April 1, 2014 § 5 Comments
There is an image that lingered in my mind’s eye last night, long after the day’s sun and gentle breeze carried me off to sleep. It is of my son in the noisy, bustling chaos of the zoo cocooned tightly, patiently observing the flow of traffic snaking around him. In the instant he settled into a ball a stranger’s hand gently squeezed my arm in a moment’s unspoken connection. I turned and saw genuine understanding reflected in her smile as we watched my son stationed sentry, guarding his space in the rhythm of families pulsing around him in every direction.
Over the years I have nurtured my son’s unique sense of self while endeavoring to foster understanding of the world around him; directing his gaze both inward and outward. Yesterday, just far enough outside the influence of motherly prompts – nonverbal or whispered instructions to stand or seek a bench, he seemed to instead inform my gaze creating a picture of wellness in a world unencumbered by his individuality. His very posture answered my uncertainties, reassuring my doubts and begging space. There was a quiet confidence that underscored his contentment; completely at ease in his indifference to difference.
I tried to rectify the memory of my son’s younger self with the image of the young man whose shoulders now stretch above my own. He is a harmonious balance of gentle power; still child and not yet man but fortified with a sense of self and tempered by a curious eagerness to engage with his world. This was the gift of sight that lingered in my mind, a little boy and young man making space in the world for self and a kind stranger weighing me in a silent reassurance, redirecting my expectations with a greater sense of appreciation.