Sunday, January 9, 2011


The other day we had a play date with some friends. When Eli's friends got here, Eli immediately said to them "Hey guys, let's be tornado chasers! We can use our computers in our tornado chasing car and find the tornadoes and videotape them!" His friends looked at him in utter confusion. Noticing this look, Eli then said "How about we play zoo and we can be tamarins while people come to see us!" Again, looks of confusion.

These times happen more and more. I wonder if he is different than most, I know....Eli is different.

He would rather use furniture for spatial boundaries than play with toys from the toy store. Cases in point:

-uses the coffee table, couch and toy bins to create a cage for him to be a tamarin at the zoo'

-uses the inside of an easel as an elevator or a bank

-empties toys out of our toy bins so he can get in with his toy laptop and pretend to chase tornadoes

-has me lay on the edge of the couch while he is on the inside and he pretends he is in a boat

And did you know that Eli has brothers? They differ in number every time he tells you about them and they almost always do something better then what you just talked about.

"Eli, did you know that it is going to snow 4 inches today?"

"Well my brothers live in Duckytown and Duckytown has 36 90 inches of snow."

Eli cries at slow songs because he says they makes him sad. He is afraid of being alone and sleeps with a pillow against his back to protect him. Eli loves to cuddle and wrestle and touch people's noses because it calms him.

Eli knows every state in tornado alley. He knows a ridiculous amount about tornadoes when most kids are obsessed with Diego or Dora. We went to Barnes and Noble and while playing with the trains, he asked a mom who was there with her kids if she liked tornadoes. Her response? "No, they are dangerous and deadly." You should have seen Eli's face. My heart broke for him.

It was then that I thought to myself "You know what? I don't want him to be like everyone else. I love his special interests and qualities." I would rather have a son that is unique than one that follows the crowd and just wants to fit in. I was one of those. I did not want to stick out. I was tall, but slouched because I hated being tall. I had no self esteem and wanted to fit in with crowd, be accepted. But trying to be like them led to doing things I am not proud of JUST to be accepted. So if Eli wants to go his own way and be unique, I support that because it is who he is and I want him to be confident in that. I want him to know that being different is being special and God made him special for a purpose.

There is a book we read to Eli that he calls the puppet book, but it is called You Are Special by Max Lucado. It is about these wooden puppets that give each other dots for bad characteristics and stars for good ones. One of them, Punchinello, got only dots and no stars and was sad about it, until he met a girl named Lucia who had no dots OR stars. That is the way Punchinello wanted to be, judgementless and free. Lucia told him to go to Eli up on the hill and He will help him to be dot and starless. So he goes up to meet Eli, who was the maker of all of the puppets. Eli said that the dots and stars only stick if you let them. Eli told Punchinello that it didn't matter what others thought of him, it only matters what He thinks of him and when he believes that, the dots will fall off. And Eli told Punchinello that He not only made him, but made him perfect and loved him no matter what. Punchinello didn't feel worthy or believed it, but after more talking and as he was leaving Eli's home, a dot fell off of him.
If my son is happiest pretending to chase tornadoes, then I want to not only support it, I want to chase them with him! I want any dots that people may put on him to not stick and just fall right off.

So if a little boy comes up to you and asks if you like tornadoes, tells you about his 'brothers' doing something better than you and asks you to chase said tornadoes with him, that's my boy and I am proud of his uniqueness and will raise him to be proud of it too.