Is it shallow that I’m already praying for their social life? :) But I don’t mean in a popularity sense – more like in a well-adapted, good head on their shoulders sense.
Growing up, I have many more memories of feeling awkward and out of place than settled. I was the kid who would rather blend in the background then risk rejection. Whenever someone did notice me, a countdown started in my head, as if waiting for a bomb explode. No doubt I’d do something ridiculous/dumb/socially unacceptable, and then back to the background I’d go. Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, it never seemed to fail.
So I want something better for my kids. As they grow older, and come to think of it, even now, my wish is for them to be…
Socially Aware – What’s so dangerous about focusing on your own feelings is that it can make you oblivious to others’. I’m sure that, as a kid, at times I came off as standoffish or cold. Instead of wondering if somebody was going to come talk to me, I should’ve just reached out to someone in the same position. Today, I totally do – I cannot stand to see anyone feeling as insecure as I did because I KNOW how hard it is. It’s one of those things that, once you know, you can’t un-know. Like having starved once and then seeing someone starving when you do have food – you just have to share.
I hope my kids learn to channel their insecurities into becoming more sensitive to others – which is the reason why I believe God made us all imperfect (a.k.a. needing each other) in the first place. That said, I also wish for them to be…
Socially Relaxed – There’s something about me that I’d never known until recently. I have minor social anxiety. My
breathing accelerates whenever I know I’m about to enter ANY sort of social interaction (aside from immediate family/close friends), and I have a slight tendency for high blood pressure (had that issue when pregnant/during labor as well).
Now, of course, I’m not a doctor, so I’m talking about what I’ve been noticing. Keeping that in mind helps me realize that it’s just the way my body reacts to new things, and it does NOT mean that I’m in real danger. It allows me to carry on smiling, successfully pretending that everything’s normal – not in a fake way, but more like in a socially-aware (see point above) “my panic has nothing to do with you” sort of way.
So whenever I see my kids hesitating, I worry that they might be going through this. I’ve already started coaching them to take deep breaths on the seconds before a tantrum (hasn’t worked much lol). I just hope that they learn how to calm themselves down in any situation, and handle themselves in a way that feels natural to them. Which, in turn, would make them…
Socially Secure – I know this sounds like the synonymous of the previous point, but what I mean here is to have that sense of belonging that we all crave. Everyone, deep down, wonders where the heck do we fit in. Are we in the good moms’ category? Or the careless’ one? Are we in the smart, fun or pretty bunch? When people look at us, what do they see?
Instead of spending so much time trying to “become” something, my wish for my kids and for myself is that we all KNOW where we belong. That God’s got us in His master plan, and He’s not obligated to abide by our lists of “categories.” That we can live life and be free just as we are because we’re connected to Him. And there’s no better place to belong.
What about you? What do you wish for your kids this Christmas?