The Story of the AirPods… There was a 17 year old boy sitting at a football camp with his mom waiting for it to start. He was surrounded by over a hundred other young men with a parent.
Some of these boys were throwing the ball around. Others were stretching. Still, others were getting one last piece of advice, correction or encouragement before camp started.
After rifling through is bag, he looked up at his mom and disappointedly announced, “I left my AirPods in the car.”
Being kind, the mom offered to go get them. He refused. Then, she offered her own set of AirPods which he also refused. She reached in her purse and insisted he use them as she placed the AirPods in his hand. His agreement was shown when he put them in without a word before he reclined on the turf.
That seems like the end of the story doesn’t it? A teenage boy is able listen to music. A mom meets her son’s needs. But, that wasn’t the point of the story. Here is the real story.
The Real Story of the AirPods
As I sat there watching him, I knew that he needed space to just relax and focus before camp. He didn’t need me to talk with him. And, he didn’t need me to give him any advice. He needed space.
When I looked down and saw this case, I snapped a quick picture. You might be wondering why would I take a picture of an empty case. What could it possibly remind me of in that moment.
First, this picture tells me the story of a kid, my kid, becoming his own person. Second, It reminds me that he knows what he needs and can work to meet those needs without his momma. Third, this picture reminds me that he needed space. Finally, this picture affirms that he needed me to be okay with it.
Young People Need Space
The truth is that sometimes our young people need space. They need to be able to separate from what is going on around them. They need to refocus at times. Youth need to learn how to meet their own needs. And, they need to draw inward enough to hear what God is saying to them. As caring adults, we need to be in tune with what young people need.
Yes, I have to admit that sometimes I hate his AirPods because I feel like I am competing for attention. Sometimes I hate his AirPods because it feels like he is pulling away from his family, from his momma when he wears them. Oh, I sometimes wish that they were gone and he could be fully present with all that is around him.
Then I was reminded as I glanced at this case, he needed space. That didn’t mean he didn’t want me…no it meant he knew what he needed. It meant he had developed a sense of Self-Awareness and was able to meet his own needs in that stressful moment. I watched him intently as he relaxed and listened to music for the next 40 minutes. He had figured out how to rest and even relax in a stressful environment. This kid was becoming an adult. And that’s what he was supposed to be doing.
I am thankful that I snapped that picture. But, more importantly, I am thankful I gave him space. Instead of trying to connect with him, I turned to God and began to pray. I prayed for my son’s nerves. I praised God for the health and talents of my son. And, I silently prayed that God would continue to give me the strength to know when he needed space and to be willing to give it to him.
Now, that’s the story of the AirPods.