Today's post is where I tell a story and then tie it in to wellness at the end, so stick with me a moment ...
The kids are at day camp this week. Jacob, age 7, is in Voyager camp with a Medieval Madness theme. Jim has been out of town this week (he's back tonight - yea!) so I've had both drop off and pick up duty. When I picked up Jacob last night there was a note on the sign-out sheet that said Wednesday was going to be a dress up day and to be creative and dress in your favorite medieval gear. When Jacob came in from his camp he showed me a shield he had made that day out of cardboard and tin foil. Cool. And thus ended any thoughts of camp until 6 a.m. this morning when I was getting the kids snacks packed and swim stuff in their bag.
I don't usually do morning duty. In fact, I'm usually on my way to work before Jim and the kids get up (my husband is a saint I know). So it's been a bit wearing on my patience to deal with grumpy kids in the morning. I managed to wrangle them together and get them out to the car and that's when I saw it.
Jacob's shield. Crap - it's dress up day.
"Jacob, we don't have any medieval stuff so you won't be able to dress up today," I said to him as I was shoving his towel in his bag.
Jacob proceeded to burst into tears.
He doesn't really do the tears thing very often so I felt really bad. I knew once upon a time (ha) we had a Disney Prince Phillip costume. Jacob remembered this too. I wasn't sure if it was packed away or if we had sold it already. I dialed Jim's cell phone number.
"Pick up, pick up, pick," I said to myself as Jacob's tears got louder. Right before the voicemail picked up I heard Jim whisper hello. A quick convo determined the costume may be in the garage. I searched the bag and saw the shiny blue, silver and black costume. I lifted it up so Jacob could see it.
Jacob jumped out of the car, ready to strip down and put it on right there in the driveway.
On the drive to the Y is when I started to worry. I was worried he would get made fun of for wearing a Prince Phillip costume.
Once we got to the drop off area I frantically looked to see if other kids were dressed up while Jacob was begging me to put the costume on. I saw a few princess crowns. Search, search, search - ah, there were two boys wearing viking hats and swords. I helped Jacob get dressed and could feel the kid's eyes on us. I was worried. Really worried.
Jacob's friend Gavin came over and started talking about his new Harry Potter video game and whisked Jacob away to the breakfast area. I said goodbye and took Gracie over to the building where she gets dropped off. I looked back and saw two 10-year-olds walk behind Jacob and Gavin and saw them giggling. My heart sank. Jacob didn't notice.
I decided once I dropped Gracie off I would go go back to Jacob's building and check on him. I walked back in and saw him at the table eating with Gavin. I walked over to him, knelt down and said "Jacob, if anyone asks, you tell them you're a knight ok? See this cool armor on your costume? You're a knight!"
Jacob didn't look at me, but responded, "It has a cape, so I'm a prince." He said it with a hint of insecurity in his voice.
What am I doing?
WHAT AM I DOING!!!
"That's right Jacob. It can be what ever you want it to be."
I was trying to protect my son, but what I was really doing was hurting him. I was trying to keep him from being teased when I was the one that planted a seed in his head that maybe it wasn't ok for him to be dressed as a prince.
He wanted to be a prince. He was excited to be a prince. Why couldn't I just let him be happy being a prince? Because I've been teased before and I didn't want it to happen to him. But it will. We all go through it or are the ones doing it. Jacob is a strong kid. Yes, there's a good chance that he might get laughed at today - but he will either ignore them or stick up for himself. And if he does get his feelings hurt I can help him through it. That's what a parent does. But there's also a chance he could be the star of the show. Maybe everyone will be envious of his costume. I have to let him go through experiences and not hold him back from them.
Ok, so here's the tie in ...
All the times I've tried to lose weight before were for the wrong reason. I didn't want to be teased for wearing the prince costume. I wanted to be noticed for wearing the cool knight costume. I wanted to be skinny and have people notice. I cared so much what other people thought of me. I wanted to change for them.
The reason I've lost weight and kept it off is because I've embraced the prince costume and I'm proud to wear it. I don't care if other people think it's dorky. I've lost some weight and I have more to go, but I'm proud of the results I've had so far and I'm showing them off. Yes, my body isn't perfect and I'm sure I might get a few giggles when I walk past people that think I shouldn't be wearing that tank top but I'm confident enough in myself to not care what they think. I care what I think.
I'm not losing weight so that I can be skinny. Yes, it is really nice when people compliment me on my weight loss. Really nice. But that's not why I'm doing it. I like who I am becoming through this process. I'm proud of who I am. I'm my favorite.
I posted last night that I didn't want to go to Zumba. I was in a slump because I hadn't been in over a week and had lost my Zumba high. I went last night. I loved it. I'm back.