Boy Inspires Life Lesson by Wearing a Ninja Costume to Graduation

Max stands out in his costume. (Photo: Jen Martinez)

A 5-year-old boy caught the attention of his classroom — and the admiration of his parents — when he showed up to his preschool’s year-end celebration dressed as a ninja.

Max Martinez is one of 14 students in his class at A Child’s Garden in Albuquerque, N.M., where they recently celebrated their graduation from pre-K to kindergarten. And from the looks of a video posted on Twitter, there seems to have been a hilarious misunderstanding regarding the dress code.


Standing at the back of the line, Max was the only person in his class who wore a head-to-toe costume with a prop in hand — the outfit that his mother, Jen, tells Yahoo Style he was already wearing when she went to help him get ready in the morning. She initially tried to talk him into wearing something more appropriate, but quickly obliged to her son, who explained that the teacher told him they could “dress up.”

“I responded that I was sure she meant ‘dress up’ as in wearing fancy clothes and not a costume, but Max insisted that Ms. Sara said it was OK and that all of the kids in his class were wearing costumes,” Jen said, adding that she still brought a change of clothes for her son, just in case.

When arriving at the school for the event that evening, it seemed as though the change of clothes might come in handy when Max’s parents realized that his outfit stood out from the rest. But as their son joined the crowd completely unfazed, they realized that remaining confident in his unconventional look would be a positive experience for their son.

As the students lined up at the podium to tell their family and friends what they wanted to be when they grow up, a number of kids behind Max stated that they wanted to be ninjas. The sentiment was one that Jen expressed as an example of the positive feedback he received from classmates and other families. However, it wouldn’t compare to the reaction they had after having a conversation with his teacher.

“Afterward we were taking photos of the kids, and Ms. Sara confirmed that the day before all of the kids came up with the plan to wear their costumes to the event,” Jen says. “I was very proud of Max. I thought, Max is the kind of friend you want in life! He sticks to the plan and is not afraid!”

The enthusiasm that exuded from their child that night translated into a lesson that Jen’s husband, Raphael, ended up teaching at the Albuquerque Sign Language Academy (ASLA) – a school that he helped found for students hard of hearing, like their older son, Ben.

“At the ASLA’s year-end awards ceremony, my husband told this story about Max and his ninja costume and used it to illustrate important life lessons,” Jen says.

A lesson in being comfortable with yourself, regardless of how much you may stand out.

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