Peace in Differences

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A few weeks ago we had an interesting moment when I noticed a beautiful difference between our sons. The magic of their strong comparison made me pause and feel gratitude.

My husband’s aunt was not doing well and had been sent to the hospital. We thought we might lose her and felt the weight of grief bubbling up as fear took over.

The next morning, Hubs was not feeling super and took his time getting ready for the day, while I prepared breakfast and started the kids on their routine for school. When our middle son asked where Dad was, I explained he might need a little extra love and space, since our aunt wasn’t doing so well.

My gentle insinuations were immediately picked up on by LM1. “Mom,” he said, “if it’s her time to go, there isn’t anything we can do about it.”

His words were honest but grittier than I wanted to hear. He saw the situation for what it was and tried to remind me not to feel sad for things we can’t control. He is our thinker, a boy who works hard at acting from a place of knowledge and understanding.

LM2 reacted differently. He went to his happy place: the pantry cabinet where all of our art supplies are housed. He decided to make Daddy a card and a portrait of himself crying. Maybe he wanted to show Daddy that it was ok to cry. Maybe he wanted Daddy to know he saw and understood him. The card said “Feel better,” spelled in typical 1st-grader fashion.

The most incredible thing in the world to me is how two humans, both of whom were raised by the same parents, in the same house, could react to the situation so differently. Neither of my sons was right or wrong in his reaction. That’s the thing about life. We’re allowed to feel however we feel, whenever we feel it. When we are being ourselves, it’s beautiful.

The real peace came upon my heart when I realized how extraordinarily lucky I am. I get to bear witness to our differences and love both of them. I don’t have to choose between right and a wrong, good or a bad. My job is simply to see, love, and acknowledge.

My heart sighed a gentle breath at this fact. Because differences can exist in the same space and bring a sense of comfort. How extraordinary.

What brought you peace this week? Share the peace!

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