Thursday, May 22, 2008

Musings on Pajama Day

Today is Pajama Day at David's school.

David is in Kindergarten.

He came downstairs really excited about wearing his PJ's to school. I didn't argue or dissuade him. He thought the whole thing was "cool".

After breakfast, he started to have a change of heart. "What about my afterschool program? It's not pajama day there." So I offered for him to take a change of clothes, but told him it wasn't safe to change on the bus, to please change once he got there.

So he stuffed a pair of pants and a shirt into his backpack and we were off.

About a block from school, he started to look worried.

"What if no one else is in their pajamas?" he asked.

I assured him that many people, especially in Kindergarten, would be in their pajamas. After all, weren't people wearing green yesterday and dressed as their "future selves" on Tuesday? (It's Spirit Week.) He agreed that they were.

But as we got closer to the playground, he could see many kids in regular clothes. It's a bit chilly this morning, so I could tell that many of them *were* in PJ's (by the bottoms) but with coats on. He was unconvinced. "No one's wearing pajamas!" he bemoaned.

"Can I change right now?" he asked.

How could I argue with him? I tried. A few moments. I walked him through what to say to the teacher if he felt uncomfortable and how to ask for permission to go change in the bathroom at school. He would have none of it.

So he changed. Right there, in the car, in the dropoff line. (Yes, I was that mom holding up the line today.)

And my heart broke a little. (Especially when his best buddy walked up wearing his pajamas...but that's not the point.)

My heart broke for my little boy who is already concered about what other people think.

My heart broke for a world in which kids are cruel to other kids.

My heart broke when I thought that he was already defining himself by what is "cool" and what is "not."

It's a long way off for him to come into high school. But I just finished reading this novel, which, while fiction, has been haunting me.

This is only the beginning. I feel such a weight of responsibilty, to teach my child that he *is* a blessing, just by being himself. That I love him for who he is. That the world will love him too, if he just guts it out and makes it through whatever minefield elementary, middle, and high school will be for him.

I pray that it will be easy. I pray that he will not be a bullied kid, and that he will not be a bully either. I pray that he will be a mensch...kind and sweet and good and that *that* will take him places...


1 comment:

Vered said...

I pray for those things too.

But I think we can't avoid it. Most humans care about what other humans think. It's part of being social creatures and I'm sure it has something to do with our survival instincts too - assimilation must be a good thing for survival.