There's something I've struggled with all of my life. In school, it often times got the negative attention from others. The "popular crowd" would roll their eyes and shrug me off. I cried myself to sleep many, many nights because I couldn't stop myself from being myself.
That girl...awkward, painfully skinny, in a pre-adolescent funk that lasted way too long when other girls had seemingly morphed into adolescence with ease.
Often times, I found myself wishing I could take back the odd things that came out of my mouth. The moment the noise of my words hit my surroundings, I immediately wanted to breathe them back in and take it all back. Erase the weird from the minds of everyone around me.
Add to my awkwardness, I was dramatic and so over the top at times, it was exhausting. (Sorry Mom and Dad).
Looking back, though, I wish I could sit my younger self down and have a stern talking to with her. I was SO wrapped up in the present and the feeling of "why am I so weird!" that I couldn't see the forrest for the trees. It truly was them. Not me. My perceived social awkwardness was more about making others uncomfortable that they were so trapped by their own prison of trying to be whatever normal and ordinary was so they could blend in and not stand out. Because during the course of pre/post adolescence, that's the name of the game. Blend in. Fly below the radar.
And so I sit today, reveling in the acceptance of how much more amazing life gets every year because I've accepted myself and the fact that I'm letting myself shine. I'm also shaking my head and trembling at the fact that my oldest boy is right on the cusp of the same (pre/post) teen angst.
You remind me SO much of myself, Hayden, and it's through seeing you just be your beautiful little self, that I have been able to finally love the younger version of me.
One of my favorite parts of your personality is the zest for life you posess. This week was dubbed Dr. Seuss week with today the culmination of that celebration. Today, all the kids in your school could dress up like their favorite Dr. Seuss character. You chose the Grinch. You chose a character that couldn't be done with just a t-shirt. It has to be a full body embrace. Something that you were born to do. It's anything but safe. Becoming the Grinch, is out there. But you were all for it. And the moment I started describing just how we could make you into that loveable and yet, oh so unlovable character, your smile grew just like the Grinch's heart in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". The more I unraveled descriptions of just how we'd make it happen, the more you got excited. And THAT excites me.
This morning, you popped out of bed, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, and ready for your transformation. Every reflection you caught in the mirror, just added to your excitement and when it was time to leave, you couldn't quit bouncing as I tried to kiss you goodbye.
It should have come as no surprise to you today when people responded in such a positive way to your appearance. It's hard not to. I mean, did you see yourself today?! You were the flippin Grinch, and not to dust my own shoulders off, but it's pretty awesome, just how much we nailed it.
Hear this, my love. The time is coming. Quickly. People are going to try and make you believe that you're strange. That you're dumb and odd and too much. They want to extinguish the flame that is building inside of you, because it shines too brightly and reminds them that their own flame might not shine so bright. They want what you have and who you are and so in order to downplay that, they are going to try to downplay you. I only wish that I'd figured this out all that long ago.
You are amazing, kiddo. Truly, you are. I'm going to do my best to remind you of that every chance I get. But do me a favor and actually listen to your Mom. I know a little about this...you and me, buddy, we are anything but ordinary.
Your biggest fan!