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DECEMBER 2004
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Follow the Leader
By Tammie Smith

My husband stamped the snow off of his boots and shook the flurries out of his brown hair, stopping as he caught sight of our three-year-old son. "Honey" he asked, "why is Corbin dressed in girl clothes?"

His question was valid: our son danced around the living room in a purple tutu, high heels and a sparkling pink feather boa; not exactly an outfit to instill a manly image in the heart of a little boyís father.

My husband's idea of boy play doesn't include dress up clothes. He believes that boys should do boy things like football, soccer and baseball. Boys should be tough, according to my husband. I guess every father has visions of their sons running the ball down the field and these visions don't include a purple tutu.

My daughter smiled a bright smile at her father and said, "I dressed Corbin up in my dress up clothes that I got for Christmas." With many giggles she continued, "Isn't he so pretty?"

I am not worried about Corbin being warped by my daughter's fashion sense. I know my son is all boy, because he has the scrapes and bruises to prove it; and if I had any reservations, they were cancelled when he tackled his sister, tutu and all, just because she was standing there.

I am sure as he gets older he will not remember being his sister's dress up doll. Of course, we can always remind him, since we do have pictures from this perfect photo op. Giggling to myself, I think, I am sure that these pictures will come in handy someday. I believe the pictures will look great in his high school annual under the "guess the baby" section.

I had been so surprised that Corbin had stood perfectly still while Tori dressed him because he never stood still for me. Standing still is not something Corbin does often, but he was happy just to be the center of his big sisterís world, even if it was only for a little while.

"Wait Corbin. You need to wear these shoes. They will make you look marvelous," she had told him. "Now hurry up; we have to show Mommy. She will be so happy that she now has two little girls and not a stinky little boy!" My daughter fully believed that a little sister would have been much more fun.

What my daughter was doing, in her childlike innocence, was what many adults do: change a person to fit in with their perception of what is right. I recognized it, because in my spiritual childhood, I was often on the receiving end.

Over the years I have been in many sticky situations because I followed someone elseís lead. When I was a baby Christian, I went to a church that believed a person had to earn their right into Heaven.

As I grew and matured, I learned that we canít follow others blindly; we must hold everything up to the light of the Word, and I began studying Godís Word for myself. I realized that we didnít have to do anything more than accept Jesus into our heart. It was that simple.

I have also been in my daughter's shoes. I have over the years tried to change my husband to be the man I thought he should be. After many failed attempts, I finally came to realize that I have to change myself through prayer, instead of trying to change others.

Corbin was dancing around the room in his tutu singing, "Check me out." This is the saying his sister sings when she thinks she looks great. He thought that he was the bomb.

Laughing to myself, I have also thought I looked good when in fact I didn't. My mirror seems to lie to me often. A friend once thought I should buy an outfit that was purple from head to toe. I did as she suggested and wore the outfit out one night. Pictures were taken and when I saw the photos, I just had to laugh. I looked like a great big grape.

Although this trusted confidant had my best interest at heart, everyone makes mistakes. They are only human. We should turn to God for our guidance, just as the wise men did so long ago.

One starry winter night, long ago, three wise men followed a star, though many might have tried to dissuade them. They stuck to their path, listened to their God, and found the road that led them to the Christ child.

Luckily, fashion wasn't such a big deal then, the wise men didn't have to worry about their big sister's definition of marvelous. I guess it would have been really itchy for the camels had the wise men worn the tutus.
Tammie Smith is a US Army wife, mother, and writer living in Germany. She is a member of the Protestant Women of the Chapel and The Christian Writers Guild. You can contact her or see more of her writings at her website http://writtenwithlove.evangel-list.com.


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