everything i need to know i learned in special ed


it's okay to change it up sometimes

I wear my hair nearly exactly the same every day: pulled back, parted to the right, and pinned up on top of my head in a (what I like to think of as) artistically haphazard way. On a recent morning however, I woke up with my hair naturally parting on the left, and much silkier than usual. Embracing the change, I let my bangs fall neatly to the side and cleanly pulled back the rest. Walking to work and catching glimpses of myself in moving bus windows, I felt polished and put together. 

After an hour of prepping lessons, the students filtered in one at a time and puttered about doing their morning work. All was peace and calm as the bell rang and we gathered for our morning calendar time. Then, out of nowhere, one of the second grade boys widened his eyes in anxious shock and blurted out (to his credit, as he raised his hand): "Why is your hair so crazy!?" 

I took a beat as I swallowed an odd mix of feeling rejected and utterly confused -- "but my hair is so much more put together today!" -- as I worked to formulate a reasonable, appropriately measured response.

"You know...sometimes people just have crazy hair and that's okay. It isn't something that we need to worry about."

He considered that a moment, acknowledged the thought, said "okay," and settled back into calm. Everyone moved on with our songs, seasons, and counting as I thought over the moment and how quick I myself am to be uncomfortable with change of any time.

And you know? It seems to ring true. Sometimes people have crazy hair, or preferences, or opinions...and that's okay. Most of the time it isn't something we need to worry about.

Thoughts? Similar experiences? Leave a comment. I'd love to hear them.