Indulging Interests

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I can remember as a child I had two main passions: Scooby Doo and Pokemon. My dad would take me to Pokemon tournaments and my whole family really supported my Scooby obsession with toys, VHS, and everything in between. Of course as time went on those passions changed. I went into my preteen, omg every celebrity is so hot, phase. Then I went into my “dark” high school phase. Now, I’m still in what my other half likes to call a rotating phase where one day I’ll be obsessed with this show, this song, this actor, this singer, this writer, this kind of product, this cause, etc etc…
Because phases change so fast, parents have been driven into this fear of wasting money. Caleb has really loved Mickey Mouse since a week or two before last Easter. At first we would just let him watch a little bit of the show or get him a little something here and there but now that he’s walking, talking, and really a competent toddler we have decided to indulge his interest. This doesn’t mean we spend a lot of money on it, we can’t, but we find ways all the same. We will put on the Hot Dog dance and all dance as a family. We read Mickey Mouse books with him and talk about the characters. We will download coloring pages of Mickey and Minnie. May I add, he loves Minnie just as much as Mickey so has many Minnie Mouse things as well. We went to the dollar tree and got him Minnie Mouse markers to color his Mickey Mouse coloring book. I’ve begun decorating his bedroom with more and more Mickey so that it is really a space just for him. And I know, in another few months he might not like Mickey anymore. I know that someday he will find a new passion and interests and this phase will be gone. That isn’t a reason to push his interests to the back burner though. It excites him, it makes him be very thoughtful, and the present is the most important thing to us.
Somewhat near us, not walking distance but walking distance from the bus route at least, there is a car dealership. One day we were on the bus and somehow I looked at just the right moment to see inside, and noticed a giant Mickey Mouse statue. We have been talking about it for a couple months now, going to check it out, but haven’t had the time to go down and make it back to the bus in time or money to take a taxi home. We came across that extra $12 for a taxi last week though and decided to take him down there to meet his Idol, Mickey Mouse. He was in awe. He said in the quietest voice, “I love you.” Mind you, it was his I love you that only I understand but he’s working on that. He would reach out to almost touch him and pull back. Such a simple, nearly free, thing gave him all the joy in the world and made me smile like crazy.

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So! The point of all this? When your child shows a strong interest in something, ignore that nagging thought, “It’s just a phase.” It is just a phase, but does it really mater? No. Because today is what you live for, tomorrow is not guaranteed, and your child’s happiness shouldn’t be put on hold for a what if.

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