I have given birth to a Tigger and an Eeyore – not in that order. As they have matured it is amazing to me how different they are.
When my Eeyore was 18 months old, my best friend told me she already saw how much he was like me. I couldn’t figure out what she observed, but as he grew it became clear she was right. What is most profound is seeing my negative traits in him–and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit how much this strikes fear in me.
While I have my good qualities – I’m passionate, motivated, dependable – my baseline of melancholy skews my thinking to the negative side of life at times. My default mechanism is to seek my value in the approval of others, and when someone whose opinion I value rejects me, I spiral. I seek pleasure to numb my inner unrest, and it’s only by the grace of God – and fully understanding my family’s history of alcoholism – that I am not an addict. I mean that with all sincerity.
When I see many of those same traits in my Eeyore, I fear the worst. If I – one who tries with all my heart to pursue God and please Him and live out the calling He placed on my life – struggle with these things, still at age 35, how much more are the odds stacked against him in this culture?
As I’ve observed my own traits in my son, I’ve always concluded that he is who he is because it’s in our genes.
Today, however, I saw things differently. I’m not sure what sparked it. Perhaps, my son isn’t simply a product of the depression genes that run in our family after all.
Perhaps, God crafted him in a manner independent from his mother, grandfather, great-grand-father, and beyond.
Perhaps, my Eeyore is who he is because God chose to give him a heart to feel deeply, for melancholy to be the springboard to launch him to cling to the heartbeat of God.
I can’t always see the silver lining of my own personality – just last night I asked for the hundredth time, why did you create me like this? – so certainly I can’t fathom all God created my son to be. I don’t understand why some of us feel more and hurt more deeply than others. But there’s a reason, as veiled as it seems.
And perhaps, instead of blaming these tendencies on an unfavorable gene selection, I could see what God actually did – He created my son to be who he is, looked across the earth and chose me out of all the other women of the world, to raise him.
He chose me to raise this Eeyore because He knows I have the capacity to know his heart. I can feel with him. I can recognize his tendency to see the storm clouds when his sister sees the rainbow–because I see the storm clouds too. And I’m learning how to look at the rainbow and I can teach him how to lift his eyes and look for the beautiful colors in the midst of the dark.
I could be over thinking this – it’s not uncommon – but it’s possible this simple change of viewpoint could alter the way I parent dramatically. He’s not a victim of the roll of the gene dice. He’s fearfully and wonderfully made. He’s not a Tigger because His creator didn’t make him to be a Tigger. He’s an Eeyore because God is good and He crafted my son (and me!) perfectly.
After every creation God made, he proclaimed, “It is good.” And as my associate pastor recently pointed out, after he created man, God said, “It is VERY good.”
My Eeyore is VERY good. Sin will threaten to bring him down, just as it does each of us in our own ways through our own weaknesses. But God chose ME to be his mom, a fellow Eeyore, to help him navigate this life and fulfill his purpose and calling.
He was never who he is by chance. He was chosen. And I was chosen to be his mom.
And that is a wonderful thing.