Hiding Spots

I remember this time when I was a child. I was under my parent’s bed. I was just lying there feeling completely content in the confined area. I remember the wood frame and how I thought it needed to be sanded. I rubbed my fingers across it sure that I would catch a splinter. It was peaceful under there, away from the loudness of my family. I was in my own world, all alone with my imagination. I even remembered thinking how odd it was that I liked it there.

I used to find solitude whenever I could, wherever I could. I didn’t understand why I craved it so.  I had hiding spots in my closet, in the basement, outside in the woods.  Some I remember vividly, others not so much.  What I do remember with all are the feelings of peace I felt.  It wasn’t that I did not enjoy being around others.  No, I had quite the carefree childhood, full of joy and laughter.  My parents took us on little adventures and I loved to play with others.  It was that I needed both even though I didn’t know I did.  I was self-aware long before I could understand what self-aware was.  I needed time to dream and to reflect.  I guess I was an old soul, I guess I still am.

As a teen, I outgrew my hiding spots. I stopped dreaming and reflecting. I stopped hiding. I wandered through my days and ignored my inner voice telling me to find a place to hide and dream. It wasn’t cool to do so and so I didn’t. I dabbled with a dream a bit here and there. I wrote and obtained enough peace to get by. It wasn’t enough, though. But, hey at least I was cool.

And then, I grew up…at least I thought I did. I worked full-time and went to nursing school full-time. My first college English Composition class awakened me. My professor was like, “Hey, you’re an awesome writer.  You really are.”  My classmates said the same.  I thought, yes I always have been.  I was just in a slumber for a bit.  I never wanted to share my real writing before unless I had to. So, I began to hide again. I hid wherever I pleased. All I had to do was grab a paper and pen and I was lost in my own world.  My peace came back, my dreams came back, I came back.

Now, that I am really grown up I hide when I get a chance, when my husband and kids aren’t in need of me. I embrace my way of finding peace and so does my love. He even bought me a new laptop, aka hiding spot, for Christmas. We are sitting across from each other right now together, yet hiding. Gotta love two introverts together!

This World Needs You, Oliver.

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We went to a birthday party last night. Oliver wasn’t feeling the party.  We walked in the house, he looked around to the many unknown faces, and plopped right on my lap.  I kissed the top of his head and he gave me his ‘I’m peopled out’ look. I whispered in his ear that it was okay.  Everyone kept asking if he was okay.  It made him cling to me more.  I started to feel self-conscious for him. I began to worry even though my instinct told me what was really going on.

So I whispered in his ear, “Sweetie, are you okay?  Do you feel okay?”

“Yes, Mommy,” he replied.

People kept staring at him, I kid you not, like there was something seriously wrong because he was not running and yelling like the rest of the kids. I almost spoke up, but sometimes it isn’t worth it.  But maybe I should have. I think I will next time.

Oliver is one of the most content people I know. He is laid back. He entertains himself and never complains he is bored. When he is comfortable with you, he is the funniest kid you’d ever meet. He lightens the tone in our house like no other. He isn’t shy and is FAR from being an insecure kid. He just doesn’t need or like to be center of attention.  He is an observer. He easily points things out about people that most young four year olds would never notice. He’s loud and he is quiet.  He is goofy and reserved.

He is a creative old soul…just like his mother. He is a story teller who never leaves out a detail.

He would rather know people before he shows himself to them.  He is selective with whom he does open up to.  I bet it is because he can read people…just like his mother.

He is empathetic. Without saying a word, he feels what I feel. “Mommy, you have a sad look in your eyes.  Don’t be sad, cutie-pie.”  He absorbs others emotions…just like his mother.

I want to raise Oliver knowing it is okay to be the way he is. I don’t want him having to figure that out in his twenties like I did.  My parents loved and accepted me and I was okay with myself…I just didn’t know what being an introvert was.  Back then, people didn’t use the term. The first time I read what it was, I felt free. I always knew I wasn’t shy.  Because to me, shyness stems from deep insecurities which I never really had. I just never knew how to describe myself and for a thinker and analyzer like me…it was dreadful not to know. Huge HUGE lightbulb moment. I’m an introvert, it all makes sense now!

Oliver will have an advantage I (and many others) never had as a kid.  I will be able to tell him about all the great introverts of the past.  The thinkers, the mercy-driven need to change and help the world doers, the inventors, the creators…those who refused to think inside the box. I don’t want him to feel he has to do what everyone else is doing all the time. I will relate to him when he feels someone in infringing on his individuality. I will be able to tell him, I know exactly how he feels.  I will be able to show him what a gift and what a strength it is.

God made him this way for a reason and I am so glad he did. I feel as though I should mention I love my extroverted son, just the same.  Luke teaches me to see the other side of things. I’m just as glad God made him extroverted. I am in awe in the way He designed my boys.  Luke with his Ocular Albinism needs to have the boldness God gave him. He really does. Oliver, needs all of his strengths and sense of mercy. I already see how Oliver cares for Luke. He watches out for him and he accepts Luke like no one else in this world does. This world needs Oliver, Luke needs Oliver. Oliver needs Luke too. Luke pulls Oliver out of his own mind and shows him the other side of life.

They just fit together, they are the perfect brothers. I am moved to tears thinking of how God made them to be brothers. To think, I was scared to have a second child. Okay, I’m done now. The end!