Sit down. Be quiet.
Children are to be seen, not heard.
We were taught this growing up… to sit still and not speak unless spoken to.
I was good at this. I liked this arrangement.
I could sit and drift off in my imagination… it was my favorite place to be. Once in a while I would listen to the adult conversations… this lead to something else entirely for me. With my wild imagination… and compassionate heart… I was able to imagine myself in others shoes.
When I would hear the adults talking about Suzie Homemaker and how her husband walked out on her and her two children… I would imagine being Suzie homemaker… I would imagine how devastated I was when I found out I would be alone with my children, no support, no helper. I would tear up with emotions.
I would imagine I was Emma Jean and just received a promotion at work… I would feel the excitement and a smile would come to my face.
Because of this, even as young as six and seven years old, I had a very advanced understanding of human emotions… and I became very aware and in tuned to those around me. Put that together with my love of writing and it made for very interesting poetry for a child my age.
I remember once when I was eight years old I wrote a two part poem. Part one was written from the perspective of someone ending an intimate relationship with someone else. Part two was written from the perspective of someone trying to comfort the person who was just dumped. (yeah, a little deep for an eight year old right.) I was proud of my poems… and so I brought my work to school and showed it to my 3rd grade teacher. She did not believe I wrote it.
She asked me a series of questions and then proceeded to tell me that I was lying to her about writing them, and she kept asking me to tell her which book I copied it out of.
I wasn’t sure if I was more offended by her calling me a liar, or honored that she thought it actually came out of a book.
She could see that I wasn’t going to break and tell her that I copied the poems, so she tried a different tactic. She asked me how often I write poems, in which I responded “every day”. She asked me if I could write her a poem… in 10 minutes? I told her yes… she said “Even if I pick the topic?” I said “Yes” she said “Okay, butterflies… I’m going to set the timer… sit right here next to me and start.”
I wrote the most beautiful poem about butterflies and the way their wings glisten in the sunlight with the morning dew atop them… no seriously… I wish I had that poem today, but she took it and didn’t give it back.
After she read it she went around the school bragging on me to the other teachers. Together they decided they would enter that 10 minute written poem into some contest that was going on. I don’t think I won that one… or maybe they never entered it… because I never heard anything more of it after that day.
Anyway… I believe God gave me that talent… that ability. Not only writing and poetry, but the ability to sense the feelings and emotions of others around me. When I sense the hurt of others, I carry it around with me for days afterwards. When I’m around someone excited about an event in their lives… It excites me for them as well.
It was a blessing… those words of Sit down and be quiet.
It was also a curse.
I still want to sit down and be quiet way too often in my life.
I want to blend into the background and just absorb, and observe, and be left to my imagination. I’m thankful that at this time in my life, God is calling and pushing me out of my comfort zone. He’s calling me to step out, and talk.
I’ve a long road before that feels even remotely comfortable… but with His help I’ll get there.
Now, for that two part poem I wrote when I was 8…
I know that I might hurt you,
I know that we might cry,
But deep deep down inside me
I know it’s time to say goodbye.
Goodbye may seem like forever
Although it’s really a fresh new start.
And I know I’ll always love you
From the bottom of my heart.
If someone has hurt you
Deep deep down inside,
Don’t cry again
If you’ve ever cried.
If there was a boy involved
in this scene you see,
the love you had for him,
just wasn't meant to be.
Forget about the boy.
He was dumb and no good,
And if he ever listened
You weren’t understood.
hmmm. well. that's it. Seemed much longer when I was younger :)
I wish I remembered by heart others I wrote… but this was the only one that stuck with me all those years.
Thank you for staying for my ramble.
May you allow God to push you out of your comfort zones, and may you reach out, and react to those emotions around you. May you resist the temptation to just sit and be quiet.