You know how moms like to play the comparison game? We do it to ourselves, to each other, to our kids, to each other's kids. It's this really destructive cycle that nobody ever wins. So lately I'm trying this new thing where I just ignore what other kids are doing compared to what Jonah is or isn't doing. Cause Jonah's his own kid. He does his thing. He doesn't know that he doesn't speak as clear or as quick as other kids his age. He gets it done the way he knows how. He doesn't know that he's shy and timid in a crowd. He's just Jonah, right? He might not speak as well, but he's super, super athletic. I don't know how two of the most un-athletic people produced such an athletic kid. He's wicked strong and has an incredible arm. Not just, oh look how I can throw this toy into the toy box. No. He can throw a basketball across the room. His aim is impeccable. He gets the distance right, every time, no matter the weight or size of the ball. And let's not even talk about how he hangs from Zach's chin up bar for way longer than I'm comfortable with. And he's been doing the playground all by himself since he could walk. I think the only time we've accompanied him down a slide was when he was 6 months old. Even before he could walk, he'd go down the slide by himself. This kid's insane.
Yesterday, we were wrestling on the couch and all of a sudden he got up and ran to his room. I sat on the couch waiting for him to come back. He bolted out of his room holding something in his hand (still don't know what it was) and he was running, looking at whatever it was in his hand, and ran right into the side of the couch, and landed on his back.
One black eye later…
I was cracking up. As he was screaming in pain, I was laughing hysterically. As I texted Zach and my sister to tell them the story, I was laughing hysterically. When he woke up from his nap with a black eye, I was laughing hysterically. As we walked into Wegman's with his black eye and hot pink headband on, I was laughing hysterically.
Which brings me to the hot pink headband. Why, Jonah? Why, of all things he can put on his head, why does it have to be the hot pink headband? Not a baseball cap or a warm fall beanie? No. The headband. And God forbid I try to take it off his head.
And the makeup. Why does he have to put my make up on like a pro? How does he know which brushes to use for each product? Why does he have to make such adorable expressions when applying the eye shadow?
And of all the shoes laying on our shoe rack, why does it have to be my boots that he wants to put on? Why does he love baby dolls and kiss them and tuck them in and ask, every day, "wha mah beebee?"
I'll tell you why. It's because who cares? I don't. I think it's hilarious and sweet and flattering that he wants to do all the things that I do. I know that one day his enamor with me will fade and it will be all about Zach so I could care less that people make jokes about how "feminine" he is and how I better "watch out." Watch out for what? For Jonah to be Jonah, whatever that may mean? I love my kid. He's all boy and all sweet.
And I love that Zach's not one of those "No. That's gay!" type of guys. We went to pick him up at Wegman's yesterday, and as Jonah and I walked in wearing his hot pink headband and a baseball shirt and chucks Zach just laughed. He didn't take off the headband or act appalled that our son was wearing something girly. He just laughed. I love that about him. And yea, we got a few confused stares from a couple kids and their moms, but really, who cares?
Jonah doesn't know the difference between things that are girly and things that are not. He doesn't know he's wearing something that's meant for girls, he just likes the way he looks when he has it on. And I'm not gonna start that habit of making him feel like he can't be himself because he's not doing what other boys his age should be doing. Whether developmentally or personality or physically, he can be whoever he wants to be.
I am a super competitive person. If somebody is doing something faster or better than me, I can't stand it. I want to be where everybody else is. I don't want to be left behind. When Jonah was real little, I started doing that to him. Questioning why he wasn't doing what his cousins were doing or thinking there must be something wrong with him because he's developing slower. I had to check myself real fast. I still do. The last thing I want is for Jonah to ever feel like he's not good enough, smart enough, fast enough, boy enough, man enough, or son enough. It's hard to tune out all the other voices around me that have opinions on my kids social development, but I have to. For him. Because Jonah gonna do Jonah and I need to always, always, always, be ok with it. Regardless of everything else. No matter what I want or think, I need to release the pressure for him to measure up to where other people have set the bar and just let him be. Cause I like him. And who cares?