Tuesday, April 1, 2014

His Kind of Cool

This little guy snagged two bucks from the tooth fairy for his right front tooth, and he's been hanging onto it in hot anticipation of a trip to the dollar store. The idea of wandering up and down those aisles bursting with cheap, colorful, possibly carcinogenic knick knacks is like drinking deeply from the well of possibilities for my children; it is their nirvana. He'd been asking us when we might be available to transport him there, as he had a purchase in mind. Every time he talked about it his little eyes twinkled, his little mouth curved up, and he'd launch into a dance, sort of a cross between a jig and a hoedown.

He wanted... eyeglasses.

When I was a kid and was told that my extreme myopia meant that I would have to go to school for the rest of my life with coke bottles perched above my nose, I was devastated. I hated them. I refused to wear them, walking like Helen Keller to the bus stop every morning, tripping over large and obvious objects as I insisted I could see just fine. I once got on the wrong bus, for Pete's sake, and was about to leave for the other side of the suburb when my friend Megan banged on the window and screamed, "You're on Bus 9, not Bus 6!"

But my little guy, so firmly his own man, wanted the very thing that acutely grieved me when I was a kid. So off he went in search of eyeglasses, and home he came, looking like a seventy-five year old man in his oversized readers. He is so proud of them. Every morning he puts on his bathrobe and his giant glasses and gets everyone their cereal bowls, a mini Elton John scurrying about the kitchen.

I asked him if I could write this, and read it to him before I hit publish. I explained to him that this little blog has become one of the most valuable things I own, because it is a record of the moments we've spent together. Of all of my kids, he is the most sensitive, the most concerned about what others think of him, and I needed him to know that I was not poking fun at him. I delight in his uniqueness, and one of my biggest prayers for him is that his ears will grow increasingly deaf to the voices of those around him saying there's only one kind of cool.

"You laugh at me because I'm different. I laugh at you because you're all the same."
-John Davis

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