My Highly Sensitive Son, I Love Him So…
My nineteen-year-old son is very sensitive…to everything. You name it, it bothers him – soaps, creams, fake metals, body altering substances, the texture of food and surfaces, the way the sun is shining, the humidity in the air, the level of sound on anything but the music HE is playing, which television show is on, the number of shoes in the hall, his brother’s guitar, his sister’s existence, etc. etc. etc. It’s as if life hurts his psyche.
It should be no surprise then that he comments on stuff a lot…
“This car smells like shit.”
“I’m not eating that. It looks gross.”
“I can’t wear this belt. It’s making my whole body break out in hives.”
“Oh God, my earrings are rotting my flesh.”
“Can’t you make her go away. She is irritating the hell out of me.”
“I drank Red Bull an hour ago and now I think I’m hallucinating.”
(Note on this last part – No shit. How many times does something like this have to happen before he understands what he can and cannot do to his body? Will I have to remind him of these things forever?)
Truly, his sensitivity knows no bounds. For example, the other day as we were driving home from the store together, he was scrolling through Facebook on his iPhone. “Girls should always have to wear make-up,” he said out of the blue. “When they don’t, they look like guys, and I don’t even want to look at them.”
“It’s probably because you are used to seeing them with make-up on. It’s just the difference, not the reality.” I spend a lot of time trying to explain to him why he might think a certain way, or why something might be bothering him. He doesn’t usually buy it.
“No. They just look weird.”
“Funny you say that because you are always telling me that I should NEVER wear make-up.” And it’s true. I can’t even wear eyeliner without him looking at me sideways. Again, I think it’s the difference. I don’t usually wear much.
And then it happened. He said something that I was not expecting, something that made my week – and all the money I’ve been giving to him lately – totally worth it. It was a statement that I thought I’d never hear him utter. A statement that I don’t even think he realized he said.
“Some girls…” And yes, he classifies all females as “girls” no matter what their age…”Some girls just look better without it.”
“Oh,” I said. “I see.” That’s all. I didn’t say anything else. I didn’t want to expose his flawed sense of reasoning. Really, I didn’t want to ruin it for myself. God only knows what he might’ve come out with next. I figure it would’ve been something like, “Make-up can’t hide the wrinkles anyway.” I just wanted to bask in the glow of the compliment that my son had just given to me.
And at last, I know – he doesn’t think I am a hideous monster. At least, I think that’s what he meant.