This week I showed up at my son’s school to drop off his afternoon snack. I arrived as his Physical Education class was going on. He and his classmates were playing soccer at the court.
Noah neither likes soccer, nor knows how to play it. But, everybody had to take part. This was the required P.E. activity for all the boys – though not for the girls, I noticed.
As I observed, the ball was kicked from one side of the court to the other and all the kids would race towards it like their lives depended on it. Pushing and shoving each other to get to the ball. Noah was nowhere to be seen. When I finally found him, he was way in the back, strolling and spinning his way towards the ball, way behind everybody else, in his own pace and looking as if he was in another dimension.
Everybody talks about being in flow state. That’s what Noah looked like… Like he was in his own flow state.
The game went on and on and Noah seemed to follow the boys wherever they went. But, he moved very slow, not caring much about what was going on. He was doing his own thing – dancing, spinning, skipping. His teacher kept calling out his name, urging him to run for the ball and take part.
But, no. He just wanted to do his strolling and dancing through the court. The ball was definitely not his priority at that moment.
At some point, I realized that he was doing some kind of performance in his head. Right there, in the middle of soccer practice. He was singing, dancing and performing in the middle of the soccer court during P.E. class.
That’s Noah. The boy who sings and dances all the time, everywhere, in front of everybody and isn’t the least worried about it.
He will sing songs by Ariana Grande and Beyoncé and imitate their choreographies. Other times, he’ll put on Master of Puppets, by Metallica, and listen to it two or three times in a row, while doing his own version of rock dancing. He listens to The Beatles while in the shower and pretends he’s George Harrison playing guitar. He watched La La Land recently and has been singing and dancing to it’s music for the past month – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
He’s not afraid of expressing himself, no matter the situation or location. He’s not afraid that people will be looking or judging. He doesn’t care if he looks weird. He’s not worried if he’s on beat or in tune.
Some people will say that little 6-year-old boys shouldn’t be dancing to music by Ariana Grande and Katy Perry. I’ve heard some say that it might affect his “masculinity” – whatever the hell that means. Boys should play soccer, watch sports on TV, play video-games and wear blue, obviously.
Noah isn’t playing the “boy” part very well, according to people. But, he’s not playing the “girl” part either. So what does that make of him?
To me, it makes him unique.
I know that if I start trimming the parts of Noah that society believes must be trimmed, I will be raising him to be an average society-approved person.
But I don’t raise Noah according to society norms; I raise him by my own standards.
I give him freedom.
Noah will dance and sing. He will study music and paint.
He will shake his booty, if that’s what he wants.
And he’ll grow up to be… Noah.
And if by any chance you speak Portuguese, you may want to watch my son’s recommendation of La La Land on YouTube. It’s super sweet. Though you cannot view it on phones and tablets, because it contains music from the movie.