I like to be in control of things. I don’t like conflict and I like things to go my way. I’ve had to let a lot of that go since having my little one. He simply doesn’t work that way. I have still maintained a certain level of control over certain aspects of our lives though. He never really cared what he wore and is happy for me to lay his clothes out. I dress him well and with the latest cool trends, so at least that one less reason for people to see him as different. I have also always had a certain amount of say in how his hair looks. I have had to keep it shorter than I would have liked because when it touches his face he gets a little habit of swiping at his head with his hand.
Obviously I had to let go of that expectation and ‘dream’ that I originally had of what it would be like to have children. I had to accept that mine is different and that I have to put in extra work. I then had to accept that he couldn’t go to the school that I had always wanted him to go to. I had saved up since he was born to send him to an expensive private school. That didn’t work out. Then the public system also didn’t work out and I’ve had to accept that I can’t really go to work, earn extra money for our family, or have my son educated how I expected. I have to homeschool him, and that’s the best for him right now. With that all in mind, let me tell you about Valentines Day.
We decided that we would all go out to dinner at a nearby local restaurant. We showered, got all dressed and while I was putting on my shoes, (which takes 15 minutes and two people because a couple of years ago my husband bought me the most amazing pair of stilettos with all these laces and ribbons and they just take forever to get into and then lace up!), my son was left alone to comb his hair and get dressed.
I had left his clothes out as usual, and he was happy to wear them as he loves getting all dressed up. He spent a good 10 minutes on his hair, which is totally unheard of, but when he emerged, he had combed it all flat and to the side like a gentleman out of the 1920’s! For a split second, I was about to say, “good job coming your hair sweetheart! Now come here and let me fix it up a bit”. Fortunately I stopped myself from doing anything except smiling and telling him he looked handsome. Next he came into the room with his Dracula dress up cape wrapped around his shoulders. You couldn’t see his cute clothes at all! Again I went through a split second conversation with myself.
Me: In my head “I could tell him to take that off. It isn’t really regular restaurant wear and it will make him stand out as different. Yes, it will. What’s wrong with that? He’s not arguing, he’s not fussing. He showered himself, washed his own hair, combed and styled his own hair to a style HE wanted. He got dressed by himself. He put the shoes on that I like and didn’t complain. He told Daddy that he should get dressed up and look handsome for Mummy and he told me that I look beautiful. Who am I to tell him he can’t wear his cape?!”
Yes, I can think a LOT of stuff in a split second… trust me! So, I said nothing. I smiled. My husband caught on without me saying anything to him too. He just told my son that he didn’t want to see that cape being flung or swung around the restaurant or it would be taken off. Our son agreed.
We all set off for the restaurant and everyone was happy. The restaurant of course was filled with Valentines Day couples out for dinner. No one thought my son was anything but gorgeous in his Dracula cape and combed out hair. He read the menu himself. Ordered his own dinner and used lovely manners. He sat for nearly two hours with us and only had to be told once to put his arms down so as not to knock out passing waitresses. He chatted with us about his day. We had a really lovely evening.
It made me realise that there are still so many things I need to let go of so as not to create an argument with him where one doesn’t need to be. His clothes and his hair are not something worth making him feel bad over. So while I give him hints and tips now about which colours look good together or how to match up an outfit, I don’t make comment when he chooses clothes for himself. Some stuff in life really doesn’t matter.
I am learning… slowly… to ‘let it go.’