Different is Different
Tomorrow my 16-year-old comes home from Africa. AFRICA! I tell both my boys all the time how blessed they are to experience the things they get exposed too. No matter how many times I say it though, I know they don't get it (yet)
We took many memorable family vacations growing up but none of them included leaving our own continent!
Thanks to improving Wifi and the beauty of FB Messenger to make calls, I've been able to talk about every other day to my wife who's leading her now 4th expedition to the dark continent.
Of course, a reoccurring question in our chats is how our oldest is doing. "You know Ryan" she replies every time! I know exactly what she means and I'm already ready for his answer to my first question when I see him tomorrow about how he enjoyed his trip. He will almost certainly respond like he responds to most everything "It was Cool"...followed by crickets. Ryan is a man of few words unless it's about science or politics (the latter comes from his mother
God made a kid who's polar opposite in almost every regard than me then gave him to me to parent. Obviously, the big guy upstairs has a "funny" sense of humor.
As the father of two typical teenage boys I need all the prayers I can get! That is, prayers for me to heed my own advice when it comes to working with others. Focus on their strengths and forgive them for their weaknesses.
Carla Wittstock has mastered this living with me for 18 years and she doesn't fail to point it out to me when I don't afford my kids the same grace others have afforded me.
Our oldest is incredibly bright. School didn't come naturally for either his mom or me. He's wise beyond his years (something nobody would have accused me of at 16) He is calm calm calm to the point of being comatose regardless of the situation. That can be a frustrating trait but then again when the power to the elevator goes out (like happened in Africa) and your in it, Ryan has the ability to keep everyone calm (including his mom who probably thought she would die of starvation before the power was restored
So, for all you parents raising kids who aren't quite like you be grateful. Grateful that the world works better being filled with different thinkers, different types of doers and different values that all make us unique. The reality is for as much as we all (admit it) wish everyone in the world thought exactly like us, shared our same values, and believed our same beliefs it would (admit it) be a hell of a lot more boring too!
That's what I will remind myself of tomorrow after I see my boy for the first time in almost two weeks and enthusiastically ask him how his trip was