This weekend I read the children's book, Slippery Willie's Stupid Ugly Shoes, by Larry Peterson. It's a good book. I recommend elementary school teachers' read it to their classes, because it is an important story about accepting differences. Willie is different than everyone else and has to wear special shoes. He's afraid these stupid ugly shoes will make him the object of ridicule, among his classmates. You'll have to read the book yourself to get the lesson and story.
Willie's perception of his shoes, and his imagination caused him a lot of pain. It reminded me of my youngest child refusing to wear his Halloween costume to nursery school. The class was having a Halloween party and the teacher had asked that the kids wear their costumes to school. He absolutely refused.
O.K. I could understand that he's thinking he'll be the only one dressed up, and everyone else will be in their regular school clothes. So I offered to carry the costume and he could change when he got to school--or not! He threw a fit. He didn't even want to bring the costume to school!!!!!
When I told him that he'd be the only one NOT wearing a costume, he said he didn't care. (These damn kids all take after their father.)
Well, this was going to be a teachable lesson. I brought my son to nursery school, sans costume. He went in and had a good time. If anyone asked him where his costume was, I never heard it. I'm the one who told the other mothers that he wasn't wearing his costume because he absolutely refused to. They hardly commented. They didn't care. The kids didn't care. I was the only one.
Is it possible that our perceptions aren't correct?
I was wrong.
Willie was wrong, too.