You kids just left for school, the day before Halloween, dressed in your homemade costumes. We put them together yesterday, my little Astrid and Hiccup, dragon tamers, friends on the movie screen and off. Cutting up my old sweats, you and your sister cut and drew and trimmed, too. We climbed the steps of the studio and dug through bins, you wanted real leather, real belts, to really be Hiccup. Your sister was happy with an assemblage of items suggesting her favorite character, Astrid. Whew. Done.
Your step-mom had no time, except for your little brothers costume. He turned three yesterday. His is done. So what happened? We will have to chat later. I listened to your worry, whine and frantic pleas, watched you pace. Of course I will help. Of course. I have to look really cool, Grandma. I want to wear it to school. I can’t wear regular clothes, then everyone will call me a loser.
What? A loser? Where does that idea come from? You could never be a loser, clever, smart, kind, funny, artistic and creative boy full of love. Loser?
Then you cried. “I was in the bathroom and saw “Ryan is a loser” on the door. Somebody wrote it in dark pen. I couldn’t get it off and I didn’t go back to my class because I was mad.” Oh dear, so mean and scary. “So the principal saw me and I showed her. We washed it off.” I was glad about that. you added one last thing, “But you aren’t supposed to write on the school.” Or be allowed to be mean to another child, harass and target him like that. I hope he was counseled, caught and his parents told.
I agreed about that. “You are right and you are never supposed to say unkind things, but people sometimes do. I am sorry someone was having their own bad day and wrote that about you. I wonder if he was feeling like a loser himself? That is sad.
That is mean, you told me. Yes it is. So we got back to putting your costumes together. Grandpa took you to the barn to look at leather tack, buckles and belts and Ellie and I glued little skulls and bottle caps on my old sweats, then all night I tossed and turned.
I hope you feel proud today. Good in your costume, strong, capable, able to stand up and be Ryan in that Hiccup costume. You are a dragon slayer, oops, I mean tamer. You are.