Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rebel rebel? That one's mine!

Rebel rebel, how could they know?

Today was my son's first day of pre-school.  One parent or caregiver was asked to attend.  I was there.  I saw it all.  Events played out as I had expected.  Alec was sweet to the other kids and the teachers and he enjoyed himself, until...  dunt dunt dunnn!  All of the children were asked to sit nicely in a group to listen to story time.  Alec was the only child to resist.  He made a dramatic point of asserting his independence.  After wriggling out of several attempts by the adults to place him on a mat or chair, he stomped to the corner of the room and yelled, "No! It's not fair!"  Then he played by himself during story time. 

Was I embarrassed?  A tad.  Not much.  He's not quite three years old.  We don't say "it's not fair" in our house because my husband believes that "fairness" is a flawed concept.  I agree, although I am a lawyer.  Possibly he has heard this phrase from a playmate?  Dunno. 

From the age of six months I could tell that Alec had a rebel's spirit.  He's not an angry child.  He's not a malicious child.  He is a willful child.  He does know what he likes.  He is bold.  I can work with that.  I claim it.  I even enjoy it.  Alec never liked sitting in a circle at his gymtime classes.  He wandered off from the time he could crawl.  I tried "story time" at the library with Alec on several occasions and the reader shot me "the look" enough times for me to know that books at home, or that he reads to himself, are easier for us just now! 

Where did he get this rebel trait?  I will gladly excuse my husband and my inlaws by taking complete responsibility for this piece of DNA.  His grandfather liked to take my mother trick flying when she was a tiny girl.  My mother used to drag race her own car when she was in high school.  I used to ride the most angry horse in a battle of the wills until she ran me under a low tree limb several times in a row.  I'm pretty sure Alec will find his own example to add to this list.  None of us were ever incarcerated!  Good news.  We weren't even expelled from school.  I hope I'm not jinxing my kids here.  I do plan to encourage my boys to abide by common rules and sit nicely with the other kids.  I have no doubt that they will learn to temper their individual expression with kindness and respect. 

After a moment of reflection, today's outburst ceased to upset me.  I stopped briefly to appreciate my own independent streak.  I saw myself as a young child, and now as an adult, and I noticed that some of my best qualities have been nurtured by the rebel in me.  I acknowledged the possibility that Alec may leave similar footprints along the childhood trail.  If it's good enough for him, it's good enough for me.

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