Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Free . . . or just Weird?

How free do you feel?

I mean, do you feel free enough to be your authentic self no matter what anyone else thinks?

Seriously. Do you? Sometimes I think I do, but sometimes I'm not so sure.

Here's an example of what I mean. Yesterday Baby Boy felt free enough to go to the public library dressed like a ninja. Not just a regular ninja either, a really ninja-ey ninja, even though everyone else was wearing regular clothes.

Take a look
What you can't really see in this photo is the great big bandage wrapped sword or the knife wounds he drew on his face with one of my eyeliner pencils that really put the cherry on top of this little ensemble. ;-)

When I asked him if anyone else was wearing a costume or if anyone looked at him like he was crazy, his response was "Some old man said I looked cool." He said it with about as much enthusiasm as if he had just told me the sky was blue. In other words, none whatsoever.

He has been enjoying a particular graphic novel series (at least he's reading, right?) this summer and got so enamored with one of the characters, that he actually saved his hard earned money, researched online, and purchased himself a costume to wear just because he wanted to. I mean this child was walking around a conservative (Ha Ha Hee Hee! We got by them!) suburban neighborhood in a full-fledged ninja costume in the middle of the Texas summer heat (it was 102 degrees here yesterday, by the way).

You see, he was wearing the costume for himself, because he liked it and wanted to wear it. He wasn't wearing it to impress anyone else or to see what kind of reaction he would get. It just didn't matter to him.

This is one of the things that really impresses me about my son. When I was his age, I was so busy trying to "fit in" and do just the right things, and wear just the right clothes, and go to just the right places (failing miserably on all accounts, by the way), that I almost lost myself in the mix. I think it's amazing that somehow Mom #2 and I have managed to raise a son who doesn't give a flying fig about what others think of him. I think of it as private liberation, personal freedom.

I mean I am fully aware that sometimes when our homeschool group gets together, we can look like a big old bunch of misfits, and that used to bother me a little bit. I really wanted people to think of us as "normal" people who just happen to homeschool.

Now I know that when I look at that brood of bohemians, that I'm looking at individual pillars of freedom, with Baby Boy (bless his heart) at the head of the pack. Long live the King!

They always make me smile.

So now you all officially have my permission to embrace your inner weirdo today and every day.

Go forth and wreak havoc on all that is plain, usual, and ordinary.

Until next time . . .


Jana said...

Did you steal my Corky ???

Thanks for permission ;-)

But my own independant son taught me this lesson long ago.

It is an amazing lesson to learn though. Congrats Baby Boy !

mwell said...

Ha ha! Awesome!
There is a little girl in our group who either wears Laura Ingalls/prairie dresses or Victorian era dresses *every* day, (and her mom wears sweatpants - LOL)

I think it's so cool when kids are comfortable with who they are!

Ami said...

I think it's AWESOME... except for wearing that costume when it's very hot... but yeah, homeschooled kids have a confidence that I don't have even now, as an almost-old woman. And I think he looks quite dashing. He's a great looking guy.

I wrote a bit about this some time ago: http://amimental.blogspot.com/2009/01/how-do-i-look.html

Anonymous said...

I think it's great, especially the part where he saved his money and you didn't sew this costume :-) (not that you couldn't hae it you didn't set your mind to of course).

About once a year we go to dim sum with friends of ours. James always wears a costume. I'm not sure why, because he doesn't regularly wear costumes to dine. They have no kids and I love to watch them squirm. Maybe that's why James does it as well.

SabrinaT said...

Baby Boy ROKS!

I remember high school, the need to "fit in". I always felt out of place and lopsided. I want my boys to be who they are. Over the summer we let Christopher pierce his ear, and BOY did we hear it.

CONGRATS TO YOU AND MOM #2... Maybe you can save up and get your own ninja costumes for the next library trip. (in the winter of course)..

Wendy Hawksley said...

WOW! Personally, I love it. If I could go around dressed like a female Mad Hatter all the time without freaking people out, I would (as it is... well...).

Was this practice for Halloween or just for the fun of it? Is he joining the cast of "Naruto on Ice"? He'd fit right in!!! :-D

Be free to be who you wanna be, Baby Boy!

Hula Hank said...

I was free and wild and crazy until my very early 20s, when I was put in a public masthead type situation and I lost myself for a few years.

Cheers to the free spirit.

Freakmom said...

Since my blog profile icon a mask wearing alter ego, my answer is definitely, no I don't feel comfortable being myself in public. I'm myself with all of you on my blog. But no one in real life has been invited to read along. And I definitely wear a mask in public. Several different ones in fact, depending on which segment of the public I am in.

My hat is off to Baby Boy. I could definitely learn something from him. And you know, his moms deserve a lot of credit for raising him to be so confident!!!

Paula said...

Oh my, My first thought was not how weird, is how hot he must in that outfit.

I love that he is willing to be himself. I guess I did that in high school, yes I was weird.

BTW, I left you a little gift on my blog. You've been crowned!

The Foil Hat said...

LOL - I'm with Paula, my first reaction was he must be soooo hot! I envy Baby Boy and my own boys their confidence in just being themselves. I've never had that. I think it is one of the greatest benefits of homeschooling.

Anonymous said...

First of all, I have to tell you that my son says Baby Boy was going as: an Akatsuki villian from Naruto. Just the fact that he KNOWS this proves that they are two peas in a pod. Although even my guy probably doesn't have the complete level of devil-may-care attitude that yours does - - at least not yet!

Rebel said...

KJ and I are heading to Austin tonight, and staying at the Days Inn at I35 and 183. Call me if you want to get together. My cell is 254-214-9553.

Teacher Tom said...

I'm a preschool teacher and unlike some of my colleagues, I DO NOT ban costumes in school. I get all kinds of superheros, princess, cowgirls, and fire fighters . . . You name it.

Of course, look at me, that costume in my avatar picture is something I wear in public on a regular basis in my role as Captain Superhugger!

Great post.

Teacher Tom said...

Oh by the way, the question in your headline . . .

Real freedom always looks weird to people who are not free.

Stuff On My Blog said...

My 5yo is like your son, and I totally hope he stays that way! He has worn a costume nearly every day for at least the last 2yrs lol. And my 16yo son is quite.. unique in some of the things he likes to wear ;) It's awesome to be free enough to just not care!

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