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Many nights before bed my seven year old son tells me something that astounds me. This has been happening for years. He gives me little snippets of himself, little pieces, that I never saw before.
He talks about his fears, his excitements, his disappointments, his loves. Last night he told me about a system he had for falling asleep at night, how he has a big bin of dreams he likes to cycle through and choose from and then he starts to play it to fall asleep.
All these little pieces that he gives me help me build a better picture of who my son is and I cherish them deeply.
It made me think about how we can never really know another human being, but how, if we are careful, if we listen, if we are close and respectful and caring, we are often offered these pieces of another person that not everybody else gets in return. And how these pieces add up to a really rich picture of the other person. And how that should be a goal in our relationships, to build the richest picture of the other person possible.
It’s easy to rush through routines, to have surface level conversations, to not let others see how much we care for them, to not bring our full concentration to interactions, especially with the closest people in our lives, the ones we see every single day. But if we slow down a little and think about how we might deepen things, I think all of us will be graced with more pieces of the ones we love. What a gift that would be.
As I was thinking about how these pieces of my son add up to a fuller picture of him, it occurred to me that maybe this is what I’m trying to do, a little bit, with this blog. Leave behind pieces of myself to give back to him when he’s ready.