in june 2010, our lives got turned upside down in the best possible way: the birth of our awesome kiddo, john. in october 2013, brother charlie charged into our life to change the status quo again. and june 2016 brought us brother ben to round out our trio.

i'm proud to have "mom" at the top of the list of titles on my resume, but i'm also still a hard-working professional. how does a working mom juggle work and family? ride along with me and see if i can figure it out!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

my child is cooler than i am

oh, those socks ...
yesterday morning, john put on his socks and promptly pulled them up almost to his knees.

"silly boo," i said, "put your socks down!"

"no, mommy, i want them up!" he said emphatically.

so up they stayed.

*   *   *

in the kitchen, i talked to my husband.

"he's too young for his friends to make fun of him for his socks, right?" i asked.

"yeah," my husband replied, "i think he's got a year or two."

i just nodded.

*   *   *

when i dropped john off at the school, i said to his teacher, "please forgive john's socks ... i know they look ridiculous but he insisted!"

she laughed and said, "actually, that's how they wear them these days."

dismayed, i walked out to my car. apparently john was more in touch with fashionable socks than i was. for the first time, my three-year-old was officially cooler than me.

*   *   *

there's more to this story, though, than meets the eye. why exactly am i so concerned that john will be made fun of for his socks? why is my first thought as he puts on silly socks up to his knees, "oh gosh, can't wear them like that -- kids might laugh?"

the real answer lies unflatteringly in my own insecurities. in my social anxiety that leaves me driving around the block so as not to be the first to arrive at an event ... or worrying desperately on my walk in if i've chosen the right mode of dress, fearing that i've grossly mis-estimated the degree of formality or casualness demanded by the occasion.

john is beautifully, awesomely free of any such anxiety, as well he should be at his age. even the most worldly of the almost-four-year-olds in his class doesn't really go in for full-on making fun, yet. they don't yet know the power of a cutting word, a snarky laugh, a pointed finger, to make someone feel small.

it is incumbent on me to work hard not to pass my insecurity on to my son. he will learn, unfortunately, that people can be ruthless and mean. he will come to us crying because of something one of his friends said to him. and we will hold him and console him, and remind him that we love him so much and are proud of him for being who he is.

until then, though, i need to work on my mommying. i need to learn not to think, "the kids will make fun of you," and instead train myself to think, "how awesome that you feel confident in your tall socks, kiddo." i need to be proud that my son wants to walk his own path, not worried what others will say as he walks it.

so, get on with your bad self, john. wear tall socks if you want to. show up your mama in her fashion senselessness. know i'm here to hold your hand when someone's mean -- but don't let the possibility of someone being mean stop you from being just exactly who you are.

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