Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Quiet Child

I watch him out there with the other kids. I watch as his brother and sister talk, play, run and immerse themselves in the social atmosphere. I watch as he sits quietly. I watch as he stoops down and starts to dig in the dirt. I watch as he swings and I watch as he listens.

This boy, so quiet, so introspective - oh how I love him. He looks up to his brother with only the admiration that a little brother can have for an older brother. He wants to be just like him. The thing is, he's not. They are so very different, so very very different. They compliment one another.

The world tells us to be loud, to be bold, to be extroverted. So often we feel ashamed if we don't tell the best jokes, liven the party, or make friends with everyone. We are told we're not as valuable if we aren't the outspoken one, the one getting all the attention.

But, I look at him and I see something different, something special. I see the kind of person whose very smile warms you. I see someone who with intentional and purposeful listening makes you feel heard. I see someone with an intelligence that isn't loud or proud, but that is always present and ever humble.

I see a boy who will become a soft hearted man. I see a boy who shares. I see a boy who has a long attention span. I see creativity, silliness, and passion.

Despite what our culture expects from people, despite the encouragement to participate in every activity, to be the best, the funniest, smartest, and have the most friends I appreciate my quiet boy for who he is. 

There is nothing wrong with sitting by and listening to conversation. There is nothing wrong with having one or two close friends as opposed to a posse. There is value in being able to observe, to listen, to sit back and take it all in.

One of the first things we're taught is how to speak. We're taught how to request the things we need, to communicate. And, while this is essential and important, there is just as much value in learning how to listen. Quiet people have this ability built in.

Quiet people are often the people I most enjoy being around. There are no high expectations. The simple act of having a conversation is enough. The simple aspect of being with that person is enough.

The idea that every person needs to be extroverted and demonstrative with their emotions around each and every person that they meet is wrong. I used to worry about my little guy being quiet, but I don't worry so much anymore.

I love his quiet confidence. I love his wit. I love his ability to entertain himself for long periods of time. I love how God made him.

Who knows, he might grow up continuing to be quiet, or he might change and become more gregarious. Only time will tell. For now, I value his ability to take life in through his eyes and ears. I value his smile, his soulful eyes, and his jokes that happen just at the right moment.

If he is never as loud as the rest of his family that will likely serve him well. He is unique and wonderful and the fact that he is quiet is one of the reasons behind that.

A wise old owl lived in an oak,
The more he saw the less he spoke
The less he spoke the more he heard. 
Why can't we all be like that wise old bird? 

1 comment:

  1. This was very lovely! Thank you for the encouragement about our quiet boys :)


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