year of learning that courage comes from within, not from mom & dad giving you pep talks. It’s the first year you jump in the car and say let’s go to practice. It’s the first year you’re believing me when I tell you how great you are. You kid, are believing in yourself and not needing me to comfort you anymore. You are facing those big emotions, that up until this point were holding you hostage. You’re learning yourself and conquering.
I know you seem different than other kids sometimes, and we have learned this together. I know that you’re not the kid that social interactions come easy to. I know you’d be content curled up at home drinking diet Pepsi, wearing your slippers, doing your own thing with no interference from the outside world. I also know that when you told me a few months ago that you wanted to play basketball without me having to ask, we were learning together. You were slaying those big emotions and ready to tuck them away to grow.
You’ve taught me a lot about life. You’ve taught me to reevaluate how I look at myself. When I see you, I see parts of myself. I remember how anxiety shaped my personality. I was unsure how to express it. I rub my eyes when I’m nervous, I shy away from eye contact, when I sit down my one leg bounces a million miles a minute, or when I’m gripping a stranger’s hand for a handshake I have sweat pouring down my back.
You my seven-year old son, taught your thirty-year old mom how to be brave. How to keep pushing through those fears to reach something that you were afraid of before. If I’m telling you to be courageous then I will lead by example, I refuse to stunt your growth because an event might make me uncomfortable. You keep being you kid, because you are one significant human being.