My mother-in-law gave my older son a knight costume about a year ago. At the time she said, “It’s huge and may not fit.” She was right – the pants gathered at his ankles and the arms required rolling. But the size hasn’t stopped my son from wearing it the last twelve months.
Today when he was getting dressed to go to a friend’s birthday party I went into his room and asked what he was doing.
“I’m getting dressed up.”
I realized that his comment earlier in the morning about “getting dressed up” for the party was a literal one. I’d expected him to come out in his fancy shoes and dress clothes. But he meant that he would be dressing up in a costume.
“It’s not a costume party,” I mentioned, expecting him to look at me wide-eyed. “The ‘Knight Party’ is next weekend.” (He’s got a busy birthday party calendar this month.)
“I know. I want to wear this today. Can you help me?”
I moved the belt around his waist and pulled the hood over his head. I unrolled the sleeves – he’s bigger than the last time I saw him wear it. He looked great, and happy.
So why did I feel worried? This party is for a friend’s son that is turning eight-years-old. The kids at the party will all be in elementary school. I don’t want them to laugh at my son for being dressed in a costume. I don’t want him to feel foolish when he sees that everyone else is in “normal” clothes.
“You look great,” I said.
“Thanks, Mom.” He flashed the makeshift sword – a leftover piece of race car track – at me.
“The sword stays home, ” I reminded him.
As he and my husband walked down the front steps I called out, “Have fun!”
“We will,” the knight flashed me a big grin through the snow flakes that had begun to fall. And, off he went.
I sit here now, wondering how he’s doing at the bowling alley in his costume. I’m sure he’s fine. Unlike his mother who took at least thirty years to learn that it doesn’t matter what other people say or think, at four-years-old, he’s already confident enough to go against the norm.
I’m learning a lot from this knight in shining armor who stands about four feet tall, runs fast and follows his heart. Maybe it’s time for me to get a costume, too.