My daughter digs olives. Not just likes, but loves. She will gladly put one on each finger and then eat them up one by one. This, she definitely gets from her dad. To her excitement, we recently learned that you can now buy olives in snack cups. She can now eat her olive jewelry on the go!
She was getting ready for school when I let her know that I had packed a cup of olives with her afternoon snack. She started to sniffle and told me that her friends had laughed at her the last time she had brought olives for a snack. Seriously, kids are now picking on each other over their afternoon snacks!?!?! So I rubbed her back and explained that they probably hadn’t seen that kind of snack before and were not laughing at her, just the food. I then asked if she wanted me to find her a different snack.
I was anxious. I didn’t want her to be laughed at or feel insecure at school. But I also wanted her to be comfortable enough with who she was, including her snack choices, to just be herself. Have I mentioned she’s only in kindergarten? I don’t even want to think about high school…
Needless to say, I was super excited when she told me she would just stick with her olives.
It’s such a small thing, and yet such a big deal at the same time. It is so easy to get lost in what everyone else expects us to be, what’s considered normal or acceptable. It was a kind of a kick in the butt reminder that it’s my job as her parent to help her find confidence in who she is, to encourage her, to build her up, to reassure her, to teach her that she is God’s unique creation.
Psalm 139:14 says “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.”
I want my children to know that they were intentionally created, with certain talents, personality traits, likes, and dislikes. They don’t have to conform to what society dictates because the creator of the universe created them specifically with a plan and a purpose, and maybe even a love for olives!