My five-year-old nephew Gavin is totally obsessed with being a pirate. When we go in public he wears a bandana and a pirate hat. He even wears a holster for his sword. His dad gave him an old leather belt that he wears over one shoulder, across his chest. He usually gets some reaction from well-meaning adults who feel like they are playing along with his dressing up when they comment, “Nice hat captain!” But I don’t think he sees it as dressing up. In his mind, he is a pirate and this is just what pirates wear.
Gavin is a unique and beloved children of God. At age five he is free to express hisown truths and be authentic—even when pretending to be the fictional character, Jack Sparrow. I can see that he is revealing who he really is—creative and focused. I want to encourage him in that—and I hope other adults will nurture that creativity and authenticity in him.
I pray that as adults, we will celebrate and encourage all children to remain true to themselves and that we will encourage them to use the gifts that God has given them.