Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Soul Peeks

I have always said you can tell loads about a person by the way they hug...do they side hug?  Pat on the back?  Gingerly lean in?  Full on bear hug?  There are so many versions of The Hug, and each one reveals a lot about a person.

I am a full on bear hugger, an enveloper, desirous of letting those I am hugging know that at that very moment I am all theirs.  I'd put most of my friends in the same category...long, warm, arms fully wrapped around you kind of hugs.  Dominick is a great hugger, as are all the kids...Matt a little more reserved than others with the exception of us, Joshua sometimes on uncomfortable days a little less "whole", Olesya still learning to trust and at moments a tad more distanced and yet other times giving in to what her heart feels, Angela long and slow hugs that really try to say something, and Kenny...he gives the absolute best hugs in the world, sort of melt-into-you embraces that make you want to protect him and treasure him in all that vulnerability.

Recently I realized there is another very unique way to take a peek into a person's soul.  Viewing what has been saved on iPads or what photos have been taken has been so revealing.

While we are on vacation, I challenged the 3 kiddos taking photography to use the trip to come up with a few really solid photos using the composition rules we had been learning about.  Olesya, Angela and Josh all spent a fair amount of time shooting, and by golly, when we had our next class and shared what we thought were our best photos, it was clear they had been paying attention and had learned a lot!  I'll share their photos soon, once they are done editing them, but we all were surprised at the differences in the kinds of photos we took.  Mine were a combination of landscaped, people, and stills of things.  Olesya had virtually no people in any of hers, and she tended to like closer photos of nature scenes, a reminder of the tiniest shell she still has around her that is ever gradually melting.  Angela was taking expansive landscapes and almost nothing close up, her eyes always on the horizon for the newest adventure or scene to be revealed.

Josh was far and way the most interesting, every one of us saw his favorite photos and turned to each other saying, "Wow!  He has a real eye!!"  Josh sees the world differently, and has this lovely sweetness that unexpectedly showed up.  He took a few family photos, a couple of which were quite wonderful, and these unique and unusual abstracts.  At almost every turn, he saw something none of the rest of us saw at a particular place.  He had carefully researched and purchased a small pocket Canon camera, and quickly learned all the features and functions so he could get the most out of his little $60 camera.  I hope he continues, as at 11 years old, he really surprised us all with his artistic side reflected in photos.

We also joked that he will be the one out of all of the kids to eventually be the King of Selfies, as he was fascinated with taking photos of himself and then manipulating them with software into oddball images! Haha!

Angela and I were looking at Matt's iPad as he was showing us a photo, and we both glanced at each other at the same time as he bypassed a few things he had saved.  I asked him to show them to us.  Lovely, soulful quotes, images that were not the kind you'd usually find in a 15 year old boy's photo collection...reflective landscapes, fields of blooms, in fact at this very moment his screen background is a tulip covered field with a farmhouse nearby.  There was also the occasional macho jet or motorcycle, but they were actually few and far between.  Angela and I spoke afterward and she said, "Mom, know one knows how deep boys can be."

Kenny's heart is revealed more in the music he has compiled, a small collection of church favorites, old hymns and anthems, some contemporary Christian music...and a handful of younger kids's songs that we are not yet ready to abandon.  Unlike the other more tech savvy kids, he has saved little, but his writings are there, long missives about his understandings of God intermixed with a story or two about Knights and Kings of old.

Contrast that with Angela and Olesya's incredible mix of world music, Russian pop songs, Bollywood hits from India, and more.  Olesya tends to lean more toward a little bit of the American teeny bopper pop music, while Angela enjoys contemporary country from the likes of Brad Paisley and a little Garth thrown in.  Matt totally digs 70's and 80's slow rock, and Josh's musical tastes are All Disney All the Time.

Each young person who resides with us is so unique and wonderful, so different.  What I have been surprised to see over time is there has been no trash saved on iPads, nothing that a parent of typical teens would roll their eyes at...it is as if that little tablet encases a tiny extension of their precious souls, and what is contained therein is Important Stuff.

Every day I am learning, every day I am exploring through the eyes, hearts and minds of those who are accompanying me on this journey of life.  

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