Tuesday, May 31, 2011

You are FABULOUS....

The journey of our gender non conforming son....where to start? Well...it began even before he was born, when his brother was a preschooler who had very well rounded preferences in toys...he enjoyed playing with stereotypical boy toys, however, he often times gravitated towards more stereotypical girl toys...did this bother us? Not in the least, toys are meant for playing, for imagination, for fun...why they need to be genderized is a concept we did not agree with. We decided it was much more important to embrace our son for his uniqueness, that his spirit was much more important than restricting what toys he selected for his play! Eventually as happens to all children as they grow, his interests changed and his Littlest P*t Shop toys and Do*a toys were left to collect dust in the back of the closet. Toys that now at almost 10 years old he would never admit to playing with!

In life there are underlying forces that help to steer us toward the right paths...this small piece of our son's life was just that...an underlying force set to educate us to follow our hearts...to embrace uniqueness...to prepare us for the battles we would encounter with our second son....the battle to educate others to be accepting, to put away their insecurities, to stop judging our son, our family, simply because he does not fit the preconceived molds of society!

From the moment Z could express his interests, before he could even speak consistently...he showed an increasingly obsessive interest in dolls, pink, sparkles, and princesses. When he was a year old he became completely and utterly devoted to The Little Merm*id! He worshiped Ariel and anything associated with her was coveted! So much so, that at 20 months old on a trip to Disney he eagerly and patiently stood in a very long line to meet his beloved princess! He was so excited when we reached the end of the line...but also so very shy. It took some coaxing to get him to take a picture with her, but then the most magical thing happened...Ariel gave Z a huge lipstick marking kiss right on his cheek! Oh...how he was so proud of that kiss...how he smiled for hours after that kiss...how he touched his cheek every so often to reclaim the memory!! To some this is just a boy in love with a princess, but oh how this goes so much further...you see he not only worships that princess but he wanted to be that princess too! How can we claim to know that...he was only a few months shy of being two...but he was an extremely verbal and bright little guy and was never afraid to speak his mind, never afraid to tell us he wanted to be a princess! Imaginative play? Maybe...but as our journey continues and we move forward Z's collection of Barbi*s increases, his affinity for all things sparkly and pink continues, his book and game selections are piled with Pinkalicious and Fairies, he asks to have his toe nails painted, he loves to dress up in crowns and jewels and dresses that twirl! He has piles of toys in his closet that appeal to both genders...he can play Leg*os with the best of them, he has amassed quite a collection of Batma*n sets...but in all honesty those toys don't often get much playtime...they are not coveted, they are not the first thing pulled from the shelf! What does this mean? Do we think our son is gay, gender confused, transgender?? Does it matter? No! What matters is that our son feels safe, accepted, and loved! What matters is that he is free to express himself without judgement, that above all he is HAPPY!! We do not have all the answers, we do not know what the future holds...he is after all only 6 years old! No matter what path his life takes we will love and accept him with all our hearts and we will continue to fight for his right to be respected, to never allow anyone to break his spirit through their bigoted judgements, and NEVER allow anyone to cloud his mind with doubt about his FABULOUSNESS!!

Judgement is not a Virtue

We are on a journey...it is my hope that this blog will be a constructive outlet for our family and others who are on similar journeys! Our journey is marked with paths that society deems different, unacceptable, weird...we choose to see them in a more positive light...unique,fabulous, authentic, diverse, inspirational!!

This blog will encompass our entire family and I hope I can keep a decent balance for everyone involved...it is not my intention to focus on one path over another, however there is a unique part of our journey that we struggle with, embrace and encounter on a daily basis. Often, that part will have a prevailing presence....it is how this blog came to be!

Our journey...both of our boys are unique in their own ways, both struggle with their place in this world and both struggle with acceptance! My oldest son, A is almost 10...he is too smart for his own good, he is technologically inclined and he is extremely sensitive. These traits are what make him so unique. We love him so much and love his kindness and ability to see the best in people, even when others really do not deserve his kindness! He is judged, we are judged because he is a perfectionist, because he cries! When he wants to share his delight in accomplishments or acquired items as most children do he is labeled a bragger...even by those who do the same. He cannot understand why he cannot be happy about what makes him happy while others can! He is just a kid...he truly seeks to share the wealth and happiness...he is truly happy for others when they share their excitements! But, all too often insecurities cloud the minds of others so they cannot see what is in the hearts of others, they want to see what they want to see, and it is often not the truth! How do you explain that to a 10 year old??

So as not to be labeled a bragger myself....and in the interest of keeping it real...his perfectionism can be exhausting...he often has irrational anxiety...he is moody...he has a sharp tongue! But let's be realistic here...our children are NOT perfect and it really pushes my buttons when another parent judges my child or my parenting! I know my children have faults....all children have faults...but it is never anyones place to judge another! In reality when you do that it just makes others think that you think your shi* doesn't stink...well let me tell you, everyone's shi* stinks!! When we as a society stop judging others because they are different, start minding our own business, stop pushing our insecurities on others we will have much more meaningful and healthy relationships....and that is the single most important thing we can teach our children!!

This journey continues with our youngest son...Z is 6...and his journey is unique and along with his brother is a major inspiration for this blog. I have much to say about his journey and it is where we hope others on similar journeys will weigh in...in our community we are alone on this path but in the world we are not, and that gives us hope! Our son does not conform to typical gender norms, he is an inspiration, he is FABULOUS and his is a story that like his brothers, deserves it's own post...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Life Outside the Box

When the world strives to conform....we strive to be ourselves!! What does that mean? Well, most may think it is a means to push buttons, to buck the trend, to defy, to have an agenda, to be purposely opposite the norm. Why, when one strives to be authentic, unique, or independent in their thinking do others feel the need to classify that as defiant? Why is uniqueness paired with a questioning of morality? Why are differences so violently rejected? Disability, gender non-conformity, social delays, sensitivity, anxiety, perfectionism...a litany of uniqueness that make up our RAINBOWS...do these unique aspects of their personalities make them or us less worthy of respect...do they warrant silent disapproval...is judgement by another just?

My mind is occupied by these thoughts on a daily basis...Why? Because, I was given a gift...an amazing life changing gift! The gift of parenting two wonderfully unique, talented, fabulous boys! They are our RAINBOWS, always on the move, always evolving, always showing us the light....and this is our journey in catching them...our journey in living Life Outside the Box!!