Monday, December 15, 2008

It's okay to be different

A few weeks ago, I was shopping online at Amazon and came across a book I thought Brody would like. I bought it and it arrived, but I never bothered to get it out.

Last week, Brody and I were counting on his fingers. He got upset and seemed frustrated that his fingers only went to 8. He kept wanting me to say "Five" while still on his first hand. I eventually did and just sort of added two fingers in name only. I kept it light and we laughed.

But the episode upset me. I was bothered that Brody is already experiencing frustration on this score, and that I have no skills with which to help him. Should I fudge the two extra fingers? Have a talk and say "Brody has 8 fingers. Mommy has 10." Ignore it? Address it?

Then I opened the box with the book I ordered.

It's this book, It's Okay to be Different by Todd Parr.

Jeremy read it to Brody first - Brody was mesmerized. It's okay to be a different color, it's okay to have missing teeth, it's okay to have no hair, it's okay to eat macaroni and cheese in the bathtub, it's okay to have wheels (showing a child in a wheelchair), it's okay to be adopted (showing a puppy in the pouch of a kangaroo).

When Jeremy read it to Brody, he read my mind and added "It's okay to have 8 fingers." At the end the author's closing message is "you are special and important just because of being who you are."

Brody immediately wanted to read it again. And again. And we did.

And then I realized when I ordered this book I must have known somewhere inside that I needed this book as much as Brody.


Dawn said...

That book looks awesome! I think I may have to order it too!! :) I actually think it is great to be different!
I want to raise my children to always appreciate and love everyone....especially if they may seem "different".
Zayden has already had the opportunity to play with children with Down Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy and I am so excited about that. I want my kids to grow up surrounded by people/children of all sorts and not even notice or care about someone being "different"!!

Because really we ALL are "different".

I'm glad you all enjoyed that book so much!!

pattinase (abbott) said...

You make me cry more than my own kids. You need to consider writing a children's book. I think you'd have a lot to bring to it.

Robyn said...

What a great book!

There is one called, You Are Special, by Max Lucado that I totally love. I don't know if you would go for something pseudo-spiritual, but the gist is that it doesn't matter what anyone thinks because God made us all and loves each of us dearly.

Alina said...

I LOVE Todd Parr's books! We have one that is similar (The Okay Book) and The Mommy Book and one about adoption...I can't remember the name.

What a perfect way to have it make sense to Brody that being different is perfectly fine and even more than that--it's the spice of life!

feitpingvin said...

Quote of the day: Stop trying to fit in when you were born to stand out.

Tracy said...

Thanks for recommending this book. I'll have to get this for Maggie.
Hope you guys have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!