Welcome to Day 12 of a 31 day challenge to write 500 words or more. For more on that click here: goinswriter.com
My seven year old son is stumbling across his own gift of deductive reasoning. It is likely that he will either one day rule the world or destroy it.
His mother stepped into his room this morning and experienced the, visceral and physiological reactions that are built into the biological, maternal framework. Widening of the eyes. Quickening of the heart rate. Immediate gasp for air. Emphatic and involuntary statement of the child’s name (often paired with the middle name as well).
Instantly his finely tuned and freakishly advanced survival skills kicked in.
“Mom.” He said in a calming tone, trying to deescalate the obviously volatile situation.
“Listen. If we clean our rooms it just makes us meaner.” He had clearly given this some thought.
His reasoning sounded ridiculous of course, but the shock bought him a few extra seconds to explain.
“If we clean our rooms, then when we invite our friends over and they just mess it up. Then we get mad and we’re not nice to our friends. Do you want me to be mean to my friends mom?”
He’ll still be cleaning his room but you have to respect the complexity of that kind of manipulation.
Here’s the lesson I want him to learn. People over things.
His reasoning is skewed but solid. Yes — it is frustrating when people mess up your stuff but he loves people — maybe more than anyone I have ever met — and he gets incredible joy from having people over. It would be an absolute tragedy if you took people out of the equation but like all things in life there is a paradox attached. People are great but there is a line. If I just spent time cleaning up my stuff then don’t you dare mess it up. I don’t care who you are.
So in order to love people more effectively it is worth the investment of keeping his room absolutely wrecked to protect them.
He’s a giver.
What I hope he can learn when he steps back and deconstructs his logic is that people are worth the sacrifice. Like building a house of cards — the joy is knocking it down. I truly believe that he finds joy in other people’s pleasure. He may not know it yet and it is certainly not a fully matured characteristic but it is in there. How cool would it be to become the type of person who builds a house of cards and offers someone else the satisfaction of knocking it down. To clean a room, KNOWING that someone else is going to mess it up and looking forward to it.
Like all parenting there is a fine line. I have no interest in him becoming the person who always gets walked on, always gets taken advantage of and always feels knocked down. It takes a complex mind to stay in front of that — to give willingly instead of giving with regret . . . and anger.
He proved it this morning though — He can handle that level of thinking. Or at least he will someday.
And those are my 500 words.