parenting

Abe’s Life: Loneliness

AbeHave you ever thought about what it would be like to travel back into time to when you were younger, and watch yourself from the fly on the wall’s perspective?

Having a child is very much like that. You’re not as useless as you’d be from the fly’s perspective, but you can’t really control the way things go either.

There is loneliness in his eyes, and while I think a sibling might help, I don’t think it’s going to fill the longing in his little heart that’s been there since the day we met.

My mom said she watched me play alone on the beach, and she saw those eyes. She knew it was time to have another child so that I could have someone to play with. And while I love my sister very much, that still didn’t fill the gaping hole that made itself known through my eyes.

Having Abram as my son has been like time travel. I’ve been given this human to watch over and care for that is so much like me. I am deeply familiar with that loneliness I see in his eyes everyday, because it’s the same gaze that looked back at me in the mirror for so much of my life.

I watch him with his friends. His anticipation to be with them next is sweet at best and annoying at worst, but as soon as he’s with them, that gaze settles back in. That overwhelming feeling of being alone shows up on his face in a room full of peers and laughter.

He’s so desperate in his quest to feel like he belongs. It’s why he got so bent out of shape last week when I told him our television didn’t belong to him, but just to us and that we let him use it. The thought of him not being included in that ownership wrecked him.

It’s why, no matter how many times a day we tell him that 1) we love him and 2) he’s not alone, he still falls apart when we ask him to go play in his room.

I could go on and on with the examples I’ve taken note of and observed to explain the longing that I see in my son, but continuing to write them out would just make me sob, and I’ve already done that once today.

What’s so hard about this part of my job as Abe’s mother is that there’s nothing I can do to convince him of the truth. I can teach it to him formally, I can have dozens upon dozens of conversations with him about what he’s going through and what I’ve gone through, we can fight about it and then pray until our voices give out. But at the end of the day, there’s no transaction of truth we can make that will leave his heart convinced until the God that created and treasures him convinces Abram Himself.

I anticipate the day when I see that lonely look turn into one of peace and satisfaction. The fact that I can’t control when that happens doesn’t mean I’m going to give up telling my son the truth, day in and day out. My job is to help him plow the fields of his heart and sow the seeds. The growth, the changing of seasons and the pruning- that’s not up to me.

And I have to surrender to that reality everyday.

 

Abe’s Life: Learning the Ollie

Learning the OllieLook at that teenager up there.

With Abe, we noticed at a very young age that our kid had the athletic streak in him. Being parents who are really into music and art, we of course secretly hoped our son would come out and be one of those 3 year olds that can play the drums, hence the two drum sets our son has had. But alas- he doesn’t really care at all about music, and shows a great amount of enthusiasm towards anything that requires strenuous physical activity. We’ve promised to each other that even if we aren’t necessarily passionate about what our kids end up being passionate about, we’d encourage and support them through it. It’s really incredible to watch a baby grow into a tiny human that has abilities and smarts, whatever they may be. I’m fascinated when we get to be around other children and I watch how they all excel in different things. My hope is that as Abe grows up with his friends, they learn to lift each other up and celebrate their different abilities. I think it starts with us adults modeling that by encouraging each other. 

Abe’s been messing around on a skateboard since he was about 2, maybe a little before. I can’t quite remember how it started- I think someone brought over a skateboard to our house. However or wherever he saw it for the first time, he wanted to do it. I bought him this tiny skateboard from a lady in town for 5 bucks that had butterflies and peace signs on the back. He didn’t care and neither did I; he just wanted something to skate on. He quickly progressed and grew out of that tiny one, so we bought him the next size up, and he also got one from his uncle Shawn and Grandma. We could tell that he was starting to get bored, as toy skateboards aren’t really meant for actual tricks and skating, but for learning and playing around on. So this past Christmas, we bought him a somewhat legit, regular sized skateboard with Ninja Turtles on it (of course). 

For the past 6 months or so, he’s been trying to figure out the ollie. We’ve observed that he gets really pissed and impatient if he doesn’t get something fast, and wants to give up easily. Oh, how the pride hates to fail. Daniel and I have both been that way as well, and there are things we’ve given up on that we wish we hadn’t. So, even though mastering an ollie on a skateboard is something that I could care less about personally, we are trying to encourage and push him to figure it out and accomplish it, no matter how long it takes. You know what is required of us to keep doing that? Patience, friends. LOTS AND LOTS of patience, which we are learning to have.

Learning to OllieWe’ve showed him several youtube tutorials on how to learn the ollie, and thankfully Daniel knows how to do one enough to show him in real life. I had no idea my husband could do a skateboard trick until we had a little boy. If I tried this I think I’d end up breaking both of my feet clean off.

Learning to ollie

Learning to ollieI know it looks like he got it here. The one thing that keeps tripping him up is getting the board off of the ground.

Learning to ollieAs you can see, he’s not a fan of falling. He used to get SO upset when he fell off of anything. I think it was my Pastor, Dale, who told me to celebrate the next time he failed at something to show him that it really is ok. He fell off his bike shortly after that conversation took place and I cheered and told him that it was an awesome fall, and he actually started to laugh. Since then, he’s been a little better about falling and doesn’t throw a tantrum.

He still gives the stink eye though.

Learning to ollieWe’ll make sure to keep you updated when he gets it!