Saturday, October 19, 2013

Keep Marching, My Child

Dear Monkey,

The one thing that has become apparent as you continue on this path to growing up is that you march to the beat of your own drum. You always dance like no one is watching, even though you are perfectly aware that everyone is watching. You are creative and imaginative and not afraid of new things.

The only thing you ask me to buy at the grocery store is a cucumber and you name it Cucumber Justice and then eat the entire thing for a snack.

You spend whole Saturdays dressed as a ninja or a pirate or a cowboy.

You spend months at a time sleeping in a teepee in your bedroom.

You never want to play by the established rules, but rather turn everything from tag to Candy Land to Lego Heroica into your own version with new goals, new rules, new everything.

Sometimes it's hard being different, both for you the child and for me the parent.

I often just want you to do what everyone else is doing.  Why do you insist on wearing socks with your sandals, or goggles to the store, or shirt inside out?  Why won't you wear the clothes I laid out for you instead of making your own outfits?  Why can't we just walk normally down the sidewalk, instead of insisting that I have to go back because I didn't skip three times between each driveway?  When life, as it often does, gets busy and crowded, your different approach to things becomes frustrating, an extra step in an already packed schedule.

But I see how much you need to be appreciated for being different. How much you crave it. And I'm learning to appreciate that we will never play board games how other families play them and you will always be the kid wearing red socks to school and you will always be the one making funny faces in our family pictures.

 And I wouldn't want you to be any other way.

I want you to continue to dance like crazy in the back seat of the van when Owl City comes on.  I want you to continue to try crazy inventions with no preconceived notions of the outcome. I want you to continue to express yourself with no concern for how others view you. I want you to continue to live loud and happy and completely yourself.

As your mother, I will do my best not to let the world or my own adult, world weary views silence that drum beat inside of you. 

And you, my child, keep marching.