Yesterday I took Grady to the park. He wanted to wear his Iron Man Hallowe'en costume. The one with the built-in muscles and the glow-in-the-dark power source. And a Santa hat. So I let him. I let him be a little weirdo because it made him happy and it wasn't hurting anyone.
But then we got to the park and it was full of little kids. Little kids have no filters. Little kids point and stare. Which is fine. I want Grady to know it's okay to be different and it doesn't matter if people are uncomfortable as long as he's not hurting anyone. But then this little shithead called my kid weird. And it was awkward because I was waiting for the adult he was with to tell him to stop being a shithead (or something less volatile and mama bear-like) while also trying to totally ignore it so Grady wouldn't pick up on it being a thing. Because it shouldn't be a thing. Who fucking cares if people think you're weird because of the clothes you wear?
I'm torn. I don't care if Grady is a little weirdo. I don't want Grady to care whether or not people think he's weird. But I also don't want him to feel like an outcast. But...I also don't want him to worry about trying to be normal. (What is normal?) I am all twisted up is what I'm saying.
(Edited to add: The above picture was taken before the shithead incident. I didn't, like, stop to document my kid's pain. We stopped at the picnic tables for a chat before hitting the playground and he looked so adorable and serious that I had to take his photo.)