Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Advice Needed...

Have you felt the need to tell your child's school/teacher about their gender creativity?

What did you tell them? How did you approach the subject? What were their reactions?

We are grappling with this issue as the coming school year is fast approaching....as Z has been seen by more and more kiddos sporting his toe nail polish out in the community we are concerned about the implications of that as these same children see him in school....most specifically bullying! We want to be proactive but are concerned about "outing" our child to grown ups that may not understand this journey! Z is very cautious with his gender creativity outside of our home, especially within the school environment. We want to make sure that whatever we decide it has a positive outcome.


Why does he have to be brave every time he leaves the house? Why can't he go to the library without having to worry about someone noticing his painted toes? Why can't he carry his Barbies through the store without being stared at? Why can't he ask for a doll, or a princess toy in his Happy Meal without having to defend his choice of toy? Why does he have to change out of his dress up clothes, necklaces and princess crowns because someone rings the doorbell? Why are people so mean, condescending, disdainful? He is not weird....he is not contagious...he is a little boy and he has feelings! He should not be afraid of what others will think, he should not have to be brave every time he leaves the house because his toe nails are painted!! He should be respected, accepted, carefree! Why do we live in a society where children are ridiculed simply for their choice of toy?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Struggle with Balance

Iridescent nail polish, glittery hair sprays, sparkly headbands, cast off blouses turned into dresses, fancy purses, shiny necklaces, glittering rings, feathery boas, beautiful princess dolls, purple unicorn pillows....what most would expect to see littering the floors of countless children's bedrooms around the globe! But would you expect to see that in my house...a house filled with boys...a house where I am the only female present? Probably not...but you will! And it's all good...however the balance between acceptance and the realities of societal norms has not always been easy! Proud mom moments are not always easy to come by! It takes so much strength to journey on a path that is choked with weeds....weeds that want to pull you in a million different directions....giving you unwarranted advice on the decisions you are making...whispering snide comments that they think you cannot hear!

Caring about what other people think of me has never been a high priority in my life, but the venom in hurtful words is still painful! In all honesty it can sometimes be difficult to maintain the strength needed to leave the house with my son wearing flip flops sporting hot pink toe nail polish! Wearing toe nail polish brings such joy to Z, he loves the beauty it brings to him. I love the smiles that beauty creates on his face! I really don't care what other people think when they see his toes, but I do care that their opinions are loud enough for my son to hear. I do care that he can see the look of disdain on their faces! The sad reality, 90% of the time, these comments and stares are incited by grown ups!!! On a good day I can ignore with the best of them, but on other days it can get to you, especially when it is a friend or acquaintance I have unwittingly witnessed whispering behind their hands!

This is where I struggle with balance....between encouraging Z to be himself, but also wanting to keep him safe and protected! No one wants to see their child be ridiculed, bullied, laughed at, pointed at! But how do I explain to a six year old that mommy and daddy are secure in his uniqueness but others may not be? How do I explain the hatred and insecurities of others without making him fearful and insecure of his choices? What can I say to him when he asks me to paint his toenails for him and then I see him curling his toes up during TaeKwondo class because the confidence he had in painting them has slipped a little and he is worried what the other kids may say? Balance is a struggle!!