Random_Michelle is at it again challenging us to keep our story writing limbs nimble. I saw this picture of the boy and I had …nothing. But then a few things coalesced (random things: things on my mind, some fan fic I read once, and this poem by November Rain in response to the same prompt) and this inner monologue from the perspective of the boy’s mother came out. It’s spontaneous and unedited (except for cutting for length) as these prompt responses are.
He comes to me crying again. School is a war zone of hurled insults to which I send him each day with only the armor of my love. They say boys must be tough, but he has a sensitive soul and here that is a crime. He must toughen up. Even my own mother says so. She was the same way with me. If I brought her any hurt, she wanted to know if I hurt back. It was how she could be sure I would survive life. But I want him to do more than survive. I want him to live. I want him to feel the fullness of an open heart, to dance, and laugh, and touch the people he loves, to be gentle with fragile things. I want him to be human. I want to tell him that I see him. Not only the little boy he is now with tears in his eyes and confusion as to what it is about him that stirs such scorn but the giant he will someday be. I tell him that the giant is strong but has a tender heart, is careful even when walking so as not to disturb the earth. I tell him he’ll be so big and strong someday that people will see him and be afraid, but that he will be a giant fed on love and acceptance of everything, of everyone, of their right to be as they are. I tell him that he is meant to change lives just by being an example of goodness in the world. And I wipe his tears as he smiles, wanting to believe me, squinting, trying to picture the shadow of this future giant he is destined to be but not able, quite yet, to see.