Hollowing lyrics play through my ears, a familiar song.
“Their tears are filling up their glasses, No expression, no expression. Hide my head I wanna drown my sorrow; No tomorrow, no tomorrow.”
Listening to these words I am reminded of the craziness of our today, even the smallest craziness of today, parent teacher conferences. Still the melody plays through my mind as I rush through the pouring rain to arrive on time to my meetings at the school. I try to put myself together with my disheveled appearance of being a bit soggy and somber still humming the music in my head. The teacher greets me ever so sweetly and energetically, discussing how hurdles and challenges were overcome for my tenderhearted young man, his genius progress. She goes on to tell me how he has an old soul, so sweet, caring, feeling every experience in life, he is full of emotion. Carrying on she tells me “We need more people like “G” in this world, we are living in a mad world.” The song stops playing in my head.
“Went to school and I was very nervous. No one knew me, no one knew me. Hello teacher tell me, what’s my lesson? Look right through me, look right through me.”
His silent stoicism and obtuse humor set him apart, my heart swells gazing upon the young man he is becoming. Two strong shoulders bear the brunt of a cynical, selfish world, ever soft enough to pillow the heads of his younger siblings in the car after a hard day of play. Encouraging his continued emotion and empathy for the world, people, doing good. He releases his rage and anger through art, though I think he is completely unaware of the beautiful release, I see the darkness he fights through his light. Pictures of destruction, rage, the brewing tempest of emotional outburst released through an abstract piece of art laid upon construction paper.
“Children waiting for the day they feel good. Happy birthday, happy birthday. And to feel the way that every child should. Sit and listen, sit and listen.”
What would happen if, as adults, we reflected upon this world in a childlike manner? We are so guarded that we miss out on the raw beauty of feeling goodness. Stuck on the inside of anger, rage, frustration, because that is what is safe. Dreams of happiness only to be self-sabotaged by anger, hate, inner jealousy, feelings of inferiority, all a catalyst of the abyss that lies inside from oppressing so many feelings of weakness, sadness, love and pain. An adult had asked me if my son was okay one day when we was crying, crying over the loss of a loved one. My instant reaction was of disgust that we do not see expressive emotion is OKAY, good, and healthy.
As a mother I could not be more full of love to see my son swimming in his emotions, treading the wave of feeling, learning to conquer the sea of spirit. Especially as a teenager, he thrashes in frustration and uncertainty of having a new awareness for his life, our life, the world. So hard on himself to perform academically, individually, within the family unit. We reassure him of his goodness, his awesomeness and that we trip and fall. Getting up and dusting yourself off and learning lessons is how we move forward, we feel, we heal. The heaviness that weighs, feeling as if the gravity of the world’s pettiness could crush him, but like Atlas he pushes the weight over his head through powerful love.
A gentle giant that was once bullied for his kindness, he lashed back in a fit of feared rage to his bullies, he no longer was teased for being a tender heart. He now shares his apathy, empathy, love and kindness to the children of his school, he volunteers with those less fortunate of his health, strength and ability. I watch him light up in love as he shares himself with others. He tells me how he reads aloud to a young boy who cannot use his arms to hold a book to read himself because his condition is that if he used his appendages they might break, the bones are so brittle. Excitedly he supports incoming students, kindergartners, being a study buddy to them so they feel welcomed and a part of the community and village of other students within the school.
“And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad. The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had. I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take. When people run in circles it’s a very, very, Mad world, mad world.”
What harm would we cause if we actually dealt with our emotions? Our feelings? Instead of masking them in rage and anger to protect ourselves from the craziness of living in our mad world. When did feeling pain, hurt, sorrow, joy, rapture, excitement, the gamut of instinct; when did feeling become wrong? Why do we have a need to be oppressive? Why is crying, expressing emotion, feeling emotion, seen as a weakness? Is this what we want to teach our children? Is that how we want to raise our children is to be emotionally checked out? Devoid of feeling the rainbow of emotions that we have been blessed with in this life. My son’s teacher could not state my sentiment more perfectly when she said that “we need more people like “G” in this mad world; old souls with big hearts” tenderness, love, joy, generosity, patience and above all else, the gift of grace. What lessons could we learn from letting our kids be themselves instead of forcing them to be like adults.