My son may be a nine year old boy, but he is an old soul. The way this boy bucks the system without a concern in the world is amazing to me. He has no problem speaking his mind even in a difficult situation. I often wish that I could be like him in this aspect. I have always been a person who speaks her mind, however I would shy away if I felt it wasn't my "place." My son has taught me that it is always my "place" to say something, to stand up for what is right, to stand up for those who are less fortunate, to stand up for those who are broken and weak, to stand up for what I believe. This young boy will stand up to anybody that he feels is in the wrong, it doesn't matter if you are young or old. Some may think this is disrespectful, but I feel differently.
His words may come across as harsh, but that is not his intention. He holds firm in his beliefs and is passionate about them. We recently were put into a situation where a father was being rather nasty to his child and he had the courage to stand up to that man, who towered over him, and call him out on his abusive behaviour, without even thinking. The father looked at him as if my boy was out of line. I am almost certain that he was thinking; Who is this child? Who does he think he is, telling me, an adult, that I cannot treat *my* child this way? My son did not let up on this man though. He firmly stated that the man was wrong for yelling at this young girl, he firmly stated that he did not need to grab her the way that he was because he was hurting her, he firmly stated that there were better ways to get compliance, if that is what he was after. And he did so as he stood there strong and confident. Years ago I would have never even thought to step into a situation like that because it was "not my place." If it was not my place though, who's was it. This is what my son has taught me. If I don't stand up for that little child in all of us, who will?
Don't mistake his confidence and strength for an over inflated ego, because that is certainly not the case. This boy who stands strong, who is confident, who does at times, speak harshly, who enjoys rough and physical play is also a boy who is compassionate, who oohs and ahhs over cute little animals, who loves to cuddle with babies, who is respectful and chivalrous, who opens the car door for me and holds doors open for strangers, who would give up a toy to a young child or allow them to "beat" him at a game so they are not upset. He is also a child who will help out anybody who needs it.
As the parent of this boy who lives his life completely free, I ask you not to judge him. He may look scary to you, with his mohawk and loud voice but he means no harm. So if you see him talking to your child, or lifting them up so that they can climb over an obstacle, don't rush to their aid because I am certain they are ok. He would NEVER hurt them intentionally and chances are he would protect them with his life.
He is persistent and passionate. He tries my patience at times. He will also call me out if I falter in our belief systems. However, he doesn't do it without backing up his reason, which can be frustrating. I find myself testing my own limits and bucking societal norms with his actions and well thought out arguments. For example last night it was cold (35*) and he had on a short sleeved t-shirt and I was telling him, not asking, to put on a jacket, which is usually something that I am lax about, and he kept saying he didn't need one. I found myself pleading with him as we walked into an indoor play area. He finally said "Mom, everybody has different feelings. Just because you are cold doesn't mean that I am." *sigh* He was right. He is his own person, I know this, and most of the time I do not allow society to determine my feelings of worth as a parent, but for some reason yesterday I was feeling the need to walk within the societal norms without bucking the system and allowed that need of mine to get the best of me. After his comment to me I took a look at whether or not that jacket was more important than his need to be himself. Even though this persistence of his works on my last nerve at times. This is the same persistence that enabled him to take the last five years in karate and train hard and earn his second degree black belt.
Before this precious boy came into my life I was broken. I still am broken, but I am heading down the path to being healed. This in part thanks to him. I watch him in wonderment as he lives his life as only he sees fit. It doesn't matter to him what society thinks, only what he thinks. I aspire to live my life with this freedom.