Monday, September 16, 2013

Running & Shaving= Confidence!

*Jackson is on the cross country team at the middle school.  He received nice new running shoes, and last Tuesday's  practice would be his first time wearing them.  He also drank a big glass of some special alkaline ionized water for the first time about an hour before he ran.  Their cross country coach timed the team on their mile run during practice.  Jackson beat his time by 30 seconds! That's significant because he was already the 3rd fastest boy on his team and running pretty well.   "Awesome!" I said, "Was it the shoes or the water?"  Still red-faced from exhaustion, he looked at me with complete sincerity and said, "Maybe it was me."  I was proud of him that he carried so much confidence in his abilities.  Jackson believes in himself no matter what.  I've heard kids make rude comments to him, but he doesn't even pay attention to them- literally!

*Last Friday Tyson's band teacher told me all the girls like him.  Then, in theater class Jackson said all the girls talk about how cute Tyson is.  Then... Tyson said a 13 year old girl from his choir class asked him to be her boyfriend.  (These poor girls have no idea that Tyson is only 9 years old!)  He acted like he didn't hear her, and the girl ran off giggling.

We explained to him to still be friendly to these girls, but to politely tell them he is not interested in having a girlfriend until he's much older.  I asked him if he thought any of the girls were pretty.  With a grin so big it must have hurt his cheeks and eyes so bright they lit up his entire face, Tyson said there was a tiny girl in his choir class who was always smiling with cute chubby cheeks.  I LOVED his innocent description. He seemed embarrassed talking to his parents about cute girls.  We assured him it was ok to think girls were pretty.

Yep... he was pretty confident in himself as the new kid at school.... so confident that this morning he came out of the bathroom with his chin dripping with blood.  Tyson had taken a big chunk out of his chin in his attempt to face manhood early and shave his "hairy" chin.  The whole family couldn't help but laugh, but Tyson turned his head away as a few tears dripped from his eyes.  I told him that I was 9 years old when I secretly shaved my legs in the bathroom.  I tried to convince him that he could laugh at this funny life experience.

He was embarrassed to go to school with a band-aid on his chin.  His confidence was fading.  It was such a big wound we had to put a band-aid on it.  I said, "Just tell people you cut yourself if they ask."

As he sat in the van and rode away with my mother-in-law, who is the crossing guard for the school, I could see her talking to Tyson about his chin.  I prayed that he would feel confident and happy.

My mother-in-law thought we were just saying it looked as if he had cut himself shaving.  Upon realizing he had actually shaved at age nine, she exclaimed, "That's REALLY funny!"  She encouraged him to laugh with her.

He must have pondered hard on the remainder of that drive to school.  When he arrived, the other crossing guard immediately said, "What did you do to your chin?"

Tyson responded, "I cut myself."  With no hesitation, the crossing guard said, "Did you cut yourself shaving?"  He laughed... and Tyson was able to laugh with him.  That was where the real confidence entered his soul.

It's easy to be confident when everyone thinks you're wonderful... and cute. :-)  It's easy to be confident when you're doing amazing things.  The true confidence comes when you do the silly things in life but recognize the joy in the silliness of it.

I prayed for my son to be confident.  In my mind, I hoped that nobody would pay attention to his wound.  Not so... everybody would notice, but he learned to laugh and be confident in the silliness of his life experience.  Tyson came home from lunch telling funny stories about how everybody noticed his shaving accident.
 Just this morning I read in the Kids National Geographic about a pilot named Barrington Irving.  In 2007, he was the youngest person and still is the first African-American to fly solo around the world.  To the young children, he said, "You have to have confidence.  If you don't believe, no one else will.  Confidence will always keep you going."

I believe our confidence is strengthened when Christ is by our side- that's when miracles are created.  God answered my prayer and gave my son increased confidence and happiness.