You Are Awesome

You are awesome.

Wouldn’t it be great to think that about yourself? Genuinely believe it when someone told you? It’s hard to really let a saying like that give you more than a fleeting smile. Because we see the word ‘awesome’ a lot. It’s in every part of advertising, on greeting cards, teacher stickers, t-shirts, titles of books, and all over social media with some meme or another.

Urban Dictionary defines it as “Something Americans use to describe everything.” Perhaps we do use the word unanimously.   But when we say something is awesome; it’s not that we don’t mean it-it just may not have the most powerful impact because it is heard so frequently.

The word ‘awesome’ simply means: awe inspiring. Like just saying it should make you pause, mouth wide with wonder and perhaps, gasp. Yet we don’t, we may raise the corners of our mouth and move on quickly because it is so commonplace.

Earlier this week, I taught my son to text.  I thought it time to bring him in touch with his teen peers. He is very proficient with email, but I don’t think it gives him much social satisfaction. Phone calls are hard for him and I felt it was time to give him a tool where he can communicate easier; something with immediate gratification.

So, I slugged through the maze of family share on Apple to give him his own account and then rigged up my old phone so he could use it over wi-fi (oh, the wonders of technology). I was brimming with excitement to introduce something I hoped would take him one step closer to communicating with me, and the people around him, independently.

I showed him where the icon was for texting and then where to click to start writing. He stood back a few feet, mesmerized at the moving bubbles and watching our initial volley of messages.

ry's text 1

I shouldn’t have been amazed at the quickness he caught on to it; he is a teenager after all. But, I guess there’s still part of me that underestimates his abilities and thinks I have to break everything down for him.

Ry text 2

I was thrilled he was even interested in this exchange. So I typed:

rys text awesome

I wasn’t just throwing around a highly repeated phrase. I really felt it at that moment. My heart was full of pride and love for this young man who has overcome so much. I was wide with wonder and I did gasp in amazement at him. And for a second he was just a teenager on a phone texting with his mom.

As I sat in my sappy-mom-glory-moment staring at him lovingly I heard the familiar “whoop” of a reply and looked at my phone.

rys yes i am

I laughed. Out Loud. Hard.

He smiled at me, set down the phone and walked away.  As I sat there laughing, I took a screen shot of our conversation and of course I posted it on Facebook. I wanted to capture that moment and never forget it.

But days later, I keep looking his text, “Yes I am” and have started to think of it as his mantra. It’s like I had a secret look into his mind and was shown that he thinks he’s okay. He believes he IS awesome. And that is powerful.

What if we could make that word new again? If we could imagine a young boy believing he’s truly awesome and take that confident feeling into making the word encouraging again, then maybe we could find a way to inspire others to believe they are awesome.  I wish everyone could try to think of it as a genuine feeling you can have about yourself or someone else.

What a true gift to believe someone thinks you are awe inspiring and an even better is to honestly think it of yourself.

I think you all are awesome. Now go tell someone else they are, but mean it. And make sure they know you mean it.




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