04 November 2010

My son likes pink

The blog post, My son is gay, by Cop's Wife at Nerdy Apple Bottom, is about a boy who wanted to dress like Daphne from Scooby Doo, and how his mother stood up to other disapproving mothers at his Christian school. I liked it for several reasons. First, kudos to the son who knew exactly what he wanted to dress up as for Halloween. This holiday is exactly about dressing up as whoever you want to be. And, second, kudos to the mother for telling others that just because he dressed up as Daphne doesn’t mean he is gay. But if he were gay, it wouldn’t matter anyways.

As parents, we have not taught our son very much about girl things versus boy things. He is very interested in cars and trucks and trains, which are typically boyish interests. However, he has a stuffed pink poodle as part of his stuffed animal menagerie. And he still enjoys grooming with the pink Barbie comb and mirror that he got with a McDonalds Happy Meal when they were out of boy toys. His favorite drinking cup at home is the pink cup from a multi-color set we have.

In fact, my son really likes pink, and we have told him, it's okay to like pink. It's a nice, happy color!

The only time I’ve ever discouraged him from something gender specific was when we were shopping for a new swim suit this last summer. We were at Costco, probably buying diapers in bulk, when we passed a table with swim suits for young children. There were two choices:

  1. Pink and yellow girls’ swimsuit with big fish on the top, smaller fish design on the bottom.
  2. Blue and green boys’ swimsuit with big surfboards on the shirt and smaller surfboard design on the trunks.
Which one do you think my son preferred? It was the girls’ swimsuit. He was drawn to it because of the fish motif. He enjoys looking at pictures of fish, and singing the Slippery Fish song. He’s never even seen a surfboard before, so why would he want that?

I talked him out of the girls swimsuit by telling him it was, in fact, a girls’ swimsuit, and it might not fit him right. He went with the boys' swimsuit without much fuss.

Did I feel guilty about it? Just a little. I wasn’t sure if the girls’ swimsuit would fit him, but I also had the fear of what other people, particularly parents, would say. Yes, I felt guilty about the fear I had.

This Halloween, I marveled at the girls dressed up as Woody and Buzz Lightyear. But I didn’t see any boys dressed up in girl costumes. I aspire to be fearless like Cop’s Wife and let my son be a kid and have fun no matter how he is dressed, or what color he prefers.

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