A while ago my friend gave me some tulips.

My favorite kind of flower.  
It turned out that one of them happened to be unlike the others:
It bloomed differently.
But it was every bit as beautiful.
Sometimes my kids have experiences that make them feel different from the others around them.  And for some reason, that often makes them feel ashamed.  Why is that such human nature?
How I hope Dave and I can teach our kids (and remember ourselves) that it’s ok and even good to be different.  It’s something to be celebrated.  Man alive, do we ever learn from those who aren’t afraid to step outside of the status quo.  We don’t need to all follow the same drummer.
It’s ok to stand alone.  

“…be yourself- not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be.” 
― Henry David Thoreau

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

How I hope we can help our kids to find that self of theirs, and not try to mold them into a little box of what we want them to be from our limited vision.  In my mind that is often the trickiest part of parenting.  But I truly believe that is what will help them gain their greatest confidence and happiness in life.

I hope they won’t be self-conscious to be that beautiful full-bloomed red tulip even when everyone else around them is orange and yellow.

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  1. It's so hard when your kids are "the different tulip" even if it's for a small thing– because it isn't usually a small thing to them. I love how you always remind and help your kids to do hard things. My husband's motto is "We should protect our kids from bad things, but not hard things." Hopefully when they are the "different tulip" it will help them learn to be more compassionate to others. BTW–it was fun to meet you the other day at Pei Wei (I am Rochelle Seller's sister). Thank you for sharing your family and your journey of raising a family. It is so helpful to have "a village"!

  2. Beautiful analogy. I think it helps the kids so much when you can tie a principle like this to such a powerful image. Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

  3. oh this made me cry – this week has been so hard on my heart as my daughter has entered 8th grade and is not with any of her friends…tears every day, worried about making new friends and how to do that. so this was perfect – thank you!

  4. my oldest is starting 1st grade and I am so nervous about him being at school all day and being around so many other people.

    I know that something I can do is teach them through example. I can't let them hear me be critical of myself or see me trying to conform. I need to give them something to stand for and teach them that its okay to stand alone sometimes.

    Thank you for this. I have been thinking a lot about this very thing.

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