“Mom, what makes me unique?” Jeremy asked me yesterday.
At first I was puzzled by his question, then I was impressed and then endeared. How do you tell the kid in front of you that every single thing about him is unique? Where do you start? What can you say that would render the immensity of the miracle he is in this world?
I took a deep breath and I answered: “Your kindness” and then I shut up for a few breaths. He seemed confused. I kept silent. “What do you mean? That I am nice?”
“You are not nice, you are kind. That makes you nice as well.”
“I don’t get it. Everybody is nice, right?” “Not everybody is nice, and that’s fine. Yet, you are unique kindness.” “I still don’t get it” he scratched his head. “When you are just nice, you want to say good things, do good deeds, and be loved by people at all costs. It’s what you do to keep people reassured that you are not going to make a fuss. You are a peacemaker. You are kind when you are willing to be whatever is required for the person in front of you to have more of who they are. For example, you asked me why I was angry and upset, right?” “Yes, but the others (meaning the brothers) have asked it too.” “Did they ask? Or did they just roll their eyes concluding… “you’re so angry!” “Oh, yes, I asked.” “See, when your brother threw at me that I was angry, he didn’t want to know anything about that anger. He just wanted to get away from it and he refused any kind of presence with me. He went away rolling his eyes. You sat at the table, you mustered the courage to ask me that question. You waited for me to answer or not. You asked of me to be present with what I was going through. You reminded me that there was no need for me to be upset, but if I chose it, it was ok.
So, when you asked me that question, you pulled me to be present with you and with myself. And you didn’t go away though you knew I might get angrier. You were willing to be whatever I required to step back into my space. This is your unique kindness. And it’s just a glimpse into the magic that you are on this planet.” “Mooooom! Come on!” “It’s true. And I know it’s uncomfortable to hear this, but get used to it. There are many people who know how to face judgment, but so few who receive the greatness of their own presence in the world. You choose which perspective you want to have on life.”
He continued devouring the pasta on his plate. I felt the anger dissipate and vanish. I must have been doing something right in this lifetime if I can have this kind of conversation with my 12year old son!