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.