Ordinarily Extraordinary » Faith, Art, Photography.....Life

Innocence

samart

I walk into a classroom. A different school than where I normally substitute. Hesitant. Unsure of this new age range. This age my son seems barreling toward all too quickly.

I never worried about him growing up in this relatively small population of our city. Nor have I ever questioned his place in our schools until recently. Yet for months now I am unsure of what he will face, if he is in the best place for these later years of his education.  For this child of mine who seems to break every mold anyone tries to fit him in.

I never wanted him to grow up innocent. At least not in a naive way as I did. Don’t misunderstand. I had a good childhood, but there are aspects I look back on and wonder if it was too sheltered.

But I also never expected for childhood innocence to be so quickly pushed aside for my own child.

When he spills stories of classmates speaking of gang association at only eleven. When bullies threaten him for any number of reasons. When he refuses to wear glasses because they call him a nerd.

He calls himself an artist and they laugh. His natural defense to argue and boast. Learning to walk away a hard lesson.

It is easy for me to tell him of how they are jealous of his abilities. Easy for me having experienced it and now with twenty years of perspective. That they are afraid to be unique.

So much harder for him to know that. To feel that in his spirit. In his soul.

He is a creative. Such artistic ability from an early age. And just like many creatives he feels things deeply. Knowing doesn’t necessarily become real until he feels it. And feeling it does not always appear until we wear the lenses of age and distance.

Oh how much like me he is in this way.

So I’ve found many deep breaths are needed. Groping our way along this liminal age. No longer a child. Not quite a teen. The time where pressure builds to fit in with the crowd. To be thought of as cool.

Yet I see underneath his wanting to remain true to who he is and his abilities. So we reach to learn how to find this balance and inspire the confidence. Confidence he needs to fight the fear of being different. To stand up to those who use hurtful words to compensate for their own pain. Entreating God to give him the gift of sight to see through his own hurt to theirs. To understand them.

Yes we will survive. At times I do pray God would write instructions on the wall. Preferably in a language I understand. How to inspire him and teach him. How to educate him best.

And I pray for just a bit more time. A bit more innocence. Trying to push away this inevitable just a mite longer.

What challenges are you facing as a parent right now?

Linking up with Peter Pollock for the One Word at a Time Blog Carnival: Innocence.

  • Preston - September 7, 2011 - 10:26 pm

    Amy, I think is the best post from you I have ever read. It has rhythm and movement in the most comfortable way, in a way that is so uniquely and so rightly “Amy”. Absolutely stunning, well done my friend. Not to mention such a beautiful post as a reflection.ReplyCancel

  • Carl - September 8, 2011 - 3:45 pm

    Wow. Amy, as the father of a 16 year old, I am so touched by this post. Thank you so much for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • floyd - September 8, 2011 - 8:40 pm

    I had this very thought last night. I spotted a picture of my wife and youngest in my office and really looked at it for what it is; childhood fading into the distance…

    My youngest daughter is 13, I’m relieved that she had no desire to be a cheerleader. She is a reader, she is artistic and is learning to march to the beat of her own drum.

    I think what our children see in us is how they will ultimately respond in life. My wife and I both don’t try to fit into other people’s ideals of life. LIke you we follow God and our independence He granted us.

    I would remind your son of KIng David, strong, tough, yet kind, compassionate, artistic, and wrote the most beautiful prayers and praises. God does indeed look at the heart.ReplyCancel

  • Blue Cotton Memory - September 10, 2011 - 12:15 am

    One thing have 5 boys does – is, well, it teaches the littler ones to stand up for themselves – so that in those social situations, they are steeped in confidence of who they are – because they have had to fight for that in their own nest. Plus, they learn to be comfortable pushing back against bigger, older brothers.

    I have an artist, a writer, a joyful spirit, a rebel, and a thinker/debater. Loving them through, praying them through, having FAITH – that is the key to success, the key to growing them tall and strong through the challenges. Keep standing on your FAITH – and your guy will grow awesome!!!

    I loved your post. It so spoke to my heart, reminded me of where I’ve been and where I’m still going:)ReplyCancel

  • […] Since it’s been two weeks since the last time I formica-ed a Friday, I’m sharing some posts that are bit older but should not be missed. One such post is from Amy. I have loved her writing for months now, but it seems that it has been so much longer. This may be the best thing she has ever written, her posts following proving wonderful rivals to that statement. Amy touches Beauty, then touches you. “He calls himself an artist and they laugh. His natural defense to argue and boast. Learning t… […]ReplyCancel