Posted in Enjoying the Simple Things, Letters to My Children, Thinking Out Loud

Letters For My Children #4: Strength Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Being Rough

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Okay little guy, you’re almost six and I definitely hate to think that some day you will be much taller than me, but I guess growth cannot be stopped 🙂  Today is your day, for this post is all about you.  You have been on my mind a lot lately – you are growing so horribly fast.  Please, stop!  All kidding aside – I am glad to watch you grow, to see you rush to learn as much as you can.  You, my son, are an inspiration!

 

The funny thing is – I was always worried about having a boy.  I don’t exactly know why – as I did have two brothers, but it worried me – not being well versed in the ways of boys.  I found it so much easier to keep girls entertained.  They love art, cooking, poetry.  So I knew it would be easy to build a relationship.  So yes, I worried – but when I finally was told I was having a boy, I could not wait to hold you in my arms!

 

Even before you were born, I talked to you every single day.  I wondered what adventures we would have together.  You were a mystery waiting to unfold and I could not wait to finally meet you.  What would you be like?  What would you desire to become?  What would the journey look like on the path to your dreams?

 

I still remember the day you were born – the moment I heard your fist cry.  When your sisters were born, they all cried out as if in pain and longing.  They cried and it just broke your heart.  For some strange reason, your cry was different.  Your cry sounded more demanding, more like you were saying “take care of me now!”  I remember saying to the nurses how different a boy cries than a girl.  Of course, they looked at me as if I was crazy – but I heard it in your voice – strength.

 

The funny thing is – as I watch you grow, I realize you are not strong the way most people demand of a boy.  That was my biggest worry.  You are not strong in the fact that you don’t cry – but you cry when you care deeply about something.  You are not strong by bullying people around, but you are strong in your passion for others.  You hate when anyone is sad or harmed.  You hate when there is injustice, and truthfully I think you would help anyone if there were struggling if you could.

 

I remember when you saw a lady crying at the nursing home and you heard someone hurt her feelings.  You got angry and wanted to march over and tell them that they weren’t very nice.  You were only four, but you knew that other peoples’ feelings mattered.  You gave her a hug and held her hand until she forgot she was sad.

 

My strong little guy, it makes me smile to think of it and you have made a friend for life.  So yes – many people see strength in such a sad way, especially for boys.  They honor strength in such a sad way.  Even if they say they do not – their actions and words prove otherwise.  Often, the bully is seen as being strong.  There are those who go around willingly tearing people apart and they don’t worry that their words or actions harm others.  Few speak out and many cheer.  It is sad.  This is not strength.

 

In my mind, to find yourself superior to people who are below you is weakness.  To feel the need to point out other peoples’ flaws, call them names, point fingers, and degrade others shows a weakness of oneself.  If you are comfortable in your own skin – you have no need to have such power over others.  Other people deserve the same respect as we wish ourselves.  And in the end, no matter how it “seems” that people like this have everything and are deserving of praise – no true success can come to anyone who treats people this way.

 

To me, they act this way because they are lacking something.  It makes no difference whether it is on the playground or later in life, whether people stand by them or not, bullying is just wrong.  Fortunately, you have taught me that boys can still be strong and loving at the same time.  They can be careful how they speak, they can hold concern for others in their hearts, and they can be passionate about what they love – and still be strong.

 

I don’t know if you will ever believe me – but you have been one of my greatest teachers, little man.  You have shown me you can never be too young to stand up for what is right.  You have taught me how much of a blessing it can be to have a son.  It is not to say that having girls is not a blessing – but let’s face it, they each hold their own unique beauty.  I know you would say “handsome” but it just doesn’t work for that sentence – so sorry!

 

If there are any words of advice – it would be to continue being who you are.  Continue to strive to learn and grow.  Do not be afraid of what you do not know and definitely remain unafraid of standing for what you believe in.  You have a long journey ahead of you – and I do hope I can help you learn to remain strong and continue to believe in yourself, no matter the obstacles.  You are truly a shining light in my life and I am grateful for your presence.  You have taught me and you continue to teach me the beauty of your ways.  Ha!  Got you again handsome 🙂

 

You are a gift and I celebrate you every single day, and nothing’s going to stop me.

~ Mama

(c) Sumyanna 2016

Posted in Daily Post Prompt, Enjoying the Simple Things, inspirational, On Writing, Thinking Out Loud, Word Prompt

Daily Post Prompt: I’m Not a Copycat

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Perhaps it was in high school that I learned this, the importance of my own voice.  My English teacher had just returned our writing papers with that week’s assignments on poetry writing.  He leaned over my desk as he placed the paper in front of me, an A+ glaring up at me, circled in red.  He smiled.  It wasn’t the grade that meant that much to me, I did pretty well in school most of the time.  It was the comment that he wrote right next to them that even today, I still hold in my heart.

 

“You should keep writing.”

 

I had never written poetry before and I never believed I had much worth saying.  Of course, I grew up a fan of the great poets and enjoyed their writing – but who was I to think I could ever do the same?  I had grown up in a home where there wasn’t much emotional support.  Self-expression of any means was not tolerated.  So why should I believe in myself?  And perhaps that is why those words meant the whole world to me.

 

“You should keep writing.”

 

And I wrote furiously that year and the year after.  I started to become known across high school as “our author.”  I think back on those days as some of the happiest days of my young adult life.  For once, I felt that I had found something that gave me a voice.  In a home where speaking up was forbidden, where things were just that – unfair, I could write all of my feelings into a poem or a story and I could tell it without a worry.  I could fiercely be me – and then decide if I ever wanted to share it with someone else.  I could scream, I could cry, I could object – and no one was going to tell me what to say.  It was there that I learned to be unafraid.

 

See, writing – is a powerful thing.  It gives voice to someone who at one point in time, did not have one.  In some cases, it is the very thing that those people need.  It allows the writer to discover themselves, and it gives birth to the very important idea: we do not have to be a copycat to succeed.  And this is where our dreams come alive.  See, it matters not whether I ever am published.  It matters not whether banners fly across the sky in my name.  It matters not if I am appreciated or loved by every single person that passes my way.

 

I write each and every day to free the voice that is within me.

I want to see how I see things, aching toward better understanding

I want to feel the depth of feelings most people do not know

I want to breathe in the taste of a summer sunset

And feel the joyous opening of a petal as it blooms

I want – so powerfully – to be me.

And I cannot find contentment – just being like everyone else.

 

I want to write more – delve into things I have never tried.  I want to experience life in ways I have yet to try.  I want to discover the wonders in my ordinary days and celebrate them joyously.

 

I cannot promise the journey will always be without sorrow, nor that my view will always be cheery – but this is me, trying to make sense of my days, of my life, of the world around me.  To know sorrow – makes the happy times that much sweeter.  To know disappointment – makes the moments when you finally succeed that much more triumphant.  And to know one another in this vast world of ours, we sometimes need to delve into how other people feel and see.

 

There is no proper recipe for life – no way to fill your days only with happy thoughts unless we deny there is any sadness, and to me – that is not real.  I am not afraid to feel.  For me, I want to live no matter where that might take me.  For life, if it is to be cherished – needs to cherished in all its moments.  The good times, a time to rejoice and the difficult times, a time for growth.

 

And this is me – deathly afraid to be a copycat, and you will never find me willing to apologize for my inability.

 

(c) Sumyanna 2016

This was written and inspired by the thought-provoking Daily Post Prompt: copycat

Gorgeous photo courtesy of Morguefile (9janedoe9)

 

Other excellent posts for the prompt:

Conveyor Belt Imaginations

No Identity or Decision

Daily Prompt: Copycat

Daily Prompt – Copycat