How many of you remember the movie Big Daddy with Adam Sandler? You know… Dude’s a bit of a slacker who is kind of just sliding by in life. He’s got a girlfriend who is looking for someone with a little more of a long term plan and the ambition to get there. She sticks with him for a bit but eventually ends up dumping him for another dude.
Adam Sandler’s solution is to adopt a child in order to win her back. Of course, the plan didn’t work. You can’t just become a capable parent in order to impress a girl. And, the rest of the film is Sandler taking on the task of raising this child alone. It’s a typical Adam Sandler film (those of you who know me well know my theory on his films), packed full of toilet humor and crotch shots.
However, one thing always stood out to me. He just let the kid wear whatever he wanted to. I think the biggest reason for this is because he was too lazy to pick out an outfit for the child to wear every day but he presented it as a choice that the child should have.
I have always been on the fence in regards to whether or not I agreed with this. On the one hand, your children’s appearance and behavior are a direct reflection of how you raise them. If they wear rubber boots, underwear and a hulk t-shirt in public, it is going to give the appearance that you don’t take care of your child (guess what: you probably don’t). On the other hand, what’s it hurt to give your child the space to be creative here.
So, my son used to make these paper sack guard helmets out of McDonald’s bags. He loved these silly things so much. He would take his happy meal bag and tear the side out of it. This thing went right onto the top of his head, often with the grease and salt from his french fries still in the bag.
I remember that my first reaction was to take the thing right off the top of his head. I mean, after all, what will people think. Then it occurred to me (after my wife corrected me), that it was perfectly fine for him to wear a McDonald’s sack on his head and that he would outgrow this eventually. However, for the time, he was creating.
She was right (as she always is). He doesn’t wear paper bags on his head anymore. He has found all kinds of different ways to express his creativity. He oftentimes will ask me to participate in his creative activities but often does his own thing. However, I am left with his picture of a time when I needed to let my son be my son.
Life is Strange. Live it Well.