I came across this beautifully written article the other day, and I had to share.
You see, Cole is one of those firefly children. And I was one, too.
Cole is a still water that runs deep. He's a hard kid to get to know. Even our closest friends don't hear him speak often, or know much about his personality. He doesn't show his emotions readily. He can be stand-offish, not wanting to touch and be touched. While he's extremely bright, he doesn't show off his knowledge. He is quiet - even when asked a direct question, he can be abrupt, shy, awkward, silly, and even accidentally rude.
It's a difficult balancing act for me. I so want the world to know what an amazing kid Cole is - his strengths of kindness, of peacemaking, of getting along with others. His empathy, his loyalty, his overreaching love. His curiosity, his brightness, his thoughtfulness. I want the whole world to see and appreciate all his strengths. But they are often kept quiet - not silent, but quiet within him. He's not gregarious in most ways with his empathy and kindness. He's not looking for an audience. He'll do an act of kindness for the most perfect reason of all: to be kind, not to receive praise. He doesn't brag or show off. But in all that quietness, his personality can be hidden away.
I'm so worried that he will spend a lifetime being misunderstood. I live in fear that his teachers won't have time to notice his shy and quiet personality and mistake his shyness for rudeness, or his quietness for sneakiness. I worry constantly about how to support Cole through his life without changing his personality, while still making sure he has the tools to succeed socially in life.
He's my firefly. His light is on the inside, glowing steadily and strong. It's my job to help him shine his light the best he can and help others see his light.