Monday, March 3, 2014
Happy Birthday Dr. Suezzzzzz...... Tra La La!
There's been a major 'BUZZ' around here the last couple of dayz. Jo excitedly announced that in honor of Dr. Suess's birthday, come the weeks end each student got to dress up as their favorite book character and parade the school halls. Can you guess what favorite book character Jo chose? What about Sol, what is his latest book interest? It seems the 'Fly Guy' book series is a favorite by all in the house. I'm sure Jo's three year obsession over Ted Arnold's creations, staring one boy and his pet fly, had something to do with Sol's character choice. Still I was surprised that Sol's choice was a small winged creature, and not some sort of superhero or brightly colored ninja, both of who's books fill more than one shelf of our bookcases. But no complaints here, Sol really is the cutest pet fly I've ever seen.
With only two days to prepare for their character debuts I quickly started on both costumes. It wasn't until I was almost finished with one flesh colored bodysuit that I realized Jo's character choice could possibly be inappropriate for school. As my internal battle raged on, I added the last finishing touches to his costume, a simple red cape, a fleshy pink beenie, and one pair of......... tighty whities?
TRA LA LA..... one amateur Captain Underpants costume, complete with one baldish head, a pair of barish feet, an over sized belly, and one milk stain, evidence of his hurried cereal breakfast.
I know what typical school standards are, and I know that wearing underpants on the outside of your cloths is probably a great way to get sent to the office, but I also know the fragile position we are in with Jo's new found love of reading, and what brought on that love. So even though I knew better, I went ahead and stitched his protruding belly in place, I didn't want it to slip with all the bounding rescuing he'd be doing throughout the day. The rest of my uneasy feelings quickly faded when I saw Jo's reaction to his costume.
My funny boy, it's no secret that he's the one I worry about the most. He plays at home, and even with close friends with complete ease, no insecurities, no lack of confidence, nothing uncomfortable about it. When he enters the doors of his classroom however, he goes through some sort of transformation, gone is the confidence, gone is the ease in his actions, gone is his self certainty (but his eyes still glimmer with that clever sense of humor, I am grateful for that), can you imagine my surprise when I witnessed this for the first time? His shy awkwardness is all too familiar for me to watch.
Shyness, if only it was as simple as it sounds. That cruel ailment still haunts me as an adult. I wish I knew exactly what causes that choking nervousness in unfamiliar situations. And why are some relationships so simple and easy, and others leave you so full of anxiety you never fully let your guard down? Are we not social creatures, if so why is it virtually impossible for me to engage in a conversation with someone new without feeling anxious and flustered? I suppose it's just another one of life's challenges that's suppose to make us stronger. However, it's a personality trait I'd hoped to never pass on to any of my children. But it has, only adding to my worry for this, skinny, quirky, unathletic, school challenged (all said out of love not critisism), boy, so now he too must find his own coping skills. But all my worrying is for nothing, for Jo is much faster than I at finding a coping skill. And what is it..... his humor and his ability to entertain, of course. It was good to see my familiar outgoing Jo even as he made his heroic steps through the school doors.
Apparently I wasn't the only one who noticed Jonas with confidence in his stride. Figuring it was better to ask for forgiveness than permission, I sent my naked costumed Jo to school with an apology letter for his teacher.... well that and a pair of shorts at the bottom of his backpack. The phone rang at ten to nine, the caller I.D. said 'Valley Elementary', I took a deep breath preparing to repeat my rehearsed explanation. But there was no explanation needed, it was Jo's teacher, she'd gotten my letter, and.... she loved Jo's costume, it was soooo funny, she hoped I didn't mind she'd already taken his picture and sent it to all her own children, in fact she was even planning a trip to the school office so that Jo could do some further modeling for any one who might have missed it before, and to make sure (GULP) the principal got a look. So why the phone call, was the love of Jo's costume the reason why she slipped away from class only minutes into the school day? The real reason for her phone call quickly became apparent. She enjoyed seeing Jo with so much confidence, a glimpse of his fun personality, and a pure love to see him so comfortable in his own skin (well... maybe not his own). Just one more reason why I love Valley Elementary, looks like it isn't a typical school after all, but a school who's teachers take a personal interest in every one of their overcrowded classroom students. What an amazing principle Jo has.... so fun and understanding of Jo's controversial costume...... almost relate-able...... HMMMM..... did I catch a glimpse of a red cape from under the collar of his shirt..... I wonder........