Even though I blog about Demon Baby here, this is really my "parenting" blog. And so today I want to write about my Oldest Son.
Oldest Son is a math genius (really!). He's good at chess and math and thinking obscure math thoughts. He also loves babies, sushi, and video games, along with Asian culture and Ninjitsu (which he studies). He is the kid I write about least, worry about least, because the kid has never given me a MOMENT of trouble his whole life. He's the one who comes in to hug me when I am working too hard, who watches his younger siblings without complaint, who empties the dishwasher and does chores without a word of whining.
He has his faults. Absent-minded in the extreme. A habit of sort of "tuning out." But he's basically . . . just perfect the way he is.
Except to his science teacher, whom I will call Evil Science Teacher (EST). EST has decided that my kid, who tests gifted, has not presented her, to her liking, enough "evidence" that he is, indeed, "bright." She actually WROTE me this. And then when I reacted, said she couldn't understand why I found that offensive. But I digress.
Today, my kid was getting ready for school. He has a band thing today, which means he has to wear this uniform exactly so or he gets a zero. Oldest Son went on and on about how the band teacher, a former military guy, wants things EXACTLY how he wants them. And in my head, I thought, "I bet he just wants to shave your head."
You see, Oldest Son's hair is longer than mine. It's curly and kind of rock star-like. It falls in his eyes. It's gorgeous. I love it. I love it long, but if he wanted to cut it, that's his choice. If he wanted it blue, that's his choice. Because having parented one 18-year-old already, I decided long ago to pick my battles. They may not be the battles my kids agree with--or other parents agree with. But I pick the ones that I think matter--like being kind to each other.
And I had this moment, there in the laundry room, as he went down the stairs, his hair curling just so. That I wonder . . . if Evil Science Teacher even "sees" my kid the way I do. Perfect in his own way. Or if she sees some long-haired kid with hair in his eyes and has decided that lurking under all that hair cannot be the bright, gifted kid the tests and other teachers see.
I have no idea. She could just be an ugly human being for the sake of it. She could be burned out. It could be a lot of things. But I have a kid just PERFECT the way he IS. And I couldn't be more proud of who he is as a person. And if anyone sees his hair . . . or sees anything external and makes a judgment call, they are missing out on knowing someone great.
And I wonder . . . why we get so hung up on appearances.