This week I had an experience with my two children that helped me understand something really powerful about being human.
A few days ago we were driving my dad home after having dinner together.
We walked my dad inside his condo and even though my mom died four years ago I noticed that it still hurts a teeny tiny bit that she isn’t there.
As we climbed into the minivan my son asked
Do you ever worry that Grandpa gets lonely?
His question snapped me out of my teeny tiny pity party. My son’s never really talked about what my mom’s passing means to my dad so I asked:
That’s an interesting question. What made you think of that?
My son said:
When we drop him off I just think about him there alone. I know how much I miss Grandma so it must be worse for him. I just think of him all alone a lot and that must be lonely for him.
My heart twisted. At 11 my son’s tween-ness makes me forget how deeply he sees and feels everything. I forget that hard outer shell protects a soft mushy chocolate center.
My daughter piped in:
I never really think of that. I think of how Grandpa plays cards every week with all his friends. And how he goes on trips with the Senior Center. And how when he gets on the phone with anyone he stays on a really long time until he gets out all his stories.
Ahhhhh there she is – my glass-half-full girl. My son has always been a glass-half-empty kind of guy.
Life is easier for glass-half-full people. I’ve watched this play out with my two kids. And there have been so many times I wished my son embraced the glass-half-full outlook because it would just make it soooo much easier.
But there was something I never realized about the glass-half-empty perspective – that version of the world holds the same amount of truth as its counterpart.
In the last few days, I’ve gotten clear that my son saw something in my dad I’ve been ignoring. I didn’t want it to be true but my dad does seem to have less pep in his step. He probably is a little lonely.
I’ve made a plan to spend more time with my dad. And my son wants to be with me when I do. I could see my son’s shoulders relax a little and his breath deepen when I told him my plan. His glass-half-empty approach to the world means he is always looking to fill that glass up.
I’d love for my son to be able to trust the beauty and love that surrounds him a bit more. I’d love for him to release the weight of the world that seems to sit squarely on his shoulder. But what I just realized, perhaps for the first time, is that our hearts are all a little safer because of the way he sees the world.
He is always watching for the cracks and that includes the cracks in our hearts.
So why am I sharing this with you?
Well, there is probably things about you that are natural to you that others wish were different. Maybe you even want those things to be different too. What if, just for today, you saw those things as gifts?
What if you saw every single aspect of yourself as perfect and Divinely appointed with the intention of helping you change the world in a way only you can?
What would change for you if you knew there was nothing you had to change about yourself?