Friday, November 02, 2007

Knowing when to be different...

I had some disappointment this morning over something silly really. It was my son's last year at his elementary school to participate in the Book Character Parade. For the past month, he's been checking out various years of The Guinness Book of World Records. He is obsessed with it, actually.

So, we'd thought of some pretty funny ideas for him to go as a Guinness "attemptee" in various forms. Binder Clip man came instantly to mind for me (you know my office supply fetish), but we decided that would be kind of pricey to buy all of those clips and it might annoy the teacher if he was losing clips around the classroom all day. In the end, we'd settled on "Most Stickers on a Human Being."

I was thrilled with this. First off, it gets rid of the massive sticker collection that clutters up my craft cabinets. But, most of all, it is funny and original. A lot of kids just wear their Halloween costumes for this, so there's always a lot of Darth Vaders, Spidermen, and Disney Princesses. This would be an unique and memorable way to finish out his last year participating in the parade.

And, then he woke up this morning and said he wasn't doing it. Sigh.

I have to admit, I got very frustrated about it. Instead he chose to wear his football jersey and helmet and take some generic Superbowl book. Where's the originality in that?

I can't explain why this bugged me so much, actually. But, as a Mom, I try really hard to encourage my kids, especially my son who is easily swayed by peers, to be themselves. Be individuals. Don't be afraid to be different, because going with the flow is not always interesting or what makes you the most happy.

In the end, we went to the parade and my daughter and I were both still just as thrilled to see him parading around with his friends. Turns out, a lot of the boys wore their football jerseys and even his teacher had one on. He definitely was not a stand-out, but he was definitely happy with his choice and beamed a smile at me that gave the proof of that.

As parents, sometimes we have to let go of these little battles. And, maybe my son's learned something that I didn't realize--sometimes it is great to stand out and be different, but sometimes it is okay to just go with the flow if that makes you happy too. And, that's something I should remember.

Oh, and if you were worried about my boy being too much of a follower, have no fear. I haven't shown you his Halloween costume yet, have I?

Rock, ON!!!!



Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

I don't think its a bad thing for him to want to fit in with his peers. It looks like he used his creativity for Halloween anyway!!

4:37 PM, November 02, 2007  
Anonymous Angela said...

It's just so hard for kids to "stand out" without being considered "the weirdo". It's heartbreaking, but I think as long as you keep instilling the importance of originality and being yourself, he'll finally get to an age where that's easier to do without being persecuted and really embrace it.

And he makes and adorable rocker guy ;)

5:35 PM, November 03, 2007  
Blogger Babs said...

it's eerie how natural he looks with the piercings, mohawk and little sneer! Totally someone I'd wanna date in highschool... now that would be a cougar story ;-)

3:51 PM, November 04, 2007  

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