He’s a quiet one, my youngest. So much the opposite of his sister. He’s easily ignored, well, maybe that’s not the right word…overlooked. It’s not that we mean to. It just happens. We get so involved in what she is doing that we miss what he is doing. I’ve noticed that it happens all too often.
My feelings of guilt then take over. I immediately think about compensating with money – we spend a lot on her activities and he gets nothing or very little as far as dollars spent goes. I try to think of ways that I can spend money on him. Money that we don’t really have as “extra”. He doesn’t ask, he doesn’t complain. It’s not something I want to teach him either. I don’t want him to think that he’s less “worthy” or that he’s missing out just because I don’t spend the money on him. It’s not a message I want to send. Their “value” to me is not related in any way to how much I spend on them. I don’t ever want them to feel that.
So…then what do I do? How do I stop overlooking him? He doesn’t speak up, so I need to see it without him saying so. Or, maybe he doesn’t need it as much as I think he does. Here I am, again, projecting how my feelings work onto someone else. Not everyone feels like me! Sheesh! Not everyone needs constant feedback to feel connected. Maybe he’s content! Have I asked? Yes, I have and he says he’s fine. He says he’s happy. He certainly acts happy. So why don’t I believe him? It’s my usual way. I keep thinking that there must be something wrong, even when there isn’t. Always trying to fix things that aren’t broken. 🙂 I’m working on that. A lot…
Last night, I listened. I left the phone in the truck and I stayed in the moment. And I listened to him play.
I ask again. “Do you want me to sit in on your lesson?” He says yes. And so I listen,. I catch myself tearing up as he plays. I had thought he hadn’t been practicing because I never hear it (because I’m always with her). But he has – on his own, in the quiet house. It’s only his third lesson and I can see his concentration. I can hear his practice. I can feel his love for that little guitar I got when I was his age and never learned to play. Now he learns instead. I hear music already. The quiet gentle tones of an acoustic guitar. So much like him. Quiet and gentle. The tear sits in the corner of my eye. This, I can do. I can be here, right here where he wants me to be. Listening to him play.
He doesn’t ask for much. He doesn’t want an electric guitar or a new acoustic – he is content with what he has. And yet I worry. For no reason. He is good; he is great. He is not the same as her and that’s OK. He is himself and I am so blessed to have him.
He proudly shows me his blister from playing and asks me about blisters. I give him medical mumbo jumbo and I offer to help him put something on it. He thinks about it and then declines. He asks about when his Dad will be home and I let him stay up; knowing that this is the moment he wants to share with his father. The pride of an earned blister. My boy is growing up in his own way, at his own speed. A tear again as I realize this and vow to let him be him. Blisters and all. I love you my little guitar man.
Doing what I can, when I can, the only way I know how.
That’s all they ask of you. Isn’t it time you allowed it for yourself?