One day during our vacation last week we made it down to Wilmington. Kristy thought it would be cool to take the kids to the Cape Fear Serpentarium (or, as the kids called it, the snake zoo). I’m not particularly fond of snakes. My favorite kind of snake is a dead one. But I agreed and off we went.
The snake zoo didn’t open until 11 am and we got there around 9:50, so we had to find something to do until then. Fortunately it was basically located in the downtown area right on the water. Wilmington has a nice waterfront with adequate walking space down the coast.
As we were walking I looked ahead and saw and older, bald gentleman with a white beard and….an eyepatch over his left eye walking straight for us. For normal people this is no big deal. For me, with two 4 year olds and a 5 year old, it was something I wanted to avoid.
My boys have a way of noticing people who are different and then making sure that the different person knows that they are noticed. A few weeks ago we were standing in line at Arby’s behind a little person (I hope that is the new correct term to use–it used to be midget). As soon as I saw him I knew that one of the kids would say something. Sure enough, Jonathan blurted out “Look Daddy! There’s a little man.”
This type of thing is not uncommon. When they see someone with a walker, Matthew normally goes up to them and asks why they need that thing. They are never quiet about it.
Anyway, when I saw the man with the eye patch walking toward us with his wife I braced myself for the inevitable. Of course, it came. “Look Daddy! A pirate! A real-life pirate.”
Before I could say “ssshhhhhh”, the man looked down at my kids and said “Aaarrrrggghhh Mateys!” and laughed a big laugh. My kids thought that was the coolest thing about their trip that day.
It’s always neat to come across someone who is comfortable in their own skin. So many people are self-conscious about various things about themselves. We need to remember that we are who we are. There are some things about us that we can change, but there are many other things that we can’t and shouldn’t want to.
Embracing who we are while being mindful of trying to change those things that are a hindrance to ourselves and others is the best way to go.