Last night I watched the Mr. Rogers movie until 3am. There’s a part where Opera talks to Mr. Rogers and he says as Parents we just need to remember what it was like to be a little one. She asks him why we forget what it’s like to be a little one?
There was something that I never forgot when I was a teenager, and it stayed with me all these years.
When I was 13, I wrote in my journal to make sure that I wouldn’t forget. I since lost the journal but it was such a big moment that writing it kept it in my memory forever. I remember how it felt to be me as a teen, as I cried my eyes out into my journal, feeling unloved and untrusted for my expression.
It was the biggest promise I made to my older self. It was so absolutely important to me.
I promised that when I had kids I would let them express themselves how they wanted to. I would let them wear the clothes they wanted to wear. I would celebrate their originality, and I would trust that they knew their path in life, and that they could safely express their individual style.
I used to wear rainbow tights to school and get yelled at for it. I would sometimes wear a cape, or marker my nose purple. Or see what would happen if I walked into class without shoes. I wore a midriff to celebrate my own body. Having small breasts was unusual and people thought I should get breast surgery later. So my way of celebrating my individual body type was to wear midriffs. Unfortunately, my family was concerned about me wearing midriffs and I was yelled at for it. So I cried into my journal.
My Journaling worked, and I never forgot that feeling when I was writing it. I have a 16 year old Son today who does just that. Celebrates his original style. With neon green hair, a hello kitty mask, one earring on his ear, and a nose ring. He’s also ultra responsible, very talented, incredibly kind and polite, and very responsible! 🙂