Thursday, April 08, 2010

Sharing Interests

My son, P, is a very imaginative child. He loves to read and learn and his favorite pastime is inventing new games with small random things like bottle tops, discarded trash and rubber bands. He is also a big fan of screen-time games--not just playing them, but studying them. He wants to understand the ins and outs of the characters, the screens and the potential new features that can be unlocked.

I do not share his love for these things. I try to listen, but he gets so excited and he starts talking so fast that he loses me. I don't particularly want to become an expert in Moshi Monster culture or the Wii, but they bring great joy to my son.

I can specifically remember as a child wanting my loves to be appreciated and approved by my parents. I wanted to be known. I know it is an innate human need.

So, tonight I pray for the patience and selflessness to step outside of my likes and try to muster up enthusiasm for video game characters and the little known facts about them. I don't care a lick about Luigi, Waluigi and Bowser...but my boy does. Loving him means meeting him on his turf and accepting the invitation when he invites me into his imaginative world.

It is a small price to pay, really, to have a chance to bond with my boy.   


Shan said...

Have I told you lately that I love you!!! I really do! I have no idea who you are. Well I mean I do read your blog so I know a little of who you are, and I'm an Alabama fan so I guess that makes us related in some sick twisted Bama Fan way!! But seriously when i read your words, I work on myself! Thanks for writing WORDS that affect my HEART!!!I truly do love you!!

k and c's mom said...

I live in the land of first grade, and my students want to write about all these characters. I cannot tell you how often I have to Google something they are talking about so I can understand what they are saying/writing (why do so many of those characters have names that are five words long?) and help them with spelling. I love to just look in those little eyes and see all the excitement. I'll bet your son fairly bounces and jumps when he tells his stories, too!

psm260 said...

You are very wise! A great testimony to taking advantages of the opportunities we are given to develop relationships with our children . . .

Leez506 said...

Oh, you are so right about this! If you're lucky, someday you will get to drive P on a long car trip to look at colleges and he will talk your ear off about tires and gear ratios, and you will be so grateful that he still wants to talk to YOU and let you into his world!

Anonymous said...

I linked to your blog from Sweeney's Caringbridge site and have been hooked ever since. I love your abridged story and how you chronicle the lessons you're learning as you raise your children. Your relationship with God and your humility in the things you're learning in your relationship with Him is very admirable. Thank you for using your relationship with your husband and your children to further His kingdom! I too have a son who is into video games (while I am very much NOT into video games)- this post was such a great reminder of what is means to know him and his heart- completely- and modeling the love Christ has for us.

Kari said...

Jennifer - As a step mother to a fourteen year old son your words really struck a chord with me today.

Zac and I had the cards stacked against us from the beginning. His mother was very sick when he was conceived and she died when he was one year old. As a mommy my heart breaks for him despite the fact that his daddy (my husband) was a super dad.

In addition to Zac having problems bonding with people, especially women, he suffers from ADHD and Aspergers which makes his life very different. His interests are soooooo different, even from the average teenage boy and I find myself so not interested in his world. Zac's lack of desire to bond (with almost anyone)also makes it really hard to give him extra attention as it seems to not matter.

However,your post was another nudge and reminder to try a little harder to grasp onto some of his thoughts and to show some interest in them.

I recently heard that with an Aspergers child I can not expect him to come into my world - I must go into his world. Your words inspired me to try and get into his world even when I don't want to go there.

Thanks for your words.

I am so sorry for the loss in your life right now.

JenniferBuchanan said...

I babysit a set of almost 6 year old triplet boys who all speak P's language. We are all into Mario, Luigi, Waluigi, Wario, Bowser, and any type of Wii activity:) We would all get along just fine!

Melanie said...

I love your blog. What a beautiful family you have!

Just Terrific said...

You're such a thoughtful and wise mommy. I have 3 grown children, all very different, and I've always tried to recognize and encourage each of them to have his/hers own interest. It isn't easy.

I teach 5th graders (this is my 16th year at this age; 29 yrs. total) and I've thought for a long time that they need to be listened to. It is very hard in the classroom to allow much time for lengthy discussions. But, I feel that very few of them have anyone who truly listens to their conversations. Please, don't get me wrong. I have many students who have excellent parents (I think so). We live in such a busy, hectic world that it's very difficult to talk to a child, one-on-one.

You have a beautiful family!