It started with a turkey wrap…
A few months ago, Edison requested a turkey wrap for lunch. I am not sure where my preschooler heard about turkey wraps, but it seemed healthy enough and we happened to have turkey and tortillas, so whatever.
On the way home from school, I asked him if he liked his lunch and he said he liked the turkey wrap but did not want to have them at school any more. Apparently, when he pulled it out of his lunch, a kid said “eeeeeew!”
Inside, I was livid. How dare some kid make fun of my son’s lunch? What kind of ignorant child makes fun of another kid for what he chooses to eat? I mean, really. It is only a turkey wrap, but where does it stop? What would he say to a child in a wheelchair or someone with different skin color? I wanted to find the kid and give him a good talking-to.
But, I didn’t. Instead, I launched a campaign to teach my son that if he really liked something (especially, something healthy and innocuous like a turkey wrap), he shouldn’t care what other people thought.
I told him that a long time ago, no one had computers at home. (Can you imagine?) But, then this guy named Bill Gates changed everything by making computers that normal people could afford. His classmates thought he was different too, but he changed everything.
“If everyone thought the same way, we would have no electric lights, no cars, no iPads. Different is cool!”
I stocked his bookshelf with picture books, like Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein and Timeless Thomas: How Thomas Edison Changed Our Lives; fantastic preschool books about amazing people who were so different and changed the world.
Fast-forward to last week…
Edison asked me to dye my hair blue. He knows I love wild colored hair, but I just didn’t have the nerve to go all out. I told him I would think about warm colors like pink or purple, but not until after the holidays.
“Why?” Edison asked.
“Because we are going to be doing a lot of traveling, and not everyone would approve of a wild color like that.”
“Why do you care what they think?”
Ouch! How could I expect him to stand up for his turkey wrap while I sat by with my drab hair, wishing I had the courage to do something different? Sometimes, it is tough when your kid pays attention…
So, I did it. I did it, and I love it! I feel like I should have been born with pink and purple hair. It is bright and sunny and fun, and who wouldn’t want to feel bright and sunny and fun?
As for what other people think, I noticed something interesting…
It turns out that the people whose opinions I value the most, like it. Edison thinks it is “weely cool” and my husband loves it. The grumpy old man at the grocery store this morning would have been grumpy and old, regardless of what color my hair was. Honestly, I am wondering why I didn’t do it sooner.
So, thanks Edison. You’re a pretty cool kid. I just need to remember to re-read this post when you ask me if you can dye your hair green. 🙂