Monday, September 15, 2008

A Matter of Perception

I always find it interesting to see how other people view someone. To see what they think a person's strengths are. And as a mother, I love hearing what other people think of my kids. Granted, I like hearing the good stuff more than the bad, but I still always find it interesting to hear how others see me and my family.

Bug brought home a paper that the class had completed today. The assignment was to put your name at the top, and pass it around the class. Each student would write their name, and then one thing they liked about you. They had the freedom to make that one, single thing about anything they wanted. It could be personal. It could be classroom related. It could be anything. There are 28 kids in Bug's class, so he had 27 responses. Two girls think he's funny. Two girls think he's smart and a good student. One classmate (its one of those names that could be for either a boy or a girl, and I didn't ask because I have a sneaking suspicion I should know this kid) said he was a good friend. And one boy apparently likes the fact that Bug is "active". I'm not sure what that meant, but it was meant as a compliment, so we'll take it.

The other 21 kids? Think he rocks the sports fields.

So here's my dilemma. I love it that he so obviously excels in something that he absolutely loves. I love it that he's getting the recognition from his peers that most kids secretly want. I love it that he's living like a rock star at the top of his game.

What I'm worried about is that being the only thing people ever see in him. I worry that no one will ever see the generous heart beating inside that boy, the heart that prompts him to always forgive people who aren't always nice to him. The heart that enables him to wring every last drop of enjoyment out of every moment of his life. I worry that no one will ever see beyond the athlete who breaks through both the offensive and defensive lines with such relish and power to the sensitive boy inside who loves to be openly affectionate and who is incredibly creative. I worry that no one will ever see the Bug that I see. The Bug that I love so very much, and who is capable of so very much love in return.

But I guess its my job to worry about those things. I'm his mom. If you were to ask him, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't be worried about it at all.


Karen said...

I don't think you have a thing to worry about. Kids are sometimes the most uncreative beings in the world and choose the path of least resistance. (He excels as sports, let's put that.) But I know the way you raise your kids and they see the good in others. This is being reciprocated, trust me.

Flea said...

Our two youngest boys are so much alike in personality! And with you there supporting him, affirming the things you know are there, he'll be fine. He's a CUTE kid!

Rockin Austin said...

One day people (girls) will start to notice...and THEN what will you do??? :) Be proud, be his mom, people do notice.

Rockin Austin said...
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Cecily R said...

I agree with Karen. Kids are funny in groups. They go with the flow. Heck, so do adults. Just look at me. I'm sitting here agreeing with Karen, going with the flow. :)

Whenever Isaac has done a similar exercise, he gets a lot of the same comment: funny. And you know what? That's how he describes himself.

YOu know Bug's great heart and his ability to forgive and be a great friend. And I'm guessing that because you are his mom, he knows those things too.

Burgh Baby said...

Yeah, what Karen said. Kids are terribly unoriginal and try very hard not to write anything that might be misconstrued. "Good at sports" is definitely the safe answer!

Bunchy said...

I totally get what you mean though...I would worry just like you. There's more to him than athleticism!! But yeah, they're kids. It's all good! ;)