Life and Lessons Learned
#6 Live Like Leo
Let’s begin with that tongue twister of a title! Holy smokes!
Leo is our 10 year old son. I’m sure if you asked him he would offer that he is actually 10.916666666 years old! For as long as I can remember Leo has always had a spirit and a style all his own. All children do. However, this lesson is specifically about our Leo’s own personal essence.
When Leo was two years old we were able to coax him into potty training by offering to buy him a pair of purple shoes. A few adults sarcastically offered, “those are girl shoes” (though they weren’t), but he didn’t care. He liked what he liked. Leo’s character has always been un-wavered by the opinions of others.
This year Leo asked for a fountain pen and wax seal for Christmas. He lays in bed and thinks about what college he will attend and whether or not he can start taking Mandarin classes next fall. He spends his time practicing magic tricks and building robots all while living in a neighborhood full of MVP athletes. He listens to the Beatles and Creedance Clearwater Revival while his friends know the lyrics to the top 20 songs. Instead of a collecting baseball cards he has opted for compilations of vinyl records and state coins. He has requested a french bistro for his birthday dinner because he thinks it’s fun to be fancy sometimes. To say that Leo isn’t your typical 10.916666666 year old is an understatement. Leo knows that some of his interests are distinctive and different from his peers, but he celebrates the differences. I admire Leo’s acceptance of being exactly who he is.
I had decided this year to find this same acceptance in myself. Anyone who knows me well also knows that I am unquestionably a sensitive person. My feeling are as delicate as hand woven lace. I have spent too much of my life apologizing for this trait. As I think like our son I am left with the thought, what is the opposite of sensitive? Insensitive. And just like that, I am ok being exactly who I am. My feelings are superbly sensitive and delightfully delicate. These traits make me who I am- a considerate woman full of compassion and empathy.
Lesson #6 allow yourself to be uniquely you.
Eight years later and still wearing purple shoes!