There are a select few kids/teens who have my cell phone number. I do this because I prefer not to be inundated with phone calls on Saturdays (regarding Super Saturday), or any other day of the week for that matter.
The past week, I've received a few phone calls from one of our teenagers, Keyon, who just called to tell me about his day, and it has been lovely.
I've known Keyon for a while, and used to think he didn't like me very much. He can be quite the story teller. Once I “got wise” to his habit of embellishment, I called him out. I learned it was necessary to be very direct with him, and he didn’t always appreciate my honesty. For this reason, he would avoid telling me things and would often respond to my questions with silence.
Through all of this, I think I gained his respect. He realized he couldn't put up a front with me as he had a tendency of doing. Now, we have good conversations on a regular basis. Rather than constantly being frustrated with the choices that he is making, I see him growing into a solid young man.
About a month ago, while we were talking about my birthday, the following conversation occurred:
Keyon: Miss Melissa. I want to get you something for your birthday? What do you want for your birthday?
Me: You don't need to get me anything
Keyon: But I want to, what do you want?
Me: I don't know, something you think I'd like
Keyon: A dress?
Me: What? Do you know me at all?
Keyon: [uproarious laughter]
I love that he knows me. (I’m not much of a “dress person.”) Even with our limited interactions and my perception that I wasn't his favorite person we’ve grown to understand each other on some level.
It's been fun watching him grow from early “teenager-hood” to now. I've seen him mature quite a lot, and look forward to picking up him and his brothers for Super Saturday. Usually, each of them has a story for me when they get in the van, and it's fun to hear what they’ve experienced throughout the week and what they are looking forward to.
Keyon has taught me so much about being open and fully present with our kids. In the past, I may have dismissed his phone calls or stories just because I was tired or busy. Now I love that he calls, and all that it means when he does.
~guest author, Melissa K, volunteer