To date, our boy Mr. D has been of the "live out loud" variety. Wears polka dot socks with abandon. Proudly claims hot pink as one of his top five colors. Talks his stylist into going for adventures like this:
Even with the latest haircut, when he knew he was likely to get teased for it, he forged ahead anyway, and proudly so.
Then his teacher sent an email to tell us that he and another boy in school had gotten into it over the composition of Mr. D's family. Our son's classmate couldn't quite wrap his brain around a two-mom family, and kept insisting that Mr. D's dad must be dead.
Needless to say, Mr. D got upset. But not, it turns out, for the reasons we might think.
Mr. D's main frustration was in not being believed. "I told him the truth, and he wouldn't believe me, even though I was talking about my own life!" he exclaimed indignantly to us.
He handled it perfectly, standing up for his truth and then asking for help when the other kid just couldn't let it go. Mr. D's teacher similarly did the right thing, both in supporting Mr. D and in immediately reaching out to tell us what had happened. And Mr. D himself seemed pretty unfazed by the whole thing, once it was over.
We wonder if this kind of social interaction in Mr. D's life might mean that he eventually starts measuring the cost of difference differently. We've heard from other families that there is sometimes a change. A point at which an openness starts to give way to something more calculated. So will he change?
Or will he just keep speaking his truth?
(Thanks to the women
of Sunday Scribblings
for their continuing inspiration.)