Yesterday Mythankfulboy and I were both home by 4, a very rare occasion, indeed. The truth is it was only the case because he thought he was going to the gym after school but it fell through at the last minute, and I was supposed to go to the gym to swim but forgot to take swim-appropriate shoes. So, we found ourselves home on a rainy weeknight. It was welcomed.
I wondered if maybe early evening, rather than bedtime, would be a good time to have him listen to one of the call-to-action sermons friends sent me after my earlier Mythankfulboy post this week (see below for some links). He seemed happily onboard, so we settled in front of my computer monitor in my room, me in my office chair and he on a bar stool he brought in. About 4 minutes in I glanced over at him, and he was sitting very still, eyes completely glazed over. I paused the sermon and asked if it was hard to pay attention to, and he said, “Everything is hard to pay attention to.” I asked if class lectures were hard, and he said, no, not usually, but that any time he needed to just be still and listen to words he couldn’t keep his mind on them. He said, “I want to listen, I just can’t”. I said, “That sermon last Sunday must have been excruciating.” He said, “Yeah.” I added, “That’s pretty normal, and you don’t have to listen to the rest of this. It’s normal for most adults, and certainly for teens, and the more abstract the language, the harder it is. It does take practice, so it is worth doing from time to time. It means so much to me, though, that you tried, knowing it would be hard, just because I asked.”
He said, “Yup” in a manner just like his father. He rubbed his eyes, stood up and stretched, and leaned down to hug my neck, in a manner just like his mother.
At dinner, B said, out of the blue, “You know Mom, most of my friends say they hate school, but I really don’t. I kinda like it.” I said, “I loved school, so I get that.” He said, “Well, there are things I’d rather be doing, but I don’t mind getting up to get there and I like being there.” I told him it was such a gift to feel that way, and that I hoped he always felt that way. I didn’t say that I have several friends whose kids actively don’t want to be at school, and that I know how lucky I am, as a parent, that he is happy at school, particularly when his attention can be a struggle. Blessed be.
Later, at the chalice lighting, he was thankful for a pair of his baby shoes I have sitting on my shelf (I think this was less sentimentalism and more than he was looking around the room for something to say). I said, “Yeah, those are pretty precious, even if you took them off every chance you got.” He grinned and puffed off the dust on them with a quick breath. I said I was thankful that he liked school. He said, “Yeah, me too.”
All Souls – http://www.allsoulsnewlondon.org/sermonmanager.php?sermonID=136866
Alison Miller – http://muuf.org/podcast/the-edge-of-hope-11-13-2016/