Thursday, June 23, 2011

PPC: Marching to the beat of his own drum

(at the Princeton parade. Today he was wearing his rainbow monkey hat.)

Joe was playing softball well into the night in Freeport (a land far far away) so I decided to take Truman to the Milaca parade which goes by Joe's office.

I knew we would have his office as a home base and friends to help.

He was hanging out with other kids, sitting, watching, laughing until several marching bands went by and he decided he, too, would like to be in a marching band.

This wasn't the type of decision that warranted an announcement, he simply took a dum-dum, a new trusty flashlight he has not separated from since discovering it last night at Menards and started walking to the beat of his own drum.

Did I mention he was walking IN the parade?

I tried to contain him. I asked him to stay. I said he could drum here.

But t here was no stopping him (aside from explicit physical entrapment, which, really, never ends well).

So, I shrugged it off and thought, what's the harm in following him.

We walked the whole length of the parade route that was left drumming along.

Maybe some parents would have felt embarrassment -- either because they were in the parade or because they couldn't control their child. Or maybe that is just what I think "normal" parents would think.

But I smiled the whole way. I felt a sense of pride knowing that my son is so willful and exuberant that he was willing to just join in a parade.

After a while floats threw candy, which he collected, then gave to kids along his route.

People smiled and someone said he was the cutest float in the parade.

This could have ended badly, with me dragging him to the car screaming that he wanted to go in the parade, but I suspended all in-grained training of what is "supposed to be" and listened to my instincts about what is really okay and what was motivating my child and went with it.

The gift for doing this for my child is clear, but there was a gift for me, as well. I got to see a pure glimpse of my son in all his glory with all of his outstanding characteristic shining the way they are meant to.


Meredith said...

You are the perfect mom for him :) Very cool that you're able to march to the beat of your own drum right along side him without caving to any perceived pressure or judgment. Tucking this one away for later use!

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