Several months ago, my mom came to our home for a visit. We decided to head out to do some shopping. As we backed the car out of the driveway, my middle man waved goodbye before he turned to go inside.
“He’s so charming,” my mom affectionately remarked.
“Obnoxious is more like it,” I scoffed while flashing her a look that insinuated she was crazy.
Her response was one that I would ponder for quite a while.
“You need to see him with a fresh set of eyes “, she stated matter of factly.
“A Fresh Set of Eyes?” I thought to myself. “Hm.....maybe she’s right.”
In my own personal experience it seems that when you have more than one child, there’s going to be one that you just don’t click with like the rest. Don’t get me wrong, we love them equally, but there’s that one relationship that just seems to require more work. It doesn’t flow as naturally as the others and stretches your patience a little more thin. I dare say, that child might even get under your skin.
Perhaps some of you moms can relate to me. Lord, please don’t let me be the only one that struggles with this mother/child dynamic.
Weeks after my mom made her matter of fact statement, through an unexpected chain of events, our family made the decision to homeschool our children. That decision offered our family a slower pace of life, which in turn provided one on one time with said obnoxious child.
During our time together, I grew to know him more. Instead of reacting to his rowdy ways with my initial response of irritation, I began to watch him. I began to soak him in. And I began to notice his little quirks and endearing qualities. Oh, I still noticed his impulsive ways, but that wasn’t all I noticed anymore.
I studied his mannerisms. Like the way he bites his fingernails when he’s concentrating or the awkward way he holds a pencil. I noticed his tender heart and willingness to include those who are left out. I noticed his messiness, but also noticed that he is overall kind. I noticed how his eyes fill up with tears if I raise my voice and how loved he feels when I spend one on one time with him. I noticed how freely he forgives and how generously he offers “I love you’s.” I noticed how he shakes his blonde hair out of his eyes a hundred times a day and how he beams with pride when showered with words of affirmation. I noticed how he loves to help me in the yard, but hates to put up his clothes…how he excels in math, yet struggles with spelling. I’ve noticed his passion for fishing and love for cooking. I’ve noticed his appreciation for little things and how he loves to bring me wildflowers from the woods. And one of my favorite observations, I’ve noticed that he’s still willing to hold his mama’s hand.
This slower pace enabled us to bridge the gap in our relationship, providing a closeness we desperately needed.
You were right, Mom. I am so thankful for this fresh set of eyes.