Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Letting Go-- A Mother's Tale of Figuring Out What Really Matters

As my son walked out the door this morning in his shorts and "faux hawk" I silently patted myself on the back for finally letting go.

Today 

You see there was a time when Nicholas was little (did I really just say when he was little? Because he really is "big" now.  How sad). I digress... Anyway, when he was younger, I didn't allow Nicholas to be a little kid.  I never allowed him to wear character shirts (no Buzz Light year, no Lightening McQueen) and light up shoes-- forget about it!

And why exactly?  Because I was uptight and worried.  Worried about the wrong perception or that he looked "tacky."  He was always perfectly pressed and looking his Sunday best.  When he went to school there were no jeans and certainly no "sports clothes."  I'm pretty sure there were sweater vests.  Eek!

Dressed up this year for his Christmas chorus concert 

You know what?  I was proud, I was happy my son was "perfect."  I didn't realize why others sent their kids to school in ratty old clothes, with their hair not even brushed.  Ok fine, I still don't get that.  Seriously people, bed head?  At school?  You seriously can't wake up 2 minutes earlier to put a little water on your kid's hair?  Makes me wonder did he brush his teeth?  (Ok my blood started boiling just now and I got really uncomfortable.  I guess I'm not completely healed. *breathing, breathing*)  But yes, I was proud of my perfectly polished little child.

As time went on, I think I let go a little more with each passing day.  By second grade Nicholas was wearing jeans every other day.  "Dress up" one day, dress down the next.  Again, I was proud of my letting go.  By third grade, living in Texas at this point, he was full-on shorts and t-shirts just about every day, but it still bothered me.  There were definitely collared shirts still in his closet, but the weather had forced me to let go a little with his attire.  After all, he had to be comfortable in the heat.

Frist Day of school "nice" outfit 

Fast forward to this year and Nicholas pretty much wears what he wants when he wants.  When it comes to church, I can barely find anything in his closet that is appropriate to wear.  On picture day, he wore his favorite Under Armour t-shirt.

One of my favorite pics of Nicholas ever.
Nope that chocolate on his face doesn't bother me at all.  Why would you ask that?  

While I'll still cringe when I see kids in school with the remnants of a "kool-aid" mustache, their hair sticking up in the back, and shoe laces untied and matted for being that way probably all the time, I'm glad that it no longer matters to me what he wears.  I'm happier he's being himself.  Whether that means sweater vests or t-shirts, I'm happy he's being true to himself.  I know (now) that's what REALLY matters.

Nicholas uncomfortably laughing in his brother's flat bill hat.  So NOT Nicholas.

I wish I would have let Nicholas wear the light-up shoes, I wish I hadn't been such an uptight mother.  I wish I let him be true to himself long ago.  Thanks for being my guinea pig Nicholas.  Thanks for paving the way for you little brother.  His light up feet thank you!  Ok not really (I've have to draw the line somewhere), but I don't think he owns a sweater vest, and for that he thanks you.

A moment I captured his TRUE self!  


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