January 10, 2012

Hunter's Quandary

That's my little man, Hunter-Roo.  Cute, huh?  And that's what he looks like most days.  Crown on his head, wild long hair flopping over the top, and something purple on if he can find it.  He's all himself.  And that's what I love about him (among other things).  He has always been his own man.  Sometimes it can be frustrating that he won't even pretend to care about the things other people think he should care about, but most of the time I love that he knows what he likes and he just doesn't worry about what other people think. 

But lately I've seen a little shift in his ability to completely disregard other people's judgments.  His favorite color is purple.  It has been for a  long time now.   But when it came time to make those cute "Me in January" pictures with a list of the kids' favorite things, Hunter said, "Mom, I'm afraid to put my favorite color as purple because I think they'll say that it is a girl color and I'm a boy."  Having assumed that someday someone would say something to him about his favorite color being a girl color, I have been making mental note whenever I hear about men who love purple. I tell him that it's a color only worn by the confident, by the rock stars and royalty of the world.  That not just any guy can pull it off, so he must be a really cool dude if that's his favorite color.  He likes this, but still hesitates to say it out loud to people outside of the family.  

And then there's his hair.  He likes it long.  I like it long.  If I do say so myself, Hunter has amazing hair!  But then he is always called a girl by strangers.  And he's never seemed to mind that.  But yesterday a woman at the antique store told him what a beautiful girl he was.  He snapped back like I've never seen.  He said, "I'm not a girl!  I'm a boy with good hair!  I'm in a dragon suit!  Do you ever see girls in dragon suits?"  Whoa, Nelly!  He's never done that.  In fact, he usually hides from strangers.  He almost never looks at them.  But he looked that lady square in the eye and told her exactly who he was.  I was proud, and a little horrified.  She took it well enough and told him that when her son was that age, he had long hair too.  This seems to be what most people say when we tell them that Hunter is a boy.  I wonder if their boys ever did have long hair or if it's just a way of apologizing.  

So I'm watching this story closely, waiting for new developments.  Will he cave to societal pressure and start saying blue is his favorite color and cut his hair?  Will be be a tough guy who punches anyone who calls him girlie?  Will he cry about people making fun of his style?  I have no idea what is to come.  I just want his fragile little ego to be protected from the world a little longer.  I don't want him to consider what other people think when he picks out his clothes for the day or styles his hair.  I just want him to be himself.  He's an awesome little dude!  He should feel like King Hunter, wearer of purple with long royal locks of blond  hair and confidence to spare!

Completely unrelated to outward appearance...Hunter, who used to feel very frustrated and avoid any sort of school work, has recently decided that he's the smartest kid on earth.  It's hilarious how he talks about himself now.  He says things like, "You can't stump me.  Know why?  Because of my awesome brain!  Yeah.  My brain is a really good one.  So I protect it and keep it awesome.  When other kids wrestle and bang their head around, I say, 'No.  I need to keep my brain safe.' "  It's so adorable. While I might normally encourage him to be a little more humble, he's wedged between 2 academically over achieving siblings, so we've always worried about his school-esteem and are really excited to see this sort of brain pride.  And that's the sort of thing I'd rather him feel is important.  I'd rather him be feeling good about his reading and math than worrying about his hair and his purple shirt. 

So there you have it.  My musings about Hunter, his fragile little feelings and his totally unique self,  all purple and brainy!  I love that little man!

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