Reticence

by carlocmd

My 4 year-old is a quiet, reflective boy whose favorite place in the world is his home.

You would often find him sitting in a carefully chosen spot, away from the main walkways, with a faraway look in his eyes. Daydreamer, I say, when I find him in his special place.

His mother tries to get him out of his reverie. But I often ask her to let him be. I was a daydreamer as a kid. So I sort of understand why he is the way he is.

He ranked number one in school, and gave an amazing valedictory address. He did it by memorizing 4 stanzas of a poem we made up. A tribute to his teachers, his parents, and classmates. He spoke with confidence like an adult at his tender age.

One time, at home, as I was multitasking – filling up some forms, folding some clothes, organizing toys – the phone rang.

“Can you help dad and answer the phone?” I asked him.

He hesitated a moment.

“Dad, why should I answer the phone?” He replied. “I’m just a kid!”

And I stopped what I was doing, turned to him, and saw the child in him. He smiled and shrugged. Then he went to the corner to daydream.

I realized that for all his amazing scholastic achievements, he is still very much a reticent, observant boy. We may talk with him like an adult, allowing him to express his thoughts, teaching him the skills to interact with the world.

There are times, however, that we must never force him to change when he is not ready.

So go ahead and dream, my son. We’ll teach you the other parts later.

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