Over the years, I've gotten used to being dismissed because of my size. You may remember this post. I experience this sizism or whatever you want to call it (rudeness, how about?) more often than you know. I have pretty darned good ears and I hear the comments. I was turned away from Victoria's Secret a couple years ago because when I asked the woman at the entrance a question, she said, "I don't think we have anything for you here. Maybe you should go over there," gesturing to the Lane Bryant across the way. Problem is, I'm not big ENOUGH for their sizes. I'm in that weird space in between, and being short doesn't help.
I've learned to blow these attitudes off for the most part, but as I watch my son negotiate his way through a difficult year at school, I realize how I wish he had a sign floating over his head that read, "I'm a cool kid, just please get to know me." He's at the age where kids are starting to find their niches, and Zack is like me in that he doesn't fit neatly into a slot. We're awkward in crowds, our interests are wide and varied, our temperaments can polarize or unite, and where Zack is concerned, finding his way is a lot harder than I would wish for him.
|About age four, trying SO hard to figure out soccer.|
He's an amazing little boy. He's artistic, giving when it suits him, reserved more often than not, and sometimes downright hilarious (I brushed his hair this morning, he rumpled it up, and started singing, "I like my hair like THIS") . He's not one to get on stage, although he desperately WANTS to. He wants, like we all do, to be special.
It's hard to know when you'll find what makes you special. Some people are blessed with a million things that make them amazing, and if you're one of those people, I hope you cherish that. As I begin a very difficult health struggle, I'm learning what I thought I might be special at really may not be. What REALLY makes me special is I'm an advocate for my child, and my primary goal in life is to bring up a happy, well-adjusted, kind child. I do my best to bring him up to feel loved, needed, and guided.
That's what I hope will make me special. Not size. Not beading accomplishments. A happy child.
I showed Zack this video, which I sincerely hope you'll watch. I explained that it's a lesson in helping friends overcome their perceived shortcomings (in this case, shyness and weight), but even more importantly, standing up for the entire meaning of the word "friendship". To be friends, you need two people, and you don't leave one stranded.
The song is partly in Italian (I think) but there is a line in English that is so very apt:
"Just like every child needs to find his place..."
In many ways, we're all still kids looking for our place. Don't judge a book by its cover. You might REALLY be missing out.
(click through to YouTube to view)
Hug the ones you love. Share your specialness.