I have a 12 year old who is scared of many things. He is scared of the electrical sockets in our house, the gas fire, the fact that he didn’t have chicken pox, a tiny speck of blood on his finger, an expression on someone’s face, the tone of someone’s voice . . . and the list goes on.
My son has light, colour, pattern and sound sensitivity. Life is naturally more scary to him than others. He is struggling to process all the colours, patterns and sounds in the world. And I totally understand his fear.
So . . . How Can I Help Him to be Less Fearful?
We have tried rationalising things, teaching him more about things like electricity and gas but it doesn’t seem to work. The only thing I can do for my son is to teach him about faith.
I find this pretty hard as my son has a very scientific mind and has learnt that he feels better when he is being very logical and systematic using the left side of his brain. And to live by faith we need to let go into the right side of our brain, where things aren’t rational and logical. They are more feeling based. This is where we make connections and see life as more of a whole, and start to wonder if there might be a bigger plan, and whether we might be part of it.
My son already lives by faith in a way. He often says that things don’t feel right, whether that is food, place, a person or an activity. And he is very strong on these things. However he is also open to change. He told me very strongly that he didn’t want to have anyone massage him the other day. Then when I walked out of a massage with a very nice lady in a very nice place, he said ‘Actually, I think I would like to have a massage!’
When I spoke to my son about faith this morning, I could see deep down that he found it comforting and he said “Well it was a bit of a coincidence that we found our white doves the way we did!” We had been to a pet shop and we spoke to the lady there of my son’s love of pigeons. We had decided to buy a smaller variety of doves called diamond doves, but when we next went to the pet-shop there were 3 beautiful white garden doves in one of the aviaries. They had lost their mother and the lady at the pet-shop had hand reared them. We all knew they were waiting for us!
Call it coincidence or call it synchronicity or go for all out comfort and call it God!
Today is May 9th – my Birthday. Now I guess May 9th may have no special ring to you but of course it does to me.
I am not a celebration person though and have had many grumpy Birthdays! I could never work out why. Did I feel people were not treating me right? Did I have too few cards? Did someone important forget? Well – the answer was often all of the above! However in another way the answer was something completely different.
Today I remembered how May 9th was special for me as a child (just the date) and also how I used to pray that the sun would shine on my Birthday. I literally did that every year and to my surprise, God did seem to answer my prayers! I can remember many a sunny Birthday.
Well, this year I kept looking at the weather forecast and I could see drizzle and a north east wind forecasted. So . . .what is God up to this year, I wondered! I had decided to go to my son’s favourite place for the morning as his happiness is everything to me and his visual processing gives him few choices to be happy when out. So we went to see our friend Vic and her lovely alpacas. We also took our hover-boards because I remembered Vic had a particularly promising looking new drive for a hover-boarding ride.
When we left in the car it was sunny. I noticed the old familiar cow parsley that is always out for my Birthday (and my Mum remembers from the day I was born.) The bluebells were still out (flowering late this year) and dotted in the hedgerow was the flash of red campion. The yellow was very strong in the green of the leaves – in fact so strong I had to shut my eyes when we went through leafy tunnels. And I thought to myself “Yes, it feels like my Birthday. All my special wild flowers are out.”
I haven’t had any presents because you try buying a present for a colour sensitive person! I haven’t suffered the sound or the pattern of wrapping paper. And I asked not to have cards.
The most memorable thing of my Birthday will be the trip in the car and all the colours of the spring flowers dancing together in unison for me! It seems that I was born at a time when the light feels best for me. And I must have known from very young just how much I needed the sunlight to really make the colours dance.
Did you pray for things that felt important to you as a child? I would love to hear your stories.