Something tragic, well to me, happened this past Thursday. A normal Thursday to boot – I dropped Jace off at daycare a little earlier than usual because I had a client meeting in Pasadena, but still normal nonetheless. Me fighting to get him to wake up, fighting to get him to put on some clothes, trying to pry his mouth open so I could brush his tiny teeth – you know, the norm. Had an awesome meeting, and as a result, got to leave Pasadena a little earlier than expected in the afternoon. I went home to change into something a little more comfortable and to grab Jace Michael’s “diaper bag” (we were going to a friend’s house) before heading to scoop him up.
I walk through his classroom door only to find that the little nuggets were out on the playground. I opened the door to outside, searching for my kid. Looked high and low – all over the playground. Just then, a sweet voice and warm body attached itself to my legs while screaming “Mommy!” I knew it was Jace! I reached down to pick him up, and to my surprise Jace Michael was decked out in a pink and orange, floral printed, peplum top with an orange bow to accent his waist.
Double-you. Tee. Eff.
My first reaction, you ask? All I could do was fall to my knees and laugh. The juxtaposition of his boyish Mohawk haircut and this floral peplum top brought funny-tears to my eyes. My little man was so happy to see me – he didn’t even notice that his clothing no longer matched his God-given masculinity.
His teachers said that he got his shirt wet during lunch, and since he didn’t have any extra shirts from home (Only 2 pairs of shorts. I forgot to replace the shirts) they had to put him in the only extra shirt they had available. My heart sank for a moment. I set my little boy up for possible ridicule because I didn’t replenish his shirt supply (he’s a messy kid). Or so I thought.
You see, Jace was fine. I was the one with the issue. Still continuing to play with his trucks, cars and doing things that little, 2-year-old boys do. I was festering on the inside once I started to think about what other passing parents in the daycare would say, or how they would look at me and my little boy as we exited. I was embarrassed.
Jace was fine.
He was healthy, happy and fine. He was safe, full and loved.
Happy and actively, as we chilled with our friends, Jace continued to laugh, talk and play with his cars and trucks… In his floral printed peplum top. He wasn’t affected. He didn’t even care – after all, it’s just a freaking shirt.
Putting my expectations of what a “man” should wear on my baby boy won’t do anything but stunt his creativity. Not saying that I’ll purchase girly clothing purposely for Jace Michael, but I can’t let the fear of what others may say or think stop him from spreading his wings and becoming the person he’s destined to be.
Ask Jace what his favorite colors are and 9 times out of 10 he’ll name a combination of blue, purple or pink. Does liking purple or pink make him any less of a man? Will being particular about the way he looks make him, God forbid, gay? If you were to ask me this a week ago, I would’ve answered with all sincerity “absolutely not. That’s nonsense!”… But after experiencing my own gender role mishap, I can’t say that the latter didn’t cross my mind at least once.
I’m going to burn that top.