Last fall my son raced down the stairs excited to go to his friend’s birthday party. He had been talking about the party all week. I looked at his outfit and tried my best to share his excitement, but also offer some fatherly advice.
“Hmm, nice outfit. Are you sure you want to dress like that though? Don’t you want to wear something that might fit in better for the occasion?”
He didn’t even budge. “I got it dad. No problems.”
He walked past me to grab a glass of water before he left and I took another look at his outfit. He wore a black turtleneck and a long gold chain out over the shirt, pants, and a fanny pack. He looked like a mini Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who posted a picture to social media a few years ago of himself from the 90s in the exact same outfit.
The Rock, a former professional wrestler and actor, stands 6 feet 5 inches, weighs a solid 260 pounds, has more muscles than I can imagine, and could probably twist me in half with little effort. My son is impressive in his own right, but yet I still worried.
My wife was away running errands, so I was tasked with dropping off my son at the party. I got in the car and before I started it, I asked my son again, “Are you sure that you don’t want to change?”
Without missing a beat, he told me that he had everything under control.
When we got to the site, I told him to call if he needed anything. He responded that he was good. I appreciated his confidence, but yet I still feared the worst.
Let me interject here that I don’t normally comment much on my kid’s fashion. My kids have certainly pushed our buttons at times over the years, but, for the most part, I feel fortunate that they dress pretty modest for their age. Plus, I figure that I have a tough enough time managing my own fashion choices, it’s best that I steer clear of trying to make any decisions for them. But yet, I still worried about a bully making fun of my son.
Of course, I worried for naught. Everything went well. He was the hit of the party. He walked out with a sly smile on his face. He jumped in the car and said, “Call me Bond, Jame Bond.”
I took that as a good sign.
I’ve written in the past about how I’ve learned much from my kids over the years. This most certainly was one of those times. My son had faith in his own sense of style. Hell or high water, he didn’t care what anyone else thought . . . even his dad. He was going to wear what he wanted to wear.
I laugh because I certainly didn’t have that kind of trust and faith in myself when I was his own age. I worried constantly about trying to fit in. I worried that my outfit was out of style or not cool enough. Not my son.
Yes, there’s definitely a lesson in there somewhere for me: even all those years later, believe in yourself.