A day (actually 3 months ish) late.

3 Feb

This blog post by Nerdy Apple Bottom went viral back in November.  I laughed, I cried and it got my brain moving (which really is a feat these days).

I love that Boo dressed as Daphne and I commend Nerdy Apple for encouraging her son to be the boy he wants to be.  Had I seen him enter into school in his costume I would have been utterly charmed and would have high fived his mother on my way in. 

Her post struck so many chords with me.  Maybe because my little boy has a big sister and he really digs all of her things.  His “lovey” is a pink blanket that MM never really cared for. 

Of course, he’s still a baby but he really, really loves that blanket.  Like a lot.  Do I need to worry about him dragging that sucker into school and listening to a rude mom make a snarky comment?  I certainly hope  not.

Generally speaking, MM is all girl.  Her hobbies include walking around the house looking for “princess stuff”.  Princess stuff can be anything from plastic dress up shoes to a pink ribbon to a purple bouncy ball.  Pretty much whatever strikes her fancy.  She loves pink and purple and anything that sparkles (much like a magpie).  I fully expected my girlie to want to be a ballerina or a princess or something along those likes for Halloween but she surprised me when she said she wanted a Batman costume.  Pink Batman.

Forgive the awful picture. 

When we walked into school she saw her friends in their princess atire and I felt her hesitate.  She was starting to feel self conscious and I wasn’t quite sure what to do.  It seems like not quite 3 is so, so young to have to worry about self esteem but that’s the world we live in.  I gave her a huge hug and told her I loved her.  I reminded her that Grandma made her costume and that she was going to have so much fun at the school party.  Apparently that was enough to get her through her hesitation because she took off and played with her friends and  seemingly didn’t give her lack of princessness another thought. 

I tried (and am still trying) to be thoughtful about gender issues.  Having one of each gender makes it both easier and harder, especially since they’re close in age and are still developing their personalities.  When MM was our only we conscientiously purchased toys for her that would appeal to “boys” and “girls”.  She has baby dolls and trucks and a non-pink kitchen and enough blocks to construct her own private superdome.  As she’s gotten older she shows a clear preference for “girl” things.  And blocks.  But mostly “girl” stuff.

And so does MC.  Don’t get me wrong, he’ll pick up a truck and make cute little “vroom” sound effects but at the ripe old age of 14 months he’ll grab for the pink and shiny over blue and manly time and time again.  Will that change over time?  I don’t know.  I personally don’t care if he grows up and wants butterflies stenciled on his walls but my heart hurt thinking about how much harder his path through life will be.  The pain I felt watching MM’s little lip start to quiver when I took her to school in her Batman costume was hard.  It hit me then that as my children grow the issues we face will only get harder and more complicated.  The joy will increase but so will the sorrow. 

As lovely as it would be to keep them as babies forever…

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