Thursday, February 23, 2012

Only You

Eli's class has been talking about "community helpers" this month. They've had visits from policemen and firemen, and today they were supposed to dress up as their favorite community helper. I had in my mind that I'd dress him like a fireman, since we have some of that stuff, or borrow a policeman costume from a friend.

But Eli had other ideas!

He has loved Smokey the Bear for a while now, ever since he got a bag full of Smokey paraphanalia from a firehouse near my grandparents in Maine. His love was solidified when he actually got to meet Smokey the Bear at a state park event. (He gave Smokey multiple hugs and thus always tells me, "Smokey doesn't talk, but he loves hugs!") And now Dallas has started putting Smokey the Bear billboards all around the city, I guess to gear up for the wildfire season. Eli sees them and goes nuts. I love that he's obsessed with such a random character!

So, anyway, fueled by Aunt Kelly's suggestion while I was out of town this weekend, Eli decided to be Smokey the Bear for community helper day at school! And he could not be swayed. Smokey just wears blue jeans and a yellow hat with his name on it, so the costume was pretty easy to put together. Eli was elated this morning when he got dressed. He ran around the house "putting out fires" all morning. It was adorable.

And when we walked into school this morning and someone saw his hat and said, "A fireman!" he indignantly told me, "No, I'm SMOKEY THE BEAR!" I love that he is so confident in what he loves, unwavering and content in who he is. Even in a classroom full of little firefighters, he was proud to be the only Smokey. I pray that this sense of self, this contentedness with who he is as a special creation of God, continues for his whole life.