The Power of Letting My Child Just Be Him
The most judgmental people I have ever met are pre-parents & Christians. In my very distant past, I used to be a very judgy Christian, shouting my scriptures & thumping my Bible in the faces of heathens. But I was also a very judgy pre-parent. My kid will never act like that, she won’t ever say those things, eat those things, do those things. Guess who’s eating those words?
One judgement I held to tightly even into having kids was how I dressed my kids. I have always been vehemently against those loud, bright, screen print Wal-Mart character clothing, or almost anything from Wal-Mart. If I ever saw kids dressed mismatched in public or in costume I always turned a side eye to the parent thinking “Wow, You really lost control today huh?” And my disdain for light up shoes could cover a paragraph & a half!
Until I had kids.
I have strict rules about clothing. What type we wear to the playground, to playgroup, church & school. Never shall a playground shirt meet with church pants. The same goes for shoes. Phoenix started becoming obsessed with costumes around the age of 2. I fought him hard to keep those clothes out of our public outings. I never let him dress himself for fear that someone would give me the stink eye for losing a battle of wits with my toddler.
Until I realized the power of letting my child just be him.
It happened this summer (yes it took that long!). He’s 5 now & has become increasingly independent with every passing day. He’s figured out how to hop on the kitchen counter to get dishes, find his channels on the TV, & grab Caspian out of his crib if I’m tied up. But somehow I couldn’t trust that I could send him upstairs to dress himself. The first few times I let him do it, I cringed when he’d come down the steps & I would have to climb them myself to get more appropriate clothing before heading out. But somewhere down the line I just stopped.
I let him continue to wear whatever super hero costume he had on at the moment & allowed the accessories to spill across the backseat. I allowed him to create different looks and disguises with glasses, too small vest & hats. And then one day…I sent him to school dressed like that, and he looked adorable. He effortlessly pulled off the “Clark Kent” look he was aiming for & I could see how proud he was of being able to do something by himself or the time I let him go to the movie in the park dressed in a raincoat when it was 100 plus outside. He walked up to a family of people & said “Want to see what’s under my jacket?” & he unzipped to reveal his pride and joy. A dirty Superman tee.
I stopped worrying about how much dirt covered his pants or how scuffed up he would get his brand new shoes. “He’s a boy.” I often remind myself. The best times in childhood, are spent covered in mud with scratches & scabs. Imagination thrives when I don’t restrict him to staying clean or playing inside the lines.
I have always been a creative person & Shawn makes his living with his creativity. It is inspiring to us as parents to watch our children form their own opinions & build for themselves something that makes them happy & feel as if they have a sense of power. I always want to strive to cultivate individuality, creativity, and boldness in my children. Besides, I know he won’t be 5 forever. There will come a day where I will need to wear a gas mask & flashlight to enter Hollister to pick out overpriced t-shirts & hoodies & I will be longing for the days where it was as simple as pulling on a Superman T-shirt & shorts with cool buckles & a purple fedora.
However, I secretly hope that he will forever hold on to this part of himself that isn’t afraid to be bold. Isn’t afraid to be daring. That he proudly wears all of his decisions as a badge of honor. Smack dab in the middle of a retro tuxedo shirt to his prom.
You can see more of his adventurous in dressing on my Instagram & click here to actually find out who #Phizzle really is.I hope you will join me over at Facebook