|Our middle son, Xavier, at SeaWorld, age four.|
I hear his coaches shout "get in the game" and "go after the ball"
I cringe knowing the shouts are directed at him
And I sit in silent anger at myself for putting him here
Giving into the pressure of "you've got to push him"
He'd rather show them there's no reason to
"Hustle" and shove, and yell so loud
When there are so many other ways to be
That are easier to be.
When told "get in there and win" he'll ask if it
Matters who wins, if everyone gets a chance to play?
Too soon, he tires of the ball being kicked, and the legs that fly at
You with no warning
Of the elbow that pushes to get at the ball they all want, with shouts of "over here!"
He'll hear someone call his name, barely, but he can't pull away from where his
Attention is drawn
His face looks up to the dandelion wishes that are floating in the morning's soft wind
In scattered circles
Spinning seeds away from the field where they play
He wants them to see what he now sees, how the wisps shimmer in the sunlight, but they won't want to hear, or look. he's learned that slowly,
By trying before
He stands by himself at the end of the field,
And I watch
As they all run past him, in the opposite direction
Away from the weightless feathery puffs that enchant him
My heart aches as I see in his face that he is beginning to know the truth
Already and that
It will be me that has to tell him, year by year,
That he will have to wait for the time when people will want to hear the words that the poet's
Heart want to shout.
I wrote this many years ago, as I sat and watched our now thirteen year old naturalist son, Xavier, play his first season of soccer when he was four.
I'm happy to tell you that since this was written, he has gone on to discover his true gifts: writing poetry on nature, a piece that went on to win Grand Prize in our regional area Nature Poetry Contest.
He's also received numerous blue ribbons for placing First with his art entries at our local County Fair. Xavier submitted an original design Christmas tree ornament that was accepted as the official Governor's Christmas Tree Ornament at the Wisconsin state capitol. He also designed the Christmas Card that was selected as our School District's official Holiday Card.
And the list goes on.....
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I am working HARD and conscientiously to have Xavier see himself as enough. And for me, also, to see him as enough when the world seems to be telling me he has to be MORE.