Who's that handsome guy?
We’ve been enjoying the wonderful springtime weather lately, spending most afternoons in the park after school. As a parent, it’s so fascinating to see the way your child interacts with others. H has always gotten along well with other kids his own age. He has such a generous spirit that others always seem to gravitate toward him.
At the park, he often chooses to play with the girls. I think he just feels more comfortable around them, though he’ll play with boys as well. The other day he made a new friend there, a real boy’s kind of boy…rough and tumble. I think it was good for him. He was having a blast. I find that often a new friend influences his dress choices. I found the next day, he’d picked out one of the more boyish outfits that’s he picked in a while. I try not to make comments to him either way. I don’t want him to ever feel I’m judging those choices.
This journey is one with lots of twists and turns. I’m just happy to beside as he makes his way along.
Still with sandals though...that's my H!
Do I really have to go to school?
Sometimes I think the schools give Spring Break just to be cruel to us parents. Sure, the time with you child can be great…though I know a lot of parents who would argue the opposite point of view, especially those who have to rearrange work schedules. But I’m lucky enough to have that time together with H. However, that doesn’t exempt me for the strange torture the schools had in store.
You see, the real problem is that after a week off school, no kid ever wants to go back. At least not my little bird. It’s not that he doesn’t like school, he just likes lazy mornings and a steady diet of cartoons a little bit more. Come Monday morning, it was a stream “just one more day, PLEASE” and “maybe I’m actually a little sick” and other well-practiced 6 year old fibs. It was a battle all the way to the bus.
Of course, when he came home, H couldn’t stop chatting about his day….who he played with at recess, what they played, who touched who’s arm during the Pledge, what projects they did, and how he learned an ant is “stronger than like sixty million trillion of Dad.”
I’ll make sure to warn him next time there’s ants in the kitchen.
"What? I never said I wanted to stay home"
H drew a lovely picture yesterday and I suggested he send it to his Grandmother. After all, if they can use guilt as a primary parenting tool, why can’t I use it back. Plus H gets to practice his letters 🙂
H in his Easter outfit
So the other day I mentioned that I was upset. That’s because Easter Sunday wasn’t exactly the pleasant holiday memory I was hoping for. The morning was great…but that was our time at home. In the evening we got together with my family. Needless to say, my parents aren’t exactly thrilled with my parenting choices–especially when it comes to H and gender issues.
My father is from the school of thought that boys need to be toughened up. Yeah, because that worked so well with my brother, who barely speaks to him due to all his tough love. He thinks I’m ruining my son. That’s his word, ruin. I guess in a way I’m thankful that he blames me and rarely shares his dissatisfaction in front of H. Well, that all basically went out the door the second we walked in.
After seeing H, my father took my husband aside and started mumbling under his breath. H noticed too. Usually he greets both of my parents with a hug, but this time he was reluctant. He’s six, he’s not oblivious. I wisely sent him into the living room to play with his cousins. (They are both younger and both girls and they are thrilled to play with H whenever they see each other.)
I flatly told my father that I didn’t want to hear any of it. I could tell he was fighting the urge to argue. He didn’t though. Probably because he knew I’d walk right back out. The evening went better from there. That is until later when my mother decided to confront me in the kitchen to tell me that her and my dad were only worried that H was going to be made fun of by other kids. I felt like telling her that so far, they are the only ones I’ve ever seen make him feel uncomfortable.
How could anyone not love this boy?
I never assumed this was going to be an easy process, but is it too much to ask the ones you love to be supportive? Family or not, I’m not going to let them bully me into causing my son unhappiness. I know I’m making the choices that are right for him right now. They’re just going to have to deal with it.
H counting his eggs
H has off from school this week and when he got up this morning, the first thing he did was count his Easter eggs. When I asked him why, he said he wanted to make sure the bunny didn’t take them back.
Me: Why would he do a thing like that?
H: I don’t know…sometimes when I give away candy at school, I sometimes want it back.
Me: But you don’t take it back, do you?
H: Nah, it’s usually already eaten. Then I don’t want it.
That’s probably smart advice 🙂
I’m so glad he’s with me today. Last night was a tough one. I’m too upset to get into it right now. But spending the day with my boy helps me get over it.
The Easter Bunny's gift to H
Happy Easter Everybunny! We had a lovely morning. H woke up early as expected. He was so excited, it was hard to feel tired even with only a little sleep last night. We started as always with the egg hunt. Either H is getting too clever these days or our house is getting too small because he found all the eggs in less than an hour. A new record! At least I hope he found them all…there’s always that one that begins to spoil in May 🙂
The rules in our house are one piece of candy before breakfast. H had a hard time choosing.
H: Mom? How does the Easter Bunny know all my favorite candy kinds?
Dad: Because, he’s always watching.
H: Dad! That’s Santa.
Can’t put anything past our little guy. But as I sort of expected, the candy took second place to his other gift. When he opened the present with the dress I’d got him, his eyes lit up. Again the Easter Bunny had known “just what I wanted.” That bunny sure is a smart cookie.
He raced right into his room to put it on after we ate. I watched him looking at himself in the mirror for a while without letting him know. He was so happy, it made me cry. Our little boy is so very special and in moments like these, I know I’m doing the right thing for him. I just wish others could see it.
H too busy bouncing off the walls to let me take a nice photo.
Now we must get ready to join the rest of the family for dinner. I’ve decided not to put up any fights with H over what he wears, despite the grief it may cause between me and my relatives. He’ll be wearing the same outfit he wore to the wedding two weeks ago. And if my father has anything to say about, which he might, I’ll just remind him that we’re trying to get the most out the clothes we’ve already bought. After all, frugalness is a quality he always instilled in us 🙂
H can’t wait for the Easter Bunny to come! We decorated eggs last night and then he drew this picture of the Easter Bunny. “Can I leave it for him?” he asked. He’s such a sweet boy.
H always gets one gift from the Easter Bunny in addition to candy. This year I bought him this green summer dress he pointed out in the store last week. It’s a surprise. And though some might think it’s wrong to give him such a gift, if they could see the joy in his eyes the way I will tomorrow, they’d know it’s the right thing to do. Not only will it make him happy, it will also let him know that his father and I are completely okay with who he is.
H ready to color eggs...and drinking LOTS of soda. And yes, that's his doll. He's such a good daddy to her.
Since I started this blog two weeks ago, I’ve gotten a lot of supportive comments. Thank you all so much for them. However, I’ve also gotten a lot of people telling me that I’m living in some kind of fairy tale and some how I don’t know how reality works. Really? As if I’m not the one dealing with the reality of gender confusion every day!
I guess I’m not surprised. People are afraid of things that are different. Some people have suggested that I limit H’s cross dressing to the home. I know they have the best interest of H in mind, but honestly, what does it teach him if I say this part of him needs to be hidden? It teaches him that there is something wrong when in fact there is nothing wrong with a boy wanting to express his feminine side. In fact, I’ve recently done the opposite.
In the past, as we were getting ready to go to the park or the store, I would lightly suggest to H that he might want to change. As he gets older however, I see the reluctance in him and have decided if this is who he wants to be, this is who I’ll let him be. And I can tell you from first hand experience, he’s much happier.
A sunny day in the park
H has no problem playing with other children and they seem to have no problem playing with him. When we went to the park this weekend so H could play with his new roller skates, I noticed most of the kids assumed he was a girl. The girls played with him willingly and he was fine with that. He enjoys playing with girls. But he also enjoys playing with boys.
There was one boy that initially didn’t want to play with H, because in his words, he didn’t play with girls. When H informed him that he was a boy, I grew tense. The other boy looked confused, but then sort of shrugged. He and H played just fine after that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not naive enough to assume H won’t run into any problems in his life. But if he has confidence in who he is, then I’m hopefully he’ll overcome the obstacles in his way.
H trying out his skates. He picked them out himself.
H loves to draw, but not nearly as much as I love the sweet pictures he gives me. He brought this home from school for me yesterday. It’s a picture of me (and him in the corner). These truly are the times to treasure!
Happy H on the swings.
Yesterday after school, I spent a lovely afternoon with H. I love spending time with my little guy. I can’t believe when I hear parents complain about their children. It truly amazes me, because I’d spend every moment with my son if I could. So after school, I try to spend as much quality time with him as I can.
It was a gorgeous day out, so we went to the park near the grocery store before shopping. I always enjoy watching how inquisitive H’s mind is. At one point we saw a ladybug and H scrunched up his nose in thought before turning to me:
H: Mom? Why are ladybugs called ladybugs? Are they are all ladies?
A very good question indeed and one I’m afraid to say I had to look up the answer to. But it amazes me how gender is always on his mind. It worries me sometimes because I fear it will become all consuming to him. On the other hand, I admire his curiousness. I feel my role as a parent is to encourage his curiosity. And when it comes to gender issues, I’d rather he ask than keep it bottled up.
I feel as though lately, he’s been growing into his own person with his own sense of style and creativity. He’s confident and happy and I’d like to think part of that is our willingness to let him express himself however he feels. I’ve been letting him pick out his own clothes for school recently, though I haven’t let him wear dresses or skirts. It’s not that I worry about the other kids or his teachers. They are all very wonderful. I’m more worried about the other parents when their kids come home to tell them “H wore a dress today, and he’s a boy!” I guess that’s more a reflection on me and I suppose I have some things to learn from my son and his carefree attitude.
His hair is getting so long. Personally, I think it's quite cute.