Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Loud and Proud

My son Christopher is loud.  His loudness defines him.  Anyone who knows Christopher knows that his decibel level is at least 90% higher than everyone else’s, including screech owls and little girls.  Some people can’t appreciate his volume and ask me to quiet my son.  Have you ever tried to quiet a happy, expressive, full-of-life, creature who beams with joy?  Who would want to?

Christopher’s 5-year-old brain knows that having fun is the only thing that concerns him.  Having fun means squealing with delight and shouting from the rooftops that he’s here and he’s ready.  Please don’t ignore him because he will keep asking for your attention.

Being quiet is as foreign to Christopher as an introvert suddenly breaking out in song at the family BBQ.  It just isn’t in his genes.  I can relate.  When I’m talking animatedly to my husband about the crazy lady counting her pennies in the grocery store check-out line ("she took forever!") or the obnoxious driver who cut me off on the highway ("son-of-a-bitch changed three lanes without looking!"), he sometimes put up his hand like I’m breaking his eardrum and says, “I can hear you.  I’m right here.”   I know what it’s like to be loud and to be hushed.  I don't want to do that to my son.

I appreciate that Christopher lives his life with the zeal of twenty people and has a personality to match.  He will not only break out in song at the family BBQ, he will add some funky dance steps and tell a joke without skipping a beat.  Some people long for that kind of personality.  Christopher has it in spades.

I know I have a happy child and that’s all that matters to me.  To see Christopher’s antics and fun-loving ways is to witness a child who is truly happy in his own skin.  Christopher doesn’t care if you don’t like his dance steps.  He will do it for the next person who pays attention.  If I had an ounce of Christopher’s confidence I would be a better person.

I'm sorry, dear neighbors, if Christopher's volume has offended you in these summer months while all the kids played outside.  I've asked him to take it down a notch.  I've requested that he not scream so loud when he plays hide-n-seek.  But, it's pointless.  He might quell his enthusiasm for a little bit, but when the seeker eventually finds the hider all bets are off!

Christopher, I love you for who you are and all that I know you can be.  I don’t care if you are too loud for the masses, your decibel level is welcome in my house.  It won’t be too long before your 5-year-old brain turns into a 15-year-old brain who is worried about what other people think and is too careful not to offend.  For now if you continue to squeal with delight, so will I.

Your beautiful voice is music to my ears.



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