Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The strength and humor of 4 year olds

So, a little update on my little Bobber Da-mayto as he went on his epic Halloween trick-or-treating candy rampage adventure. If you'll recall, I was a little leery of his choice of costume (Bob the Tomato from Veggie Tales). Since Halloween fell during the week, he was able to wear his costume to daycare. He was sufficiently stoked, to say the least. So we walk into daycare, he in his tomato suit and me with a grin on my face, and when we got to his classroom the EXPECTED happened. Well, sort of. He walked into a class filled with little superheroes and princesses and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and suddenly the boys in the class started to make fun of my little tomato. It was just as I feared! I was gripped with an irrational impulse to smack these snarky little four year olds for making fun of my awesome kid. How dare they? Like your little Buzz Lightyear costume is all THAT anyway? Ninja, please. But that's the moment when my little 4 year old tomato taught me a lesson.
The boys were jeering "Look! He's a tomato!"...but instead of getting his feelings hurt and wailing with indignity, my kid straightened his back, looked up, and with his nose high in the air imperiously announced, "Yes. I AM a tomato."
Wow. In that moment, I told myself he was gonna be OK. He saw absolutely nothing in the world wrong with his choice of costume, and was PROUD of what and who he was. And you know what? I watched as those little kids crowded around Bobber Da-mayto and started oohing and ahhing over his costume. His little green stem-hat, his happy Bob the Tomato face on his chest - they were all over it. And there stood my son, proud and excited and happy.
We all have insecurities. Some of us more than others (uh, that would be ME). But I have always tried to not push my insecurities on my son. He'll develop his warped insecurities all on his own, thank you very much, with no help from his neurotic mother. I have never been more proud of him than I was in that moment. Not when he first used a fork, not when he finally mastered the potty, not even when he started putting his dirty clothes in the hamper (although that one was close!). Because this event involved other people. He had to interact with people who were trying to tear him down - but instead, he flipped the script and OWNED that tomato suit.
How many of us can truly say we do that when faced with similar situations? How many can say that they held their head high and proclaimed in a loud voice, "Yes. I AM a tomato."
Kids do say the darndest things, but sometimes they are ridiculously profound.
Keep on rocking, ya'll. 

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