There once was a little boy with blond hair and brown eyes. His face was patched with cheeks of red. His smile was sweet, but his eyes shadowed pain.
His name was Knott.
Knott goody Nuff.
Knott was named after his grandfather...and his grandfather's father. A name that should have made his grandpa proud. A name that should have guaranteed that he was the special grandchild out of them all.
I watched as Knott went to help his grandfather, walk up the stairs to the family gathering. Knott wanted to help his grandpa who was now older and not as agile in his younger days. He went to gather the things grandpa was carrying to give a helping hand.
Perhaps it was pride in the older man's heart. Perhaps love in a displaced way. What came out was criticism, gruff and full of anger.
Knott walked away to the other side of the porch, and cried.
I recognized the color of tears that he shed as I have kept the same ones bottled up inside my own heart.
Knott is on the honor roll, he dreams of being in law some day. He is only in junior high and he is focused on his grades and future. Knott is a talented athlete. He plays football and baseball.....and plays it well. Knott is already a scholar athlete.
Those aren't even the qualities that make this child so amazingly incredible.
He is gifted with hospitality. Not only giving up his room for a night (without complaining like most pre teens) but gathering as many blankets and things he thought we would need to be comfortable.
In the morning he asked if I would like a cup of coffee. He made coffee for everyone and was asking people how they would like theirs. Hospitable at his young age.
He cares about the people around him. Conversations of family members that had him worried were held in my car as if he was a 40 year old adult.
Compassion, hospitality, intelligence, athletic skill, dedication.....and visionary.
Pretty close to being a perfect son.
Yet he feels Knott Goody Nuff.
I wish I had the answer for him....to change the way he was treated in that moment. I wish I could make him the apple of his grandfather's eye. I wish I could explain why it is that the children who seem to have so much to give...are treated in such a way that they're self esteem gets clinked.
I too, was Knott Goody Nuff.
It took becoming an adult to realize that the sibling who was the apple of everyone's eye; was not what they had me believing she was.
The wounds in my self esteem are still evident today. Knowing in my head what I really was doesn't change the fear in my heart of rejection from those I loved the most.
Perhaps I could tell this child.....he is MORE than Goody Nuff. He is incredible.
I'll keep him in my prayers at night; asking that the love of his parents be more than Goody Nuff to keep him from stuggling like I do with a name like Nott Goody Nuff.
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