I have two outside-the-box little boys. And even though they’re young, the world around them is trying to get them right in line. “Purple is for girls” and “you’re too old for a dinosaur beanie” (which is literal blasphemy because those beady eyes and that fin are the cutest things I’ve ever seen). It’s pretty ridiculous, and we don’t have a lot of time for it in our house. Our clothing rules are pretty basic:
- Must be weather appropriate
- Must be situationally appropriate (tennis shoes for gym, swim trunks at the pool kind of thing)
That’s it. Seriously. It’s also pretty important to me that they like what they’re wearing since they’re old enough to have some input at this point. But if they pick out clothes that meet the first two rules, they get to wear them. Except on picture day, because even pretty flexible moms have limits, Y’all.
So we start kinder (which is an entirely different story), and about 2 weeks in, my kid decides his life’s ambition is to dress like the face of the sun. Red shirt, bright orange shorts, and neon green sneakers. Yeah, ok, headache just looking at him. I maybe not-so-causally suggest that he may want to wear different shorts with his shirt. Maybe the black ones? Like his school colors?
But because my child is an absolute mini-me, he looks me dead in the eyes and says “Mooooooom.”
And you know the “Mooooooom” I mean. A one-word sentence. A one-word lecture.
But also because he’s mine, the conversation didn’t end there. After he let me sweat it out for a brief moment, he followed up with “I followed the rules. And we don’t care what anyone else thinks.”
Since it was August, and it’s Texas, he was completely correct about rule number one. It was a gym day, and he was wearing sneakers, so check to rule number two.
But of course, in my mind, I worried about someone making a comment to him. These were all new people. New friends. What if they weren’t nice? What if someone said something? What if someone hurt his feelings, and he didn’t have a friend to stand up for him? What if he became so upset that he decided he hated kindergarten and never wanted to go back? (Obviously, this normally ultra-rational momma was having some “my first baby is in kinder” issues.)
My dilemma was that, for as hard as he tries, I know that he often does care what people think. But he’d apparently been listening to all the times I told him, challenged him really, to do otherwise. And here he was doing just that. What in the world was wrong with me?
It turns out, I’m the only one who made a comment to him that day. Ouch. He felt good about what he was wearing, and just who he is in general really, and that confidence projected to everyone around him. All those times I’ve told him to be himself, there are no “boy colors” or “girl colors,” don’t worry about other people… he really absorbed it. He dared to believe me. Even though he’s seen or heard otherwise from people all around him, in just his few short years, he was brave enough to trust his mama that those things just really didn’t matter. He’s a pretty great kid, just the way he is.
One of us made a change that day, and it was me. The ultimate call out from my kid to walk my talk, and when he’s right, he’s right.
Now if I could just get him to listen to other things…
Hit the comments and share the times your kiddos have surprised you with listening. Can’t wait to share stories with you!