Friday, September 21, 2007

Beautiful little faces

The question

One of the privileges of being a SAHM is learning the language of my children. Recently I've found that I'm "hearing" much clearer questions from each of them, regarding their deep inner wonderings... they don't need to necessarily say the words, but they ask them in a million other ways.

Izak asks, "Do you hear me?" Coming from a little boy who hasn't had it easy as it pertains to communication and development, I believe he often wonders if he's coming across in the way he intends. This is evidenced by the string of talking, the non-stop questions, the follow-up questions, the rephrased questions, the questions just to clarify. Possibly one of the more hurtful things in his world is to hear, "I'm don't want to talk anymore," or when he's ignored. I was outside watching him approach some older neighborhood kids skateboarding the other day, I saw his lips move, but not one kid returned his greeting. I pushed down the killer fire that ignited, and slowly went over to him. "What are you doing, Buddy?" "Just watching. I said, 'Hi, my name is Izak', but they didn't say anything." He came home with me and we talked about how mean it is when people aren't polite, how important it is to acknowledge people. He just wanted to be heard. God, let me listen to my son.

Libby asks, "Do you feel me?" Ironically emotional when compared to her older brother, Lib sports her emotions on her sleeve. Her recent preschool report said, "Liberty is very expressive." I know, I've watched her stand and make faces at herself in a mirror for two years now. She has quite the range of "expression." I think it's easy for moms of girls to invalidate and ignore emotion... because there's so much of it. I'm not a highly emotional person outwardly, but it doesn't mean that I should eye-roll or constantly tell her how she should feel according to my adult standards. I notice a special spark in her eyes when she's been particularly demostrative about something, and I say, "Libby, do you feel surprised?" (even if I know it's acting) "(gasp) Yes!!!" she smiles. It's as if she's wanting to know someone "gets" what's she's feeling, and there's great peace in that for her. There's a place for her too. She knows she's understood.

Levi asks, "Do you see me?" The shortest member of the family, Levi tends to strive for eye contact. He's been a great one for locking eyes with someone across a crowded room, even as a baby, and bursting into smiles when they acknowledge they see his big brown eyes on them. I watch him wander around our front yard, and as he approaches the boundary he slowly turns and peeks back at me over his shoulder. Do you see me? Do you see what I'm about to do? He's quick to redirect and easy to parent once he knows he's been seen. Attention seeking? Sure, in a toddler sense. And he responds so well... if you look at him. But you can't bark orders at him and expect him to fall into line yet. He wants to be seen. There's a lot of activity in my home, one can easily feel overlooked, unless you make them look your way. God, may my littlest one find me looking at him long before he feels invisible. May he feel valued.