Friday, October 29, 2010

Am I cool?

My eight year old has green paint on his red t-shirt. Unless he's decorating for Christmas it's not supposed to be there. Before you think I'm an unfair Momma, you should know that he has a perfectly good art smock in his school bag and we have encouraged him many, many times to wear it when painting at school. So another day goes by and another shirt is branded with paint.

So I ask him, "Why didn't you wear your smock?"

He had several answers. First it was "I forgot." Then it was "It was in my bag." Finally, we got down to some truth. Basically, he doesn't WANT to wear the art smock because NO ONE ELSE IS.

I get that. It's not COOL to wear an art smock when NO ONE ELSE is. At what point do we go from blissfully unaware to caring about whether other people find us "cool" or not? It's a right of passage, I guess.

I could say so much. I could say it doesn't matter what other kids are or are not doing. I could say that you may perceive that not wearing an art smock is cool, but who's the cool one when everyone else has paint all over their shirts and angry Mom's at home and you don't? I could say that you should be happy you have an art smock and paint to paint with and a shirt to get paint on and a school to go to when other people in this world have nothing.

But I guess the part that bothered me the most was he didn't listen to us. We asked him to put the smock on (even though no one else wears one) and he disobeyed. Peer pressure at eight!

How do we teach our kids not to care? How can they be confident in who they are if we aren't confident in who we are? Am I cool? (please don't tell me if I'm not) Am I acceptable?

Who gets the "privilege" of deciding my coolness factor? You give that power to people. And it is a privilege. Not everyone deserves it.

And ultimately it doesn't matter if you think I'm cool enough. I know Who I belong to. And He thinks I'm more then cool enough.

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