Honestly, he doesn’t do much. Most of the time he sits on a rock or floats aimlessly in the water. But that doesn’t stop people from looking on in awe.
It’s a good kind of awe, I’ve realized. They’re not laughing at the freak of an alligator because he’s different. They’re admiring him. His beauty, his strength, his individuality.
And to me, Claude’s become more than an unusual reptile. He’s become a lesson in parenting, a reminder of things I want my kids to know. Things like…
Our differences can be our assets.
What you look like on the outside doesn’t change your true character.
While blending in is safe, standing out is much more exciting.
It’s important to surround yourself by people who think you’re totally fascinating.
Home is where people know your weaknesses, but celebrate your strengths.
I’ll admit, there are times as a mom that I’m not so great at remembering or teaching these lessons. I find myself thinking it would be so much easier—for them—if my kids were more like their peers. Reaching the same milestones. Making the same friends. Keeping their cool.
It’s then that I try to think of Claude. And to remember that if they were more like everybody else, the world would be missing out on these utterly unique creatures that I get to have by my side each and every day.