Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Lesson Learned from Body Art

Here's the thing about growing up. It's usually not the awesome, confidence-building, encouraging experiences that do your growing up for you. It's the knock you down, turn you down, humiliate and publicly embarrass you situations that do your growing up for you.

And sadly, even your mom can't guard you from these rough spots.

I recently found the boys barricaded in one of their rooms writing on themselves. Interestingly enough Mason only had a circle around his left eye and a few scars drawn on his arm. Cooper was covered (see photo).

Because my children have been known to go just about anywhere in a costume, I thought nothing of loading them up as is. We went out -- I believe it was a Costco, library, swimming lessons run. Anyway, the point being we were out in public.

Lots, and I mean lots of people stopped and talked to my boys. Not uncommon. You know the drill.

--Oh aren't you cute. You must be an artist.
--Love your tats dude.
--Are you a pirate? Those are some serious war wounds.

All said in that overtly sarcastic voice that actually makes the statement less than sarcastic.

Anyway, by errand no. 3, Cooper was begging me to go home. In conversation that went round and round and was quickly escalating into frustration he finally confessed with severe sheepishness, "I don't want anyone else to see me."

He was embarrassed. He finally understood the social contract of Don't Write on Yourself or Others Will Make Fun -- lame social contract if you ask me. This of course is a lesson he never could have learned from me. I couldn't have explained this away to him. And sadly, Mason didn't learn the same lesson that day.

The only consolation is he learned it at Costco (or Target or DSW, I really can't remember) and not on the playground at recess. That, I predict, will be the scene of other growing up.