September 23, 2015
They filled the classroom bead jar for good behavior. GO KIDS. And like a well run democracy the group voted for pajama day as their reward. Not gonna lie, my friends, there are days I would definitely like to put pajama day up for a vote.
^^ There is the six year old love of my life right there, walking into school in his unicorn jammies. A bright and colorful and fun My Little Pony long-sleeve top and fleece pants. He totally rocks those things.
But, it will get into the 80s today so I made several attempts to steer him in another direction. What about these pajamas, I’d say, while putting the hard sell on Mario or Angry Birds or Toy Story. But, these are his very favorites and no amount of sunshine or sweat or pressure from me was going to squelch his enthusiasm.
And, for real, why should it?
Then I realized something. Although convenient, the weather wasn’t really my concern. I mean, fleece in September may be a tad aggressive, yes. But it wasn’t REALLY my motivation. It was that knee-jerk reaction. The urge to shield him from judgment that rises in me, so swiftly. Perhaps you’re familiar with this urge, too.
The weather was my excuse for convincing him to not be authentic. To not be HIM. Because *fitting in*, well let’s be honest here folks, it is just less hard.
Judgment, he’s a real jerk that way, right? Because we choose to believe that he matters. Why do we give him so much power anyway? And then, the really tragic irony is that we subconsciously fight him by layering judgment with MORE judgment. And then it’s like that undeserving schmuck wins twice. Bleck, that is uggggggly.
“I like what I like. How does what I like affect you?”
^^ His response. What he said when I asked him how he would respond to the “that (color/ style/ character/ ANYTHING) isn’t for (boys/ girls/ insert endless list of other labels here)” remarks.
And in a dozen words he reminded me, yet again, about what really matters.
Kindness. Compassion. Authenticity.
I’m convinced a full and happy life sits at the intersection of these three powerhouses, friends. And, I hope this kid NEVER stops rocking unicorn pajamas, or whatever it is that makes him joyful. And, if he inspires even one person to feel brave enough to choose kindness over hatred, compassion over judgment, authenticity over fitting in, well….
September 23, 2016
Life doesn’t define us. We define life.
What do you think, friends. Is it true?
A year ago today will always and forever have its arms wrapped tightly around my heart. Let’s call it a defining checkpoint. And such a big and important one in my evolving and shedding and BECOMING as a person.
A day that looked and felt much like any other, really. A bunch of kids that didn’t want to wake up with all of the associated moaning and hiding under covers and just-leave-me-alones and that confetti of toast crumbs sprinkled across my clean floor which I’ve come to rely on and me all YOU ARE GOING TO BE LATE and ice packs inserted in lunch boxes and the begrudging brushing of all the teeth and me pleading JUST STAY AWAY FROM EACH OTHER IF YOU CAN’T BE FRIENDLY and socks forgotten in drawers and toddlers forgotten in high chairs and me sweating and stealing hugs and all HURRRRRY UPPP, PEOPLE. You know, just your average weekday.
But, this one was anything but average. In fact, this day looked me squarely in the eyes and said simply, “Choose.”
Will it be LOVE or FEAR?
Will you run towards authenticity or cower to conformity?
Will you be relentlessly brave and courageous EVEN AND ESPECIALLY when judgment and unkind words and hurtful actions beg for your silence?
Will you be part of making sure every human feels MORE THAN, or will you stand by and watch as ego has his way with our world?
And I chose. And I really recognized for the first time how much children teach us about ourselves, if we are listening. And I defined life. And it changed me, in all the best ways.
Go and be brave today, friend. Define it. Reap the rewards of becoming. Let love win.