If You Want To Be a Better Parent, Be More Like These People

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Ladies and gentlemen, it is about time that we recognize and honor a group of people that have long been forgotten. They don’t expect this praise, I’m certain, but it is definitely deserved because they live life beyond societal norms, customs and pressures, and it is truly inspiring.

I am talking, of course, about the parents of kids with rattails.

I was recently at a children’s museum when I encountered one of these unsung heroes along with her two sons, aged approximately 4 and 12, sporting long, glorious rattails accompanied by seasonably inappropriate but clearly awesome cut-off shirts. It was at that moment that I realized what a wonder I was beholding. Here I was, shackled to social constraints like modern haircuts and proper winter attire while this mother transcended such nonsense and allowed her children to live free in their natural state.

As I witnessed this magnificent being I thought to myself, how did I end up here? Why am I concerned that my children have hair that just says “I’m a kid” rather than “I’m a kid who parties and kicks ass?” I couldn’t answer that question but it led me to this epiphany: we should be more like these rattail embracing parents and just let our kids be kids.

I understand that some of you may not share my belief that this woman and those like her are due the praise that I heap upon them today. To you, doubters, I say fiddlesticks. This mother had every opportunity to bow down to the pressures of our society and have the barber, or her cousin Becky, lop off those beautiful, absurdly long strands of golden hair, and yet she resisted. Do you have the fortitude to let your kids have the haircuts they want, no matter how ridiculous(ly awesome) they are? I know I don’t and I doubt you do either. I could go on and on about the glory of this woman and her ilk but it might bring me to tears so I will just share with you a few thoughts:

1. If your son (or bless her heart, daughter) has a rattail, seriously God bless you. A friend of mine’s son said he wanted one and she let him and I don’t know that I could do it. His was short, not a full 10 inches like the ones in the story above but still.

2. If your kid wants to express him or herself, let them do it as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. If your son wants to wear a my little pony shirt to school, who cares? If your daughter wants a Jurassic World birthday party where all the kids battle each other like Velociraptors vs. the Indominus Rex, who cares? Allowing them to express themselves is far more healthy than trying to make them fit into some preconceived idea of who they should be.

3. If you don’t want them to do the things I mention above, ask yourself why. Is it because you care what other people think? Is it because you don’t want to be embarrassed? Is it because “no son of mine is gonna wear girly clothes by God?” I’m not judging you if any of those are the reasons, I’m just saying it’s important for you to know why. Because when it comes down to it, who cares if your son wears pink shoes or your daughter wears camo or both of them wear their pajamas inside and backward to Target? Half of them are going to end up in therapy anyway so you might as well let them enjoy being a kid.

4. And finally, if you take nothing else away from this post it should be this: If you do run across the parent of a kid with a rattail, give them a high five because seriously, they are awesome.