My 2nd son is so much like me. He is outgoing and fun. He is loud and a tad bit obnoxious. He loves life and he loves people. Mason doesn’t walk into a room…he charges (literally). I can’t tell you how many times I have to tell him to slow down, quiet down, or bring it down. Typically, my sentences in public end in “down.” Sometimes he listens.
He has some really great friends. His relationships have changed over the years; these transitions have been hard because Mason is the kind of kid who makes a friend for life. He is fiercely loyal…like his dad. I love this about him, but sometimes I want to protect him from his own loyalty.
This past week I was in the school during lunches and I noticed he wasn’t sitting with the same friend that he has shared lunch with for years. After school, I asked him about it and he matter-of-factly informed me that his friend had been invited to the “Cool Table.” I asked why he didn’t move with him. He replied, “You have to be invited and I am not cool like that. I mean, I am cool...just not cool like that.”
Ugh. Middle School!
He is right. At every school event, I notice that my kids stand out. Not totally outward like you would run from them…just not like the other kids. Both of my older boys have spent most of their school years being told that they are the "Teacher’s Pet." In truth, they are. When teachers talk to me about my kids, they almost always start with, “Your son (daughter) is such a nice kid.” Yes, nice is not considered cool…until “nice” becomes the one everyone wants to be with.
My kids are not "world wise."
My kids don’t see labels…on clothes or people.
My kids don’t see rich or poor.
My kids don’t see black or white.
My kids are not politically correct.
My kids are kind.
And this makes them the COOLEST.
It is hard not to put on my kids how I felt growing up. I never felt like I fit in. I spent most of my teen years between groups. I was a cheerleader, then I wasn’t. I was an "A" student, then I wasn’t. I was a good girl, then I wasn’t. Either way…I was insecure and lonely.
This isn’t how my kids feel. My kids know they aren’t “cool like that” and they are good. I love this about them. They aren’t letting other kids define how they feel about themselves. They love life. The love people. They love their friends. They love Jesus. For a mom, it doesn’t get cooler than that.
A few years ago, my son was in a wedding for a young couple in our church. This couple had met in youth group when they were teens. The majority of their friends and wedding party came from the same youth group. This group of friends loved each other. They all had different personalities and talents. It was obvious to every onlooker that these young adults had grown up loving each other.
I told Philip that night after the wedding that this is what I wanted for my kids. I don’t care if they have tons of friends, I just want them to have the kind of friends who are loyal and committed. The kind of friends who won’t move to the “Cool Table” because their friend wasn’t invited.
This past week, I realized that this is what my kids have been given. Each has a group of loyal, good friends. These are friends who openly appreciate each other and say kind words. They are the nice kids and they have found each other. It wasn’t something I had to force or push, it just naturally happened.
I told my son this week that he could sit at my table any day because really, I am the cool table…just 30 years later. I am outgoing and fun. I am loud and a tad bit obnoxious. I love life and I love people. I don’t walk into a room…I charge (literally).
I know all of my kids will have to learn to navigate relationships in ways that work for them. For me, the challenge is trusting that God will surround each one of them with people who will appreciate them for how they were designed. This may not make them “cool”, but it will make them awesome.
I am forever their biggest fan.
I am a girl passionately in love with Jesus, my husband, and my children. I am forever learning how to live a life completely undone for my God. This blog is about my journey and a few funny stories in between.