We wear odd socks.
Today Yani wore (very) odd socks to school.
When I saw the socks he had chosen I said that kids may tease him because usually boys don’t wear pink socks with flowers on. He said. ‘I’ll just tell them that boys do wear flowers sometimes, like when they have suits on for weddings’. I said, ‘Good on you Yani, you be unique and wear the socks you want to’.
Sure enough, by the time he was at the bus stop the other boys had noticed and were starting to tease him. Maybe he wanted to be teased? Maybe some kind of self-testing to see how he can handle it? Or is it just that irresistible urge to be creative and unique? Or to make people laugh and break the drudgery of a boring day at school? Whatever the case, I think the best I can do is to support Yani’s authentic self and help him with the tools to be able to cope with the responses that might result. I find it fascinating.
Of course, odd socks are not part of the school uniform, which specifies white or grey matching socks. He may get marks off for his class uniform score with his creative styling…
And we do have lots of matching socks at home. When I grew up it was a challenge every morning to find matching socks – one would always be floppy, or a slightly different style – though the colours would usually match. I found this frustrating and vowed to always have matching socks available for my children! And now, sure enough, they choose odd socks!
A couple of days ago we visited the big city of Brisbane, checking out the museums and art galleries, watching people and the big buildings, riding the train…Yani saw this big hands and immediately jumped under it and asked me to take a picture – he has a great imagination!
Perhaps the most interesting part of our visit to the big city was browsing the high-end shops and perusing the price tags; $1300 for a pair of shoes - with heels to high that you would definitely be causing permanent spinal damage if you wore them! We talked about the freedom that we had by not needing to buy all this stuff (though I looked at Pacha’s face and thought she would love to buy all this stuff!). We looked at the fashions and styles and noticed that you could pretty much wear anything and be ‘fashionable’ these days – you just have the confidence in yourself to wear it.
‘Santa Claus’ came wandering down the aisles of the big department store we were in and asked Pacha and Yani to come and talk to him at his display. I guess he was lonely – it was a school day after all so there weren’t many kids around. There weren’t really many shoppers around either…despite Australia being the ‘richest’ country on Earth through the mining boom mostly, people seem to be very cautious about spending money…or maybe they are just sick of buying stuff…
Anyway, we had a great little discussion. Santa asked Yani what he wanted for Christmas and Yani said he wanted a factory so he could make toys to give to children. He gave them a little gift that included carrot seeds to plant (to feed the reindeers), instead of the usual handful of candy. For someone like me, so desperate to see signs of hope for change, this was enough to make my day!