My son Odyn is the coolest kid I know. Yep, I said it my son is the coolest kid I know. Why? The reason why is that he has endured puzzled looks, snide comments, bullying from adults (yes, ADULTS) and kids alike. Well you know what I say to everyone that has made rude comments about my child, screw you. Yes, I will be crass about this. I even had family making rude comments. You have no idea the impact you are having on this little man, how you keep knocking him down thinking he can’t hear what you are saying, he can’t see you whispering to your friend behind us in line. Kids are notorious for noticing EVERYTHING. Plus, their hearing is unbelievably good, despite what their parents may think.
Why am I sounding like a lunatic and I feel the world is against my son? Look at this picture it will tell you why.
Yes, that smiling child is my SON Odyn. He rocks. He is by far the most caring and compassionate child I have ever met. His hair is long but that doesn’t make him any less of a boy. We started this journey when he was only 5 years old, and needing a hair cut. He is only 6 right now, in two weeks he will be 7 years old. In this journey Odyn had other plans I wasn’t aware of. I gave him two choices, either he needed a hair cut, or a trim to shape up his hair. Then, I thought, I will give him a third option. “If you don’t want to do either of those your third option is that you can grow it out for other kids with cancer for Locks of Love and it will be made into a wig for those children who have lost their hair due to the medicine that helps them get better.” He chose the third option, shocking us all. I can’t go back on my word because I thought he wouldn’t choose to have long hair, I embraced his tenacity and most of all what he said when he made his decision. Odyn told me, “I want to help the world, and the kids that have cancer.” Melt.My.Heart. I then thought to myself, I MUST be doing this whole parenting thing right if this is what my child at 5 years old chooses to do.
Fast forward a few months. The snickering starts. I told Odyn’s teacher what was going on, and told him about the boys picking on him and Mr. D took a proactive approach, and told Odyn’s classmates what he was doing and they all understood. I was really laid back about it to begin with, then the mother bear came out. At first I thought ‘he is a big boy, he can tell his friends what is going on’, and he did. The first 6 months there were very few problems. Summer began, the problems began too. Summer school was especially hard. Odyn would go to a new class every two weeks, the first week I didn’t realize there would be any problems. A week into the first session he told me he was getting picked on in the bathroom. It took him a WEEK to tell me there was any issues. I immediately went to the teacher and told her what was going on. She was sympathetic and helped him out and it lessened. Then the next week Momma Bear went to each teacher after that and told them ahead of time what has been happening and to PLEASE defend my little man. Uggg, by the time summer school was done, I was exhausted by the situation. It was STILL happening. I just wanted to pull these little boys who were picking on my kid in the bathroom and tell them what jerks they were being, but I refrained.
We used sweat bands during soccer so he wouldn’t have to wear a ponytail (again, due to ADULTS and kids). Still at least once a day he was called a girl. Not a single item in his wardrobe had a light color, pastels, or glitter. We would pull his hair half back for Tae Kwon Do, and that he HATED doing that. Let the girl comments begin from the adults. ‘She’ this, ‘She’ that. I can’t tell you how many times I had to almost shout the word HE to people a day when I was out and about with Odyn.
The trip to get his hair cut today was planned and we were on our way. At first, all is going exceedingly well. It happens to be shop small Saturday, so we ended up at Hair Benders in Okauchee. JC was our stylist. She agrees that the best way to cut his hair and get the most length is to do many small ponytails.
Then reality sinks in. Odyn is speechless. He is cowering behind the cape. His eyes are close to overflowing with tears. He collects himself in the shelter of the cape. I cry real tears, and explain to him, that he is amazing.
The final result after a year of growing out his hair. It is astounding what a difference a hair cut can make.
I am not writing this to make you feel bad for my son. I said it once and I will say it again. He rocks. He dealt with all this BS for a whole year to help another child who has cancer. Was it worth it? Yes, absolutely. Those children he is helping with the creation of a wig are enduring far more than he did. There were definitely some angels in his corner, and friends who stuck up for him when he didn’t or couldn’t. To you, thank you. So parents, please teach your children to not judge a book by its cover. The story that is inside is much different than what it appears. My son was not going through an identity crisis, he was just doing his part to “Help make the world a better place.” The strength of Odyn to endure this amazes me and I am SO proud to call him my son. I cried when he cut his hair today, not because I was sad, because I was so proud of him. I realize that with him and the rest of my kids that I must be doing something right. I cry as I write this now. My son ROCKS!
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