Shadows

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Kieran competed in Technology Student Association competition this weekend.

He probably joined the group initially because Liam had been so successful at it.

It’s sort of what we’ve been doing in our household for the past two years.

Two years ago, Liam had been the only 7th grader to qualify for nationals.

Last year, he had been the only middle school student to qualify.

Kieran was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of work that was going into this activity.

He seemed to be struggling and I shared that he didn’t have to participate in TSA anymore if he didn’t like it.

I asked him to just get through Saturday’s competition and then make a decision.

Kieran placed 1st or 2nd in all of his four events.

I had slightly underestimated him, to be sure.

When we got home, I talked to him privately.

“Kieran, you tried cross country and did better than Liam did in his seventh-grade year.

Now you are have placed in more events as a seventh grader than Liam did, and he went to nationals.

You are seen.

You are talented.

You don’t have to feel like you are in Liam’s shadow anymore.

You are achieving and growing on your own.”

He told me he’d think about what I had said.

Ironically, when I posted his picture and success after Saturday’s event on social media, a few of my friends wrote, “Congrats, Liam!”

His comment: “I’m not in his shadow, am I, mom.”

But I will continue to know and tell him differently.

 

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4 thoughts on “Shadows

  1. Oh, this spoke right to my heart. I have three children and know that they often feel like the shadow, even though they are certainly not. Congratulate Kieran for me and tell him he is certainly seen.

  2. I think there is always that competition between siblings. I still have it with my older brother even though we are both in our sixties and have traveled paths in life. Kieran will find his niche and need to wonder if he is in someone’s shadow.

  3. Happens in all families — really hard to avoid. Keep telling him — he will find his voice and his path.
    Clare

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