We have the most amazing son. He is irreverently funny, he is incredibly kind and super sensitive to other people’s emotions. He is, fortunately or unfortunately, uncannily perceptive for his age.
He is also not a stereotypical boy child. He doesn’t fit into the mold of the majority of boys (especially Afrikaans boys) of his age. He is never going to be a rugby player and has never enjoyed rough and tumble.
This is not a problem for us, but he is finding that the world doesn’t always accept, especially, boys that don’t fit into a certain box.
This is very hard to write about as, first and foremost, we don’t want to label him unless we absolutely have to. We just want him to BE who he is and be HAPPY.
Secondly, this is the Internet. Enough said.
I have realised lately that I have wasted too much time feeling a little sorry FOR him. Hurting FOR him.
Because he is so very perceptive and knows that I get upset when he tells me when something bad has happened he stopped talking to us for a while. It’s only when I realised that he is way, way more resilient than we gave him credit for and started trusting him that he started opening up again.
It has been a huge lesson in not jumping in and wanting to rescue the whole time, but rather taking a step back, breathing deeply and creating opportunities for him to open up when he was ready to talk. For trusting him to work through some of his own stuff and then seeking us out for comfort and acceptance when he is ready.
I still want to keep him close to my heart and tell him that he WILL find his ‘tribe’. He will find those special people and it will feel like coming home.*
You’ll forgive me if I sound vague, but it’s part of our personal parenting journey. Those of you that have beautiful, amazingly different children like we do will get it though, and you’ll know about getting over yourself and adapting to what your child needs. Come hell or high water.
*As long as it’s not some weird religious cult, in which case, all bets are off