My son Jack constantly amazes me with his quirky sense of humour and outlook on life. Though he's certainly happy to join in a group generally, he definitely has his own sense of self. That's something I'm sure I will appreciate even more as he grows older.
A few Christmases ago, when all the girls went to see the Nutcracker, my brother and Dad took the boys to a kid's Christmas play. The story was about an evil Toymaker who was trying to steal all of Santa's presents because he had never received one himself. The kids in the audience were asked to vote for Santa or the Toymaker at some point during the performance, and all hands went up in favour of Santa. All hands but one. Jack. He voted for the Toymaker. Not because he liked a bad guy, but because he felt sorry for the Toymaker. He thought Santa had enough toys and could share at least one with him. Even at three, Jack wasn't afraid to go against the crowd.
This year, walking around his classroom, admiring the children's handmade Christmas ornaments, I had to laugh. Everyone had made a pretty angel for their trees. All had gold straw hair, silver painted bodies, and sparkly wings. And all wore a happy contented smile - all but one. Jack's angel had the wild gold hair, the silver body, and the sparkling wings of the others, but my joyful and good natured son had painted his angel a bright red frown. I asked him about it, wondering why she was sad. His answer was, "Mom, I wanted my angel to look different than everyone else's! She's not unhappy, she's unique!"
So I put my one unique angel on our tree - and gave my other one a hug!