Before having Q, I recall occasionally seeing a child walking down the street in some odd or seemingly inappropriate get-up - perhaps wearing a pirate costume (nowhere close to Halloween) or a bathing suit with rain boots on a nice spring day, and I would wonder what was going on.
Since having Q, I no longer wonder. The answer has become clear, and for me it lies somewhere between "pick your battles" and "does it really hurt anyone"?
I had a good example of this today. Q has for some reason got it into his head that Easter is the greatest holiday ever and has spent the past few days talking about how the Easter Bunny will visit us next month. Today he scored the mother lode at the art store when he asked me to buy him a pair of bunny ears (think hair band with bunny ears attached). He then proceeded to wear said bunny ears for the rest of the day - including while we played tennis for an hour, and for our walk through downtown Boulder.
As we walked through town, we got many amused looks from people on the street, and Q took any opportunity that presented itself to explain to passersby the glories of the Easter Bunny (as well as EB's friend Bugs Bunny - all bunnies are apparently friends). Experiences like this make me very aware just how much we often conform to what's "normal." I'm not saying that I have a deep longing to roam around town in bunny ears, but I guess it would be kind of nice if some of the same eccentricities we allow for children were more acceptable in adults. Maybe that's one of the perks of having a kid - you get to experience a lot more freedom of expression, get over the uptight concern of "what will people think?" and generally let your freak flag fly. If I walk down the street with Q singing "The Yellow Submarine," people smile. If I walk down the street singing it by myself, people cross the street or try not to make eye contact. (okay, I'm projecting here, I've never actually walked down the street singing anything.)
It made me think of the Richard Feynman book, "What do you care what other people think?". Feynman fared well for himself pursuing a less orthodox approach to things, as he chronicled in his various books. For me, this book's title is a good question to reflect upon occasionally.