Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Beware the Vanilla People!

Over dinner this weekend, my son announced with open pride, “I’m the most different kid in my class!”

It’s both thrilling and heartbreaking to hear those words uttered from your child’s mouth. Thrilling because you’ve done your job in ensuring that he understands how special he is and isn’t conforming, but heartbreaking because you know you can never fully protect him from the Vanilla people.

My son is a Rocky Road in a world of Vanilla. (Albeit, the world is becoming more Chocolate than it was when I was a kid, but it’s still not Rocky Road). Vanilla is middle of the road – don’t stick out, bland, fine, good enough, part of the pack. Chocolate is a little more different – but a different that is widely accepted, like being “gifted”. Rocky Road stands out. Rocky Road is different, especially when it’s surrounded by Vanilla. There’s no hiding when you’re Rocky Road. Sure, select groups (usually other weird flavors) REALLY like you, but you’re not the same, and that makes you a target.

Vanilla people don’t “get” Rocky Road people, especially when they’re kids. Vanilla people want to find ways to make Rocky Road people like them. They want to pick away all the bits of marshmallow, nuts, and chocolate chips until they’re just Vanilla. Vanilla moms confide to you that their son was Rocky Road too, but they gave them Drug X, and now they’re Vanilla. Vanilla people think that it’s bad to be Rocky Road.

But if you look at all the really great historical figures – they were all weird flavors. People didn’t “get” them. What would Einstein, Quentin Tarantino, Tolkien, Galileo, Steven Hawking, Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Steve Jobs, or countless other creative minds be if we’d tried to make them Vanilla? Without Rocky Road, where would we be? I shiver at the thought of a world without crazy flavors.

I’m so proud to have a Rocky Road child. May no one ever scrape away all the bits that make him unique!


At 10:56 PM, Blogger Amelia said...

Oh how right you are! How boring the world would be with only one flavour.

I am happy to say two of my three boys are also Rocky Road. I had a teacher try to recommend medicine to make my eldest more vanilla. Why? because he kept getting out of his seat at 8 years old to sharpen his pencil!I resisted the vanilla path and he's soon to be a young Rocky Road man.

So you should be proud of your unique Rocky Road boy! :)

At 1:00 AM, Blogger cleolove said...

Thank goodness for enlightened parents like you, your beautiful, Rocky Road son will change the world, as you have.

Peace & Love,

At 12:10 PM, Blogger Wheelson said...

I often wonder how I would have turned out had my parents been cool with encouraging me to be rocky road rather than vanilla. Oh well, at least I've been able to figure out what flavor I am after I left home.

I'm Rum Raisin...in a waffle cone of course.

Seriously, how lucky for your kids to have parents who are supportive of them for who THEY are, rather than supporting them when they're like who YOU think they should be.

At 1:32 PM, Blogger Trillian said...

Thanks for your words of encouragement! I appreciate them muchly.

At 1:44 PM, Blogger Carmi said...

The world would be a horrible place without the unique souls who elevate us from those who simply exist to those who live vigorously. It's wonderful that your little guy has realized it so early in life. Maybe that's why our kids play so well together!

At 10:34 PM, Blogger Rich Rosenthal II said...

Brown Cow. Mmmm Mmmm good. And wonderfull for desert shakes. just pack a blender with brown cown and you have all the chocolate you need. Maybe add some rum regular or coconut, frangelica would be nice or khalua. Irish cream if you must. blend. enjoy.

At 12:43 AM, Blogger eebahgum! said...

I'm a Wicked Chocolate with chocolate Chips on my shoulders and gradually melting into a waffle cone.

But I think you may be Boysenberry Swirl!

Keep up the great writing,

At 11:59 AM, Blogger Sherocious said...

Hey - I like your site! I apprecite a talented writer. And I love the analogy of a rocky road child. My son is only 8 months old, but I am already encouraging his individuality in many ways! Keep up the great work!

At 10:59 PM, Blogger Librarian Babe said...

The world needs more rocky road! Vanilla is flooding the world, often disguised under a bit of hot fudge, but vanilla nonetheless.

Me, I'm mint chocolate cookie! A delightful sweet but with a surprisingly piquant and decadent flavor.

I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog using the "next blog" feature.

At 11:21 AM, Blogger Trillian said...

Thanks for all of your comments. It's great to get new readers on the site. I'll be sure to check out your blogs.

Me: Hmmm. Boysenberry Swirl? Thank you!

Wheelson: Waffle cones are a must!


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