While at the Columbia outlet store our son spied a bright pink water bottle. “Mommy I want that.” I picked up the bottle, eyed the price, and told him he could have it. The cashier eyed our exchange and asked, “Are you sure you want that one? We have blue ones too.” Knowing full well what type of societal norms were behind her statement I asked Aaron, “You like pink right?” He responded happily, “Yes!” I placed the water bottle on the counter. The girl looked a bit taken aback; but proceeded to ring up my items.
Why do people do this? Why do people have a problem with my son liking pink? Ask him what his favorite colors are and he will say pink and purple. Those are great colors so why is there a problem when he finds something that he likes that is in that color? Ohh yes – because he is a boy. So this also means that my love of the color blue is shameful too right?
If you have an issue with boys who like yellow and pink and purple keep it to yourself. If you have a problem with our son loving the Tinkerbell movie, keep it to yourself. If you don’t understand why we would allow our son to have a play stove and kid sized cooking supplies…..you guessed it, keep it to yourself.
Our family is not one for traditional gender roles, societal stereotypes, or anything else for that matter that puts any of us in pre-designed boxes. Women aren’t physically capable of being faster than men- I proved that wrong with my ergometer times in college when I was on crew. There are no black pilots – Really? Because I think my husband is one.
That kid can like whatever he wants to, as long as it isn’t crack or any other addictive drug. He can dress however he wants to; although I refuse to let him wear his already worn/filthy Superman t-shirt no matter how much he cries for it. And he can sing whatever he wants to. Is he humming that song from Frozen again? He marches to the beat of his own drummer. He is a little bit of me, a little bit of his father, and all Aaron. His towering Lego creations, sick dance moves, and tasty kitchen creations make him who he is. Instead of trying to make him conform to some antiquated rules, I let him explore and celebrate all of life. He is only three years old you know. I want his sense of self to be strong, and for him to learn to make his own choices without influence or fear of oppression. He only has one life and it should be the one that he wants.
So go out and get your own pink water bottle. Or heck, get the blue one if that’s the one that floats your boat. It is after all, up to you.