Nighttime is my favorite part of the day with my 10 year old boy. He sits at the head of his bed and I at the foot, his blankets across us both, and with his room lit from his lava lamp, we pass his hackie sack back and forth while we chat. This is our current routine. Sometimes he rubs my feet and I’m not going to say no to that when he offers.
Rhythmically in tune now, I ask him what his least favorite part of the day was, and then what his most favorite part of the day was.
I watch his mind work, recalling all of the events of the day, and finally landing on something, consider it, and name it. I see the release of his thoughts that have been building up throughout the day - it’s tangible. What an out-breath before giving into the cycle of sleep.
In these moments it is just him and me. No wild younger sisters. No devises. No distractions. Just connection.
Recently, I started asking a new question. I ask him, “What questions did you ask today?”
I vary up the descriptive on types on questions: What curious questions did you ask today? What tough questions did you ask today? What big questions did you ask today? What powerful questions did you ask today?
And then: What did you learn from asking that question? How did it feel asking that question?
The time of night and our energy level usually determines how long we talk. But truthfully, I push my bedtime limits almost nightly because I know these moments are fleeting. He turns 11 in a few weeks and while it seems like we’ve still got so much time, every night is one night closer to being the last night we do this.
Sitting there with him, my hopes become so clear.
I envision a world where all kids are being asked questions that create space to go deeper and broader. That they viscerally KNOW how important it is to keep asking and are encourage to do this right NOW in their youth. I fear though that we have shifted into a world where this isn’t encouraged as much as it was in my youth.
I envision a world where it is normal to look at the narrative in front of you and ask:
Is this the story that I want to take on as my own? Is this my truth?
Is this all the information or is there more that I need to know and learn?
Why does this situation feel, look, and sound this way?
How else can I view this situation?
Does this enliven me?
Where does this narrative come from?
Why do I have to, need to, or want to follow this narrative?
And that doing so doesn’t label them as rebellious, as a troublemaker, annoying, or “anti” something - just for seeking more.
My message to our dear children is this: People will test your resolve just because you seek more. Dare to continue seeking. Be brave enough to dig deeper and forge forward. Be kind and listen to the responses from discernment, not judgement.
In this room, late in the evening, and safe within his home my boy isn’t afraid to go deep within himself to bring forward his inner truth and curiosities, and to seek the knowledge and information he needs out in the world. May he always kindle that flame and never be afraid to asked the tough, the hard, the big, the powerful, and the creative questions.
To a Confident, Sexy, Love filled life!
Kimberly Lindsay, BA, CPCC, ORSCC, IBCLC
Mental Fitness Coach for Spiritual & Creative Moms:
Who are ready to ditch their saboteurs so they can show up
as the partner, parent, and person they want to be - getting back to self and back to roots.