K has been watching PBS and one of the shows is called “Super Why”. On a recent episode, there was a situation where the kids had to help their friend dress up for Cinderella’s ball. She gets the gown and the dress (by her friends helping her spell the words) but when midnight strikes, all of the glitz and glamour disappears and she runs away. She is ashamed that she doesn’t’ have all the nice things that the other people have. Ironically enough, the prince chases after her and begs her to come back because she’s the best dancer there and they are having fun. Through a series of events, she decides that even though she doesn’t have all the fancy stuff, she is going to stay and just be herself.
What’s so ironic is that I have been spending a significant amount of time with K working on taking about things like, “being different is a good thing. We like people who have different hair. Mommy has tattoos and Nana doesn’t but that’s ok. We both love you the same, right?” And taking it a step further with, “You are brown and Donovan is not brown, and that’s ok, right? It’s ok for him to be him and it’s ok for you to be you. You are different but you are also the same in so many ways. Different isn’t bad, it’s just…different.”
But going along with this, is encouraging him, even at this age, to simply be himself. I know that it isn’t as easy as it sounds… Hell, I still struggle to truly be my authentic self and I am almost 40. But oh, what a gift I could give him if he knew, even at 4 years old, that being who he is, is enough. Being K is ok and good enough. Being different isn’t a bad thing. Being you is amazing. Being goofy is ok. Being smart is ok. Being brown is more than ok. Having a not brown Mama is ok too. Having brown eyes is ok…and so is having hazel eyes. Being tall is ok and so is being short. Being thicker is ok and so is being not so thick! We love everyone—no matter what.
At the end of the day, we are all different. But there are things that connect us. Focusing on the things that certainly do connect us is great, but I most certainly don’t want to be afraid or concerned about saying, different from us is ok.