Something really fantastic has been happening in our home.
Something that I had always hoped would happen.
As parents, we hypothesize certain parenting behaviors will work…but, let’s be honest, it’s a crapshoot. (I have no idea what that phrase really means…but I do know how to use it.) No matter what we’re going to screw some stuff up – and are hopeful that MAYBE…just maybe, we’ll get something right.
From the very beginning we were honest with Tucker. We told him why he was different. We’ve shared why he may struggle in school. We promised we would be right by his side – always – rooting for him, cheering for him, advocating for him.
Those times were often filled with tears for his struggle.
Now…we’ve begun to root WITH him, cheer WITH him, and advocate WITH him.
These times are often filled with tears from his struggle.
My heart is in a constant battle…jump into my throat with anxiousness or jump out of my chest with pride.
He’s loving himself. Oh man…he’s really loving himself. AND – not in a I’m too cool for school or I’m too awesome or I’m so special way…but in an ‘I’m different…and that can be pretty awesome‘ way. Shouldn’t we all be so lucky?
It started about six weeks ago. My two children were having a discussion about the plan for a Friday night at the dinner table.
Estelle was pressing Tucker for more and more details. What time is the game? What time are you leaving for the game? Where is the game? When will you get to play in the game?
Finally, Tucker stood up. He took his plate to the sink. He came back to the table. I could tell he was irritated. He stood over her and my stomach dropped a bit…what was he doing?!?! He looked at his sister – IN HER EYES – and said, “Why are you being so Tucker-ee?” We all froze. He continued. “Why are you needing every detail of the night?!?!?”
We all froze.
We all looked at each other. He got it. He gets it. Then he smiled…and all of us laughed like we hadn’t laughed in months. The kind of laugh where you bend over and let it all out.
Finally, Estelle answered, “Well…why are you being so Estelle-like?”
Another round of laughter…and the tears that came were tears of laughter and relief. This is the deal. He’s learned that we are all different…AND we can (and should) find humor in our unique ways of living life.
It happened in our house, unbridled acceptance led to a recognition of unconditional love.
Then…a couple of weeks later it happened again. He’s so very literal…SO VERY LITERAL. He had a Doctor appointment. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a doctor laugh so hard. Here is what I posted on Facebook…
So…you’re laughing, yes?
Did you notice who commented? Tucker did. Did you see what he commented? ‘You’re all welcome.’
It happened online, unbridled acceptance led to a recognition of unconditional love.
Tucker will be confirmed at the end of this month. Two weeks ago he read his faith statement to our congregation. In that statement he wrote (and then read aloud),
One of my favorite songs is by TobyMac. It is called, Beyond Me. I’d like to share some of the song.
Call it a reason to retreat
I got some dreams that are bigger than me
I might be outmatched, outsized, the underdog in the fight of my life
Is it so crazy to believe
In this first part he sings, “I might be outmatched, outsized, the underdog in the fight of my life” I can feel that because I’ve been made fun of and had difficult times because my brain is different than most people. But then he sings about his dreams being beyond him. That’s like me. God gives me the faith that I’m different, but I know can do it.
Not a dry eye was found in our house. Did you see that again? That, my friends, is an acceptance of self.
It happened in the public sphere, unbridled acceptance led to a recognition of unconditional love.
During this moment in our history it feels we need a bit more of this…unbridled acceptance that leads to a recognition of unconditional love. Thank you for your part in Tucker’s recognition and/or acceptance, no matter how big or small it may have been. Now…go out and give it to someone else…