“What should I write about?” Titus asked while working on his journal homework yesterday.
“Football?” I asked, since he had his first practice and game Sunday.
A pause as he considered this idea, followed by a thoughtful and self-confident, “No, my school friends don’t need to know I play football.”
He opted instead to invent a tale about Lego Star Wars characters.
I understand this quiet desire of my six-year-old son to select his audience.
I, too, only show the full collection of the treasures in my heart to a very limited audience. With my most public acquaintances, I share my family and my hobbies. Trusted friends and family know of my work, my frustrations and my desires. My husband knows my hurts and dreams.
A few years ago, I read the book The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver. The entire premise of the haunting, beautiful novel is that the most important story is the one we do not know.
In a few short years, my son will likely be able to choose the topics for his homework journal without my help. In the silence of his own mind, he’ll edit which entries are for public eyes and which will remain private.
Until that time, I am grateful for these years as his sounding board. For now, I am audience to both the fantasy tale that is publicly shared and the real story that remains quietly untold.