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 The greatest thing we can do is to show up for our lives and not be ashamed.

 -Anne Lamott

 

I'm a creature of the word, learning to tell my honest story.

I offer it here because telling stories is the road back home.

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« Yes, Doctor. I have psychic indigestion. | Main | The things that hold us together »
Wednesday
Nov202013

To my seven year old, who does not feel safe at school

Dear Malachi,

Lately, you've been coming home from school telling me you do not feel safe. 

You tell me that kids are mean to you, and that they are not being I.B. kids. (this means International Baccaleuarate, in case you ever wonder...which means you already know about things like empathy, and risk-taking, and being reflective. Incredible).

You say that you try to be kind, but so many people are just not kind back.

This breaks my heart.

 

I didn't want you to have to learn this yet.

I wanted you to be able to go at least another year, maybe a few more years, of just enjoying life. I wanted you to not have to hurt, to not feel on the outside looking in, to not have kids call you names, or people you thought were friends tell you they don't want to be your friends anymore.

 

You come home crying on a lot of days right now. 

Sometimes I think it's because you know I will let you play Angry Birds on my phone as a way to decompress the day.

Sometimes I think I need to take you to a counselor because I don't have a clue how to lead you through this.

Sometimes I wait till your Daddy gets home because he seems to be able to navigate this stuff better than I can.  I superimpose my adult emotional response on you- meaning, I think you are thinking the way I think.

But you are thinking the way you think. And the way you think is with your heart, Malachi.

 

You have such an open heart.  

I told you this the other day, and you looked at me and said, I KNOW, like a wail. And then you started crying.

How do you already know you have an open heart? That's incredible to me.  

I told you that it is a gift to have an open heart. Because it means you can feel what other people feel, and you will be a good listener and a good friend and a kind boy because your heart is so open.  

 

But having an open heart also means you will get hurt.

There really is no way around it.  Open heart=joy AND pain.  

They are two sides of the same coin.  I can't spare you from one without robbing you of the other.  

All I can do is pray to God that you don't lose your light. That you shine bright even when kids are mean and the world is dark and people are hurting. Because people are HURTING, Malachi. And God has made you the kind of boy who can do something about it. 

Because, at age seven, you already feel the hurt. You already care. You are already talking about it.

You are awakened.

 

My momma heart wants to keep you sleeping inside my womb as long as I can, to shield you from all harm.  

But it's just like you to awaken early.  

Just like you, when you were still growing inside me, still 4 weeks away from your due date, and we were on vacation at the beach, six hours away from our doctor; just like you, when you heard the ocean roaring outside of you- heard the great powerful ferocious beautiful world outside, to decide IT'S TIME, and choose to be born. 

You chose to be born early, to say YES to the whole wide scary world.


I pray you keep saying YES to the whole wide scary world for the rest of your life, Malachi.

I will try my hardest to love you through it, to always be the safe haven from the crazy storms, to help you learn how to swim in deep waters without drowning, and without giving up.  

It's true, Malachi. This world is not a safe place. It's just not.  

I guess there are two things we can do with that once we know: we can hide, or we can try to CREATE safe places in an unsafe world.

 

Us Wilbourns, we are safe place people.  

If our name is known for nothing else, we want to be people who invite the hurting world to live inside of our open hearts.

 

I am so proud of you for being my open-hearted boy.  

You are a Jedi warrior.

Love,

momma

 

p.s.

This is the passage I pray over you:

Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
    you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
    the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
if you pour yourself out for the hungry
    and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
    and your gloom be as the noonday.
 And the Lord will guide you continually
    and satisfy your desire in scorched places
    and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
    like a spring of water,
    whose waters do not fail.
 And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
    you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach,
    the Restorer of Streets to dwell in.

Isaiah 58:9-12

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