Reasons Why I Am Proud of My Son.
Raising a child is… interesting. Kids are like little Zen masters, only mine is not as little anymore.
I’m so impressed with anyone raising more than one kid at a time. It’s not that having a group of them at once is scary. Well, it can be, but it’s the 24/7 responsibility of the future wellbeing of the person we love most deeply that ignites the kind of fear that makes us question everything we’ve done, everything anyone has told us, or whether there is any-thing at all.
And then we have a pandemic!
Seriously, families are not designed to shelter-in-place, work-from-home, remote-learn, and still function with reliable thoughts and emotions that support each other’s daily living. Oh, hell no!
My son, Phoenix, is 11 years old. If he were 10, this would be a very different article, because his brain is developing beyond a child’s brain, and he’s smart. I’m glad he’s not stupid, but that cleverness doesn’t give me a moment to fake it. These kids nowadays are more aware of what is authentic than we were when I was his age, or even when my nieces and nephews were his age. He will only respond to integrity.
Although, as challenging as our experience can get, he makes me better.
Every time we digest his cortex-growing pains, I am a better person at the end of the process. It’s difficult for both of us, like heat and bile breaking down food, so nourishment is fed to cells throughout the body and waste is passed through and let go.
Sometimes, he can really push my buttons. Those are the times I am unable to have the presence to digest anything. I used to do burpees to burn off negative energy. But, guess what? When I go for a run, I can burn the energy and contemplate without interruptions… no one can catch me!
After pushing my muscles to clear my head, I remember how much better both he and I feel when I tell him some of the many reasons I am proud of him. It brings me to a heart-open space so I can hear him, and it brings him to a safe space so he can be open with me. When I feel his openness, it gives me strength to support his experience with compassion and clear listening.
The following is why I am proud of my son. Maybe you’ll enjoy making a similar list for the kid(s) in your life.
There are many reasons grown-ups can feel proud of kids. Trophies and certificates are obvious reasons, but you’re too smart for that. I bet you even rolled your eyes. A tidy bedroom and clean teeth could also make some grown-ups feel proud, but let’s just assume they’re easy habits.
I’m proud of your discernment for bullshit. You recognize a task as a hoop to jump through just for the sake of doing anything, whether or not it’s useful or even fun. You also see the lies people tell themselves. You recognize when someone prefers pleasant to true.
I’m proud of how often people describe you as big-hearted. You’ve made them feel heard with your heart.
I’m proud of your responsibility in caring for your diabetes, and how you convey your accountability for that care. It’s a demonstration of your growing autonomy and self-awareness.
I’m proud of your ability to laugh with me when we discuss substance usage before your prefrontal cortex is fully formed. You know that I’m looking out for your future wellbeing when I threaten to always keep you near me if I were to ever discover you using something that will inhibit the full development of your brain.
I’m proud of how freely you can communicate with people of all ages. You listen, and respond to their level of development. Even in a neighborhood dart gun battle, you help facilitate the game so everyone can play.
I’m proud of how you can put off a reward for later. You know that if homework and chores are done, we’ll both have more time to play. Sometimes that’s harder to remember than others, but you sure can muster up some stubbornness to work towards your benefit.
I’m proud of your courage to try new things. Whether different types of food or bike rides in new cities, you’re ready for adventure.
I’m proud of you for noticing when your grandpa could use a little help in the yard. When you help him, you demonstrate a compassionate awareness beyond your age.
I’m proud of your courage to talk about the challenging stuff. It’s not easy being a kid, and you could just fake fine-ness, like most grown-ups do, but instead you bring out the uncomfortable stuff. It’s building your resilience and strength, like mental/emotional burpees.
Phoenix, you are more aware of your-self and what is going on around you than most grown-ups. It is challenging because, as a kid, you feel limited by what you can and cannot do. But, this developing awareness is one of your superpowers. Just watch!