Many of you remember my son when he was painfully shy. He had a horrible stutter which I believe contributed to his shy personality. Even after the stutter stopped he remained quiet and refused to speak to anyone other than close family and friends.
Sometime during his 5th year he asked if he could please have a mohawk. An odd request from a child who hated the lime-light. It was summer, he wasn’t in school… why not? While he did get used to all of the attention he still remained pretty quiet.
Since that time he has come out of his shell quite a bit. His little personality is growing and exploring and changing. Awhile back he asked about getting his ear pierced. After agreeing to pay for it with his own money we let him do it. I think it’s just one more little thing that makes him who he is.
Last night over dinner he asked me, “How old do I have to be to pierce this?” Before your imagination gets too carried away let me tell you he was pointing to the cartilage on the upper part of his ear. He was more than a little disappointed when I said he had to be 18. “But that’s a really long time!” His next question was if he could please be bald. We compromised and he’s getting another “Chris” cut (buzzed very short).
I love that he’s confident in himself and that he wants to explore and express himself in different ways. As long as his requests aren’t too permanent or too extreme I’m willing to let him. At times that means letting him make some choices that may have a negative reaction. His mohawk and ear piercing didn’t go over too well with all of my family. But he learned to stand up for himself. His painted fingernails were a source of some good giggles at church. And he learned he wasn’t going to do that again any time soon. I try to give him as much freedom as possible while balancing that with protecting him from public opinion. Hopefully he won’t look back and say “Moooom! I can’t believe you let me …. ” but rather, “Mom, thanks for letting me be who I am.”