Get a load of this kid. Can you even handle the color coordination, from the shoes to the necklace!? It’s not my doing – I promise. He has been dictating his wardrobe, concerned with every little detail and color combo, since he could talk. He goes through phases: no jeans, only jeans, no logos, all logos…we can’t keep up.

But I can tell you that what he wears affects his mood like nothing I’ve ever seen. He is highly sensitive, this one. Inside and out. If a tag is bothering him or his colors don’t match precisely, he’s crabby all day. Sometimes, he just wants to put on pajama pants for several hours to feel the softness against his skin.

What he wears has nothing to do with fads or trends; it’s about how the clothes make him feel. Yesterday, we went shoe shopping and he fell head over heels for these black-and-red high-tops. I had to have a serious talk with him in the shoe store, reminding him they wouldn’t match everything – and that he’ll need to wear them anyway.

And then, the insecure fourth grader in me – the one who had to have Guess jeans and friendship pins in my laces because that’s what the cool people wore – asked the dumbest question ever: “Are you sure you don’t want to wait and see what everybody else is wearing before you choose your shoes?”

He looked at me like I was crazy. “You know I don’t care what everybody else is wearing! They’re cool to me.”

Enough said. Shoes purchased. Kid beaming. Mama heart thumping with pride.

This morning, he strutted to the bus stop for his first day of fourth grade, feeling fantastic. He kissed us goodbye, gave us the peace sign and waved from the bus window. There’s no doubt: he’s the coolest kid I know.