Friday, December 10, 2010
The past few weeks, Will's building excitement about his Christmas program at school has been neat to watch. We home school our boys through their elementary school years but to help them acclimate to eventually going to the public schools here, we enroll them in art and music classes starting in 3rd grade. So every Tuesday and Thursday, Will and I have set out in the car to go to the school where he's been singing Christmas carols since the beginning of the school year to prepare for the most adorable Christmas program.
Last week he surprised me when he said he wanted a shirt and tie and "shiny black shoes" to wear for the Christmas program. I became a little worried. Did they give me the wrong child at the hospital nearly 9 years ago? This is not typical McCracken behavior. Shawn's dad used to come home from work, change out of his required shirt and tie, and set off to run 5+ miles still wearing his black dress socks with his running shorts and shoes. I've seen Shawn in a suit one time in the 20+ years I've been with him. On the rare occasion that he has to go somewhere that will send him home without cow manure caked on his pants, dog blood or vomit on his shirt, or a bag of grain under his arm, he stands in front of me and asks, "Do I meet your approval?" And as long as he's not wearing his Mizzou sweatshirt from 1990, I give him 2 thumbs up.
He didn't get it from Shawn's mom's side of the family. One day when a cousin I rarely get to see stopped by to visit me, he was sitting on the couch and suddenly yelled out in fear. I looked up and my mother-in-law was looing in the window wearing an "Elmer Fudd" hat and a plaid flannel shirt riddled with holes and her trademark, bleach spots. My cousin apologized and said he thought a homeless person was looking in my window.
And he certainly didn't get it from me. Around 3 years ago, I blogged about my apathy toward new jeans made with permanent creases behind the knees and at the hips as fashion statements. Three years later, they still just look to me like jeans that have been worn but not washed for 3 weeks. Not only have I not accepted that look, I now also have to struggle with the flocks of people with giant stitching on the back pockets of their jeans. Don't even get me started on the big stitching AND rhinestones. I don't conform well. So I live in the land of fashion faux pas.
Then I started thinking, maybe Will is going to be the first to break the chains of the uncool in our family. Maybe he really is ours and God just blessed him with style and grace.
Yesterday I ironed his new shirt, helped him get dressed, and, fighting the urge to hug him and slather his cheeks with kisses the way I wanted to, told him how handsome he looked. He looked at me and said, "I think I need to put a pen in my shirt pocket." That's my boy! I'd still feel a little more secure if he would have asked for the pocket protector to go with it.