His voice traveled from the backseat to my brain, and I tried to process his words at high speed.  He'd interrupted the soundtrack to say: "Ninja Turtles are for boys, and Frozen is for girls.  I used to like Frozen and then somebody told me that and then I didn't like Frozen anymore, but now I do again."
In the next breath he resumed his sing along.  My next breath was deep.

The conversation during our commute went back and forth for awhile, Make one wrong move and everyone will know straining in the background.  And then the talk was over, ending with my final thought: "It's okay to like what you like."
I did my best to explain that it's okay to like something your friends don't like.  That nothing is for girls.  That nothing is for boys.
We talked about Tuck's pink skinny jeans and his tool belt, his craft supplies and science kits.  We talked about working hard not to overlook or condemn the possibility of other ways of being human.
I gave, as best I could, all my efforts to leave something permanent pressed into the soft tissue between the two small ears apprehending it, all my efforts to help him understand that he is always allowed to like what he likes.  What I worry, though, is that just because I may be able to help him make one old thought go quiet doesn't mean he's gotten rid of it.
One of Tucker's favorite down-time things to do is "plus problems."  He spends afternoons filling pages with numbers, always using the same pointy red Pilot pen.  Eager to tell his cousin how he can multiply by ten, I told him, "You know, she's good at math, too.  She might even be able to teach you some first grade math."
And he replied, "No thanks, I already have a lot of teach in my head.  I just wanna tell her about tens."

I know he has a lot of teach in his head.  I learn from him every single day.
What I do not know, in any given moment, is how to be anything so complicated as his mother.


Kristy Grachek said...

Thank you for presenting such an open and non judgmental view on life. It brings a huge smile to my face.

Keep at those numbers Tuck!

The Wendels said...

I, too, think better with my tongue out!
Miss Mary

Poppy John said...

Jenni Baby,

Crap, now I don't like my pink skinny jeans.


Andy and Jenni said...

Kristy: You smiling makes me smile :) Thanks.
Also, I may need to send Tuck your way for math enrichment soon!

Mary: Tongue out might be a sign of genius...

Dad: Put 'em on.

Kristy Grachek said...

Jenni- Funny because Sara has me work on any math homework that L gets, she relieved herself of those duties... enjoy your week :)