“The most important thing is to always be true to what we like.”
Author J.D. Estrada said this to me. We were chatting on Twitter about book genres and reading whatever you want regardless of what others say. This statement stuck with me for two reasons.
It can be applied to many situations.
Most of the time you see a quote beginning with “We should always be true to…”, you expect it to end with “who we are”. But he said “what we like”. I find that interesting.
Being true to yourself is crucial and something we tell our children to do. But how often do we ask them what they like and if they stay true to that? I understand this could be considered part of being true to who you are but the words are not the same. They’re more specific and have an entirely different focus.
“Be true to who you are” is a bit abstract for children. Asking them what they like gets you an answer. Asking them if they care what other people think of those things gets you an answer. This leads to a conversation—a way to engage them in a discussion of being true to who they are using concrete examples of what they like.
Both my boys (8 and 10 years old) still love their picture books.
I feel like I should write some awe-inspiring, thought-provoking, poetic post that recaps my past year or invites my new year.
I’m going to go ahead and not do that.
I don’t need that kind of pressure. And, honestly, I just don’t want to. But here’s something I would like to share.
I’ve had a lot of ups and downs this year. I’ve had wonderful days. I’ve had horrible days. *yawn* Who hasn’t? I’ve also learned a lot from my experiences throughout the year.
Of all the things I’ve learned, however, the greatest was unintentional. That’s my favorite kind.
My 8-yr-old son, who is beautiful and kind, thoughtful and sensitive, smart and funny, is also a bit quirky. He struggles. He has difficulties. Still, he is all of those things I mentioned. He is also strong. Not physically. It’s his inner strength that amazes me. And, somehow, he doesn’t use that strength to shield himself or block out the world.
To others, he may seem weak or unsure or odd or insecure but he is not. He is the strongest person I know.
I will go into the New Year holding a picture in my mind and attempting to keep its message with me. Because, at forty-one years old, I needed to be taught by my 8-yr-old son.
This shirt is the lesson. The fact that my son picked this out himself when he was seven is the lesson. That he wears it with confidence is the lesson. He is my lesson.