Tis the Season

It’s easy to get preoccupied with logistics when you have a big life event like a m-o-v-e on the horizon. So many of you have asked how the boys are doing with the upcoming move to which I’ve consistently answered, “Great!” It’s true they are excited but also…

My 10 year old told me this week: “At school we were talking about if we won a prize and could have anything, what would it be? My answer was a week in Luxembourg with my big brother, my cousins and all my (extended) family. I thought that would be better than a mansion, a Lexus, or a lifetime supply of fruit.” Because who wouldn’t consider a lifetime of fruit? But much more than the punchline, Lawton understands that when we leave a place we want to savor it with those we love so they will know the backdrop for the stories we will tell long after we’ve gone.

And tonight my 8th grader told me: “I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to be different – like how I am going to change my personality - at my new school.” And when he spoke it I had this flash of a memory that somehow hadn’t surfaced until now. I too moved in the middle of my 8th grade year – moving from White Sands, New Mexico to Norfolk, Virginia – and had that exact same conversation over and over with my 13 year old self. I had no idea what logistics my parents were dealing with but I was acutely aware of the fact that I was being handed a golden opportunity to redefine myself (or so I thought.)

Ohhhhh. To really understand your child, my Colin, exactly where they are - even for a moment - is such a gift.

And because I have walked the path he will be walking so very soon, I was able to suggest that there is a gift waiting for him too. That while he will be able to make a new first impression and emphasize or de-emphasize certain parts of himself, it is impossible to rewire a personality (I tried it and failed.) We are who we are and not only are we beautiful but we’re also equipped in a certain way for the work only we can do. When I told him I didn’t think he needed to change anything about his personality he responded with a multilayered, “Thanks.” Because when you’re 13 years old, your insides are raging and awake while your outside self is working hard to keep it casual.

To know your child is on the brink of an experience that will mean more than your inadequate words ever could … is yet another gift.

Tis the season to behold all that is good.