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I WAS the girl on the right… with less coordination. I now have a child exactly like that, too, and I keep reminding myself that being different is a good thing… right?

We tried putting our son into Jujitsu, and it didn’t work. Every time he had to spar with another child, he’d lose for the fun of it. He’d wait until the other kid touched him, and then he’d wilt to the ground dramatically. It was just more fun in his head. It drove his coaches crazy.  It drove the kids crazy who were actually quite passionate about martial arts. It became agonizing to watch from the bleachers, and we eventually let him quit.

My child was the one who wouldn’t take off his bike helmet for one whole summer. He wore it everywhere–including to church. That winter, he refused to remove his snow suit. Everywhere he went, his snow pants swished. That was my kid! Just… being him! A big smile, a big heart, and a mitten-clad handshake.

What can you do, especially when he’s exactly like you used to be?

I was the talkative kid who made elementary school fame by telling a story about a urine sample at the doctor’s office. I was awkward, lanky and pretty sure that the person sitting next to me would be more entertained by my stories than by listening to the teacher. I was in constant trouble. I grew up to be a novelist, but in the process, I may have been the cause of a few nervous breakdowns in the school system.

So when I came across the meme above, it made me laugh! It’s true–being different and seeing the world differently is a wonderful thing… sometimes. Then there are times when we simply have to learn how to cooperate with a group, write our stories in a notebook, and keep our feet on the ground because “underpants are private, missy.”

That’s much less fun, though. I know it. And when I see kids just doing things their own way, I feel some genuine sympathy for the parents, because I’m there, too! But one day, we’ll have the pay off when these unique little rascals grow up and become interesting, free-thinking adults.

I’m holding out. 😉