Wednesday, May 15, 2013
The Man in Red
He's so brave. Twelve years old, standing at the side of the busy highway, waiting for his school bus. Red from head to toes.
Sam looks like an alien. A martian who wears headphones, sneakers and a backpack. Underneath the typical schoolyard paraphernalia he's wearing a red Morphsuit. Don't worry if you've never heard of Morphsuits. I hadn't heard of them either until Sam began saying his young life would be meaningless without one.
"What do you do with a Morphsuit?" I asked.
"You run around and stuff," Sam replied. "Oh I HAVE to have one. HAVE to. Puhleeese???"
You can imagine the drama. But can you imagine the suit? Picture yourself wearing pantyhose over your head and you get the idea. It's a one-piece, flimsy, body-hugging suit that I wouldn't wear for all the tea in China. I said to my kids yesterday that, if I had a white one, I'd look like the Michelin Man.
On Sam it's not so bad. He's skinny as a rake and the suit does show off his cute little rear end. And frankly I don't care if he wears it around home all day long but he insisted on wearing it to school today. I told him it wasn't a good idea. Kids would tease him. The teacher might give him grief. I mean, you know school these days – it's hard enough surviving the chalkboard jungle without wearing a skintight red suit.
I gave him all the pros and cons (mostly cons) but let him make his own decision.
So there he stands, waiting for the bus. He's excited, I can tell, bouncing up on his toes, neon red head turned towards the hill over which the school bus will come. He hears the bus coming, turns out and waves a red hand at me and yells, "Love you!"
"Love you, too!" I say. "Have fun!"
He nods. The bus slows to a rumbly stop. The safety arm comes out, Sam's red head looks both ways and he crosses the road.
It's an hour later I can't help wonder how his day is going. Are the kids laughing with him or at him? Is he still wearing the suit? I made him pack other clothes just in case.
I have a lot of things to do today and I should get doing them. Instead, I sip on my cold coffee and think about my favourite martian. My brave little alien. My man in red.