Tuesday, February 19, 2008
little bird, I think...
My youngest son, my big, big boy...is 18 today. Mathew is a rare child. Loving and kind, sweet and tender all wrapped up in a thick covering of DO NOT TOUCH. Not so much when he was younger...though still, he was much more like a cat than a good old dog who lives to please. I would say, of all my children, Mathew required the greatest affirmations of love...he still does. And it is a difficult paradox when the child would rather slide down a razor blade than have a hug, when truly that is what he really wants. His sisters would tell you that he can drive a person up a wall...but- if one needs a shoulder, a strength...Mathew is the one who brings it, who innately knows our hearts and soothes them like no other. Who in one breath screams, "You're all crazy!!!", and then on the next, "I love you guys." We know Mathew, we know.
He wanted a saxaphone for Christmas, honestly- I thought it would be like the trumpet, the guitar, the skate ramp, the etc....I figured he would lay it aside, too soon, too much before he mastered it. Nope. He loves this thing. He sings too, beautifully, sandpaper silk kind of voice. I'm going to listen to him Friday night. He definately walks to the beat of his own drummer...for that, for his individualistic attitude, I am most proud. All my children have displayed this slightly off kilter trait, but Math...he excels. Which makes life all the harder...when you don't fit in so much...but Mathew, he blends, he swirls, the colors he adds, the sounds he makes- not your typical canary. He's the kind of little bird, I think...when he gets all his feathers- that will soar in such a way that makes others happy for their own uniqueness, their own shine and light.
He has struggled all his life, this one. When he was 11, he became very ill. In and out of hospitals in St. Louis and Cleveland and Springfield, too. Little was understood about his illness, he was scared, we were scared, took a long time to get him well. His faith was shakey, he still had to go to school on top of feeling pretty awful most of the time. He had to give up sports. Children were cruel. This is a small town, small minds...he earned a moniker of "bug boy", because he was always ill and a diagnosis evaded us. He did not tell us that the children avoided him, couldn't understand him so they mocked him. Then his beautiful big hero of a brother went off to war. I know Mathew prayed in such a way to trade his own life for his brothers...Beau was so healthy and strong, Mathew was not at the time. He thought it a fair trade off if God took him and kept his brother safe. Yep, that truly is how Mathew operates, loyal and loving and self sacrificing for his family. (And I do not mean to leave this on such a sad note, it will turn out fine)...then in July of 2003, Mathew lost his best friend to a heart condition-Ryan, who understood Mathew. Loved Mathew. Buddies that could look out and in for each other and just plain understood, accepted and loved anyway. And five days later, Mathew lost his hero big brother, his Beau, our Beau...and the anger and the hopelessness on top of it all have not left him, yet. Though...I can see the saxaphone and the singing drawing out trust, and hope again. I see the smiles there a bit brighter. It makes me so very happy, in and out...to notice these things of my boy, my big big boy, my almost a man and wouldn't your brother be so very proud. Yes he would son, yes he would. Happy, happy day. Take care-