Usually the time I can best get Evan to open up a bit is at the end of the day if he's tired and I catch him a bit off guard. Tonight, it really hurt me when he opened up and said that his friends at school always want to play tag with him because he's slow and he can never catch them. Fact is, he is slow on his feet. So was I so I suppose he gets it honest. That makes me feel pretty guilty though.
I could tell that it really bothers him to be physically slower than his friends. Third grade boys are supposed to be a lot of things -- handsome, strong, funny, and smart to name a few -- but most of all, probably, they are supposed to be fast. They are jockeying for the position of who is most athletic and who can actually catch the girls when they chase them during recess.
It's painful when you don't feel like you fit in. This pain can build to a gradual crescendo and be absolutely horrible for a teenager. Usually, sometime in our 20s or 30s, we start to realize that we have all had those feelings of not fitting in. Those anxieties and fears. But, when you are in the third grade, it seems like you must be the only one in the world feeling that way.
Tonight, I talked to Evan about I Samuel 16:7 (MSG), But God told Samuel, "Looks aren't everything. Don't be impressed with his looks and stature. I've already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart."
Evan said he understood that. Cognitively, he understands that God cares about our hearts and that He is the one -- the only one -- who we must seek to please. The scripture seemed to comfort him a bit. But I know that, deep down, the third grader in him is very concerned about being slow of foot.
I guess these are trying times that we all end up experiencing in one way or another at some point in our lives. I had them as a third grader. And that is probably why I just want to wrap Evan in my arms, make him feel secure, and whisk him away from his friends who want to play tag with him because he's an easy target.
Third grade was a very long year for me. I remember it all too well. How can I use that to help Evan through his third grade year?