Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My child is different and I think that's cool.

I know we are all different.  That's what makes us all so cool.

And truthfully, any 5 year-old at any given time could honestly be thought of as "different".

Bean is definitely "different".  How do I know she's different?

Let me show you one way.

She likes to remove the hoodie from her coat and wear it all by itself, all snapped up.

No, really, that's not bad in the least.  I think it's kind of cute.

And it's a toned down version of the outfits she usually puts together.

But at 5, these types of things are cute.  At 10, they start to stand out.  At 15, these types of things could be the reason she might be picked on at school or ostracized by classmates.

Why is it that we think these displays of individuality at an early age are so precious but grow to hate them when a child gets older?  I'm celebrating the fact that my child looks at clothing in a different way than I do now but if she continues to do this as she gets older, how will I react?  Will I have patience for it?  Will I have the words to soothe her when she comes home from school upset that someone made fun of her?  Should I try to "nip it in the bud" now and make her conform to normal ways of thinking already?

Really, I'm not concerned about it at all.  But I did wonder why we think toddlers who show their individual spirit are so cute but those same kids who show their individuality at an older age are made to feel "not normal" or "freaks" later on in life.  Why is it cute at 5 but freaky at 15?

It shouldn't be that way.  People should be able to feel comfortable at any age when they decide to show their own true spirit.

I hope I can remember writing this in 10 years when Bean might be going through a tough time feeling like she doesn't fit in or maybe she'll have a friend that feels this way.

Bean, I celebrate you today and tomorrow for the things that make you who you are.  For the things that make you different than that kid sitting next to you.  For the things that make you MY Bean.  I love them all and I think everything about them and you are cool beyond belief.

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