On my way home from picking up new classroom keys on campus today, I stopped at Kroger to put away some shopping carts. I do this occasionally because I can count it as a Good Deed For The Universe and (bigger reason) because I'm OCD and hate seeing shopping carts left all willy-nilly around a parking lot. Oh, by the way, if you are one of those people who do not return their carts or put them away in the cart corral, STOP READING NOW BECAUSE WE CANNOT BE FRIENDS. That shit is the height of laziness, and I just can't take it.
Anyway, as I was gathering up carts, I started thinking about my kids and how it doesn't even occur to them to NOT put the cart in the proper place when we are finished with it at the store. I was mentally high-fiving myself when my brain moved onto a conversation I had had with Sutton yesterday morning while watching "What Not To Wear" before school. Most mornings, he and I have time to just hang out and catch up a bit on life every morning after Belly is gone and before he has to go catch the bus, but every now and then when active thought is too much to handle (neither of us is a morning person, so this happens from time to time) I will flip on the tv and we'll watch a few minutes of whatever happens to be on and talk about that instead. This was one of those mornings.
The show that day featured a tiny little Asian girl, 23-years old, who had a bad habit of dressing like a male hobo from the 1950s. Sort of like a homeless character on "Mad Men". Since I had never seen "What Not To Wear" before and only knew of it from commercials, I don't know much about the designers, but they did a pretty decent job of taking this cute young lady and making her look adorable and fashionable and all that stuff that is the point of makeover shows. When they got to her hair makeover, they decided to take her long, bleached-platinum blond hair and shape it up, give her bangs, and dye it hot pink. Sutton found this very displeasing. The conversation went something like this:
Sutt: Well, they made her clothes look good, but WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT TO HER HAIR?
Me: What do you mean? Give her bangs? Yeah, I'm not a big fan of those bangs either.
Sutt: No. What are bangs? I mean the PINK part. I do NOT like hot pink hair.
Me: Is it because it's pink, or do you mean, like, any weird color?
Sutt: ANY weird color. I don't like hair that doesn't look like hair. IT ISN'T NATURAL. PEOPLE AREN'T SUPPOSED TO HAVE PINK HAIR.
I was kind of surprised to hear Sutt's thoughts on this, (although I shouldn't be, because I have learned that although you have to drag them out of him, the kid has incredibly strong opinions on EVERYTHING, he just keeps them close to the vest) mostly because I figured that, being a 10-year-old boy, he hadn't put much thought into the new vibrant hair color trends, but also because I didn't realize Sutt was so judgmental. Then I thought, but wait-- is that being judgmental, or just having a preference? I CAN'T TELL THE DIFFERENCE. And then I thought-- if he's being judgmental, where did it come from? Are B and I judgmental? (I don't think we are, and if we are, we definitely don't go around saying it out loud. But then, neither did Sutt.)
A Medium once told me (yeah, you read that right) that our personalities are only so much the result of nature OR nurture, but some of it just comes from us being the Soul that we are. It doesn't matter what DNA our parents passed down to us or where and how they raised us, we just ARE the Soul that God created. Sometimes I think about that when I look at my kids and I think, "Whoa."
It is my biology or my upbringing or Jesus that makes me need to return shopping carts compulsively? Who or what makes Sutt prefer non-pink hair? How did any of us become what we are? I can't answer any of those questions, but I can tell you-- it's something I'm thinking about.