Today Finn had his twelve month shots. Nope, you're not reading an old post. He will be two this month. Yep, I kept putting it off and putting it off, and finally made the appointment and got 'er done. I was expecting tears and flailing limbs, and he did cry especially during the last needle, but for the most part he was AMAZING. Oh, what? The last needle? Yes, he had FIVE shots. Two in each arm and one in his thigh. What a trooper. (Side note, what did we do in these situations before iPhones and kid apps? Probably saved me and Finn today.)
Also during this visit, Finn was weighed and measured...and he was all average. Average weight, height, and head circumference. Pretty much right in the middle for everything. That's Finn though... virtually every medial point any book says, that's where he his. Not too big, not too small; not too chubby, not too thin. He weighed the average amount and was the average length at birth. He sat up at the expected time, crawled and walked at the projected ages. It's safe to say that he's pretty much your average kid. (Except for his cuteness, in my unbiased opinion...)
As I drove away from the clinic, my 'average boy' in the back seat, I pondered that. I began to wonder about his future as a child...will he always be average? Will he think of himself as mediocre, second rate, undistinguished, unexceptional? Dear Lord, I hope not. I remember school...all the kids that are almost-prodigies get all the attention, all the awards, all the blue ribbons, all the trophies. The expressive ones that sing well make the leads in all the plays. The best basketball players will make the team. The class clowns get all the laughs. The smart ones get the A's and their names on the honour roll.
With my hands on the wheel, I made a promise to myself: I will make a purpose to tell Finn his whole life that he is exceptional. Incredible. Talented. More than enough. Amazing. Memorable. Bright. Incomparable. I will tell him that whatever he loves doing, to do his very best; even if he doesn't get the trophy, lead, or honour roll. Those things are just bonuses. He'll be our ordinary kid, with an extraordinary heart, who will do extraordinary things.
I have always loved this quote by Marianne Nash, and just recently came back to my attention during a message at church. It gets me every time. I think I need to design this in to a poster and put it in his room, so he can read it every day or every night when he's falling asleep (in the years to come, of course!) and know that he is meant to shine in this world. He was born to. He has a responsibility to.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. (Marianne Nash)