The other day we went to a neighborhood BBQ. The girl across the street, who is a bit older than T, came over earlier in the day and convinced him that all the kids at the party would be wearing costumes. He insisted on dressing like a triceratops, of course.
You see where this is going, right? We arrived and he was the only one dressed up. My stomach dropped. When things like this happen to T, it triggers deep memories in me of being made a fool of as a child. I get really angry, mostly about my inability to protect him from these sorts of experiences.
A friend of mine turned to T and said, “Oops! She tricked you!”
Under my breath, I said, “Well don’t tell him that if he hasn’t figured it out.”
He was like, “What? OH!”
He got it. He stood in the doorway in his big green costume, looked around and let it register for a moment. Then he smiled his huge Tariku smile and said, “I don’t care because I’m SCARY! ROAR!”
He kept that outfit on the whole night. He roared and danced around and got everyone screaming and laughing. He’s been displaying a real knack for physical comedy lately. Scott says he’s like a little Charlie Chaplin. He stands in front of the mirror and does little dances, talks in silly voices, makes funny faces.
Tariku instinctively knows that being the one stuck in the dinosaur costume makes you the fool, yes, but it also can make you the star if you play it right.
When he finally got too hot in the costume, he took it off and lovingly brought it to me to hold, saying that he didn’t want to put it on the floor where people could step on it.
I thought he handled the situation with tremendous dignity. I felt so proud of his fierce, funny soul.
And I love that he thinks this costume is scary.