performance rejection

He does not perform. The thought occurs to me as I walk by my eight-year-old working diligently on his current project. He is making an Angry Birds Space encyclopedia.

Just before this ah-hah descends on me, I am grumbling in my head. Why doesn’t he work this hard on school projects? This is what I mean when I say give 100%. I know he has it in him, why doesn’t he use this motor more?

Because unlike his mother, my son is NOT a type-A personality. He is a good-enougher. He is an I’m-not-defined-by-my-performance kind of guy. He is someone who enjoys life and doesn’t take himself too seriously.

And I love that about him more than I can say. Even though I go crazy over it from time to time. This beautiful freedom he lives in rubs against my performance-driven, rule-following, live-up-to-all-expectations nature.

And that is SO GOOD for me.

As this new revelation about my son and how he ticks sinks in, I swell with admiration. He puts his heart and soul into the things he determines are worthy of such priceless energy.

Not into what will score points with his teacher, the people around him, or even his mother. He will not do things just to look good in the eyes of another. He will not perform.

He does, however, have much heart and soul to pour into things. And he does use that energy from time to time. On projects that matter to him.

This is all very helpful for me to consider. Because as his mother, I need to help equip him to navigate through this world. And to not loose himself in the process.

There are times when he will have to harness this energy even though he doesn’t want to because that is what his life requires of him at the given moment. But those times are probably fewer and farther between than I as his mother think they are.

Yet at the same time, how wonderful for him to know with such certainty that his life cannot be lived to please others. He must be true to himself. How does he know such a thing at this tender age?

I marvel at moments like these. I think I am helping my children discover pieces of themselves and figure out where they go. And then they hand me pieces of myself that have been missing all my life. 

8 thoughts on “performance rejection

  1. free penny press says:

    It is so very refreshing to see a Mother embrace and love the qualities her son has vs what he is not.. You are doing a fine thing by supporting him in things the way he feels comfortable doing them.
    I love that big, toofy smile 🙂

  2. This had me smiling from the moment I opened it-what an AWESOME picture that captures the JOY and personality he exudes! The reminder you share with us all also has me smiling…a lesson (that our children should be able to be WHO they ARE in addition to being able to function in a world that demands performance at times, too) I’ve appreciated learning from you over the years! Keep those reminders coming-your perspective through the love for your children makes them so easy to swallow!!

    • Rebecca Koo says:

      Thank you, Karen. You are such an inspiration and encouragement to me. Thank you for investing in me and in my family! And thank you for seeing the essence of Colby in the picture….when I was looking through my pics this one jumped out and said, “Me – of course!!” Thank you thank you my sweet sister!!!

  3. Suz says:

    What a needed reminder for me that I am to encourage them in how they ARE within what they need to do…sometimes would like to change my older to be more like me in dealing with what he needs to do. Love the picture too! I had to come read from my laptop so I could check out his great smile since, for some reason, my phone version of FB omits the pictures! And I do love the pictures you post!

  4. Amy says:

    Well Done! Reminsicent of some of the lessons I have learned from my boys…(took me back to Saint Augustine fresman football with Kellen)…

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