“How do you like my haircut?” I asked one day when I picked my son up from kindergarten. “Do you like it?”
I learned two things that day. First, never ask your sons if they like your hair cut, your shoes, or your lipstick! Second, don’t ask Perceiver of Truth anything unless you want the ugly, honest truth.
“Don’t ever do that again,” he answered, picked up his back pack, took hold of my hand, and walked with me out to our red Ford Ranger. You can have a truck if you only have one son. We traded it in for a mini-van when son #2 rolled along.
Perceiver of Truth doesn’t hedge, distort, exaggerate, or misrepresent, or tolerate others hedging, distoring, exaggerating, or misrepresenting.
My shining crown of motherhood earned a smudge when he was about 9 years old. I hedged. I misrepresented the truth. No prevarication is a good prevarication to Perceiver of Truth.
We took our 3 sons to Disney World for 4 days. Sea World was also on the must-do list. Number 2 son, Faithful, wanted to see Shamu, the Sea Whale. He was so excited.
Due to the cost, I had to chose between Sea World and Epcot Center. I admit—I love Epcot Center. Spending Perceiver of Truth’s Birthday at the little, outdoor café in Paris watching fireworks was to be a highlight of the trip.
What to do! I was in an emotional muddle. I didn’t want to disappoint our little guy about Shamu. A solution presented itself. A truth-hedging solution. Epcot won! Under The Sea with Shamu the Sea Cow was a huge hit. Faithful was fully satisfied. That Sea Cow was enormous. Even I was amazed. Faithful never knew the difference.
But Perceiver of Truth knew the difference. He was appalled by my lack of . . . truth.
Logic infers that if one is a truth advocate, one must be able to control the flow of truth.
Information doesn’t ooze from them or come busting out at the seams. Gossiping is out of the question. There’s no manipulating Perceiver of Truth into spilling the beans about him or anyone else. Information about their life comes out if you wait. . . .wait. . . and suddenly, you are having a casual mother-son confabs. Late-at-night talks, car talks, let’s-talk-about-life talks. You find out the quandries they’re grappling with. Their shields are down, so they actually hear your ideas. It’s a magical mom moment!
Perceiver of Truth is animated in conversation. Animated is not to be confused with emotional. Blunt, direct people aren’t particularly emotional people.
Sometimes it’s hard communicating with someone who isn’t emotional. You can’t gauge their reaction to your conversation. It can be unnerving, not being able to read someone. I always said that if I didn’t know my sons’ love languages and spiritual gifts, I probably wouldn’t know they loved me because I wouldn’t understand why they behave the way they do and value it.
Perceivers are called to be in leadership positions, to handle all the different emotions and egos bustling and boiling around them. They’re not easily offended, emotional, or get hung up on the little things.
Perceiver of Truth was a great soccer referee and coach because he called it as he saw it. If a coach hollered at him, he unemotionally handled it. He doesn’t hold a grudge. It is like water off a duck’s back.. For example, when our second son’s wrist was broken during a soccer match, he was the sideline ref, calmly waiting, watching, while the coaches did what they were supposed to do.
Later, he recounted the entire chain of events with humor, amused because I was on the sidelines, enacting an impersonation of a duck in a carnival duck shoot, walking back and forth, back and forth.
I wasn’t about to walk out on the field. When the coach called, “I need a dad,” dad went. However, I recognized the boundary line I was not allowed to cross. It would have disappointed my son’s sense of manly honor. There’s nothing that tears up a boy’s pride like his mom running out on the field, whether it is to tie his shoes or see if his arm is broken.
Perceiver of Truth aptly saw my struggle, was somewhat amused by it, too.
The center referee later told me he called the foul against the player who had shouldered my son who went up for a header, which caused him to fall the way he did, breaking his wrist. He laughingly said, “I knew I better call it that way or _______(Perceiver of Truth) would kill me.” He sure didn’t know my son well. My son would have wanted the honest call.
There’s nothing more refreshing than truth. Sometimes there’s nothing more appalling than truth! It’s our job as mothers to teach how to use truth as a sword for honor, not to wound.
We started with baby steps. So if you don’t like mom’s haircut, and she stupidly asks if you do, you might just want to say, “I love you, Mom.”
Recognize, cultivate, shape, call to action–that is a mother’s job