Monday, June 20, 2011

A Week In The Life...

And it was

Which is really not my thing. At all. Which is slightly ironic for somebody who champions her son's love of all things princess and pink.

But, really. Pink and I just don't really mesh. I've never loved it and tend to stray from it in most aspects of my life except fruity cocktails. My wardrobe is a muted mix of greens, browns and blues with the occasional shade of purple or maroon tossed in for good measure. But rarely will you ever see pink in there. (Okay, I'll cop to a salmon colored v-neck shirt that mostly gets worn to sleep).

When I paint my toenails, I usually opt for metallic purple, turquoise or green. Sometimes I'll go crazy and opt for gold or silver. The only reason I even have pinks or red in my polish collection are from holdovers from when I volunteered at a retirement center and would give manicures to the residents (who loooooooooooved a deep, vampy red or soft, coral pink).

And yet, despite my apparent aversion to the color, bits of pink have been slipping into my life...mostly through EZ. Last week, more than most, proved that.

Earlier in the week it was rainy, so we decided to paint nails together to pass the time. He insisted on rainbow toes.
I, on the other hand was debating between a dark, shimmery plum color and a matte chartreuse. EZ wouldn't hear of it.

"Pink!" he demanded, and I shook my head, fierce in my refusal.

"But it will look so prettttttty. You'll look so pretty, Ima."

Then he did something crazy where his eyes grew two sizes and his already plump bottom lip pouted out even further and I...caved.

And you know what? It's not horrible kind of cute. I still look down at my toes and think they're somebody else's every so often, but the pink is actually, dare I say it, growing on me. But, as polish is easily removable, we'll see how long it lasts. But let it not be said that I don't try new things, or try to act outside the box (or I guess act inside the gender construct box in this case!)

The pink parade didn't end there, however.

Midweek EZ hung out with my friend and her daughter, running errands. He came home all excited to show me his new swim vest. We had been borrowing one from another friend, so I was curious as to why he needed this one.

"Because it's pink!" he exclaimed as if that made all the difference.

Splashing at a pool party at the end of the week

In fact, as I was told later. He not only wore it all throughout the store, but at Trader Joe's as well. When I asked him why he chose that specific one, I was surprised to hear that the answer was "flowers" rather than just "pink."

The pink swim vest has been a constant ever since then, and not only at the pool. It's accompanied us out on errands (just in case we run into a surprise swimming hole?) and I have to say that like my painted nails, it's grown on me. When my kid looks that darn cute in it, it's hard not to dig it just a little bit...even if it is pink.

Perhaps this is the summer of pink. Where I let my own prejudices go and learn to accept this oft maligned (at least in my mind) color. Who knows, by the end of August you just might find me sporting a look that even Barbie would envy.

Or not. 


Melissa Wardy said...

I really love that you let your son be his own person in this world, free of stereotypes and prejudices. My 3yo son loves pink, too.

As my kids would say, "Colors are for everybody." If only the world were as clever as our children.

MagicMadzik said...

I've been reading the archives for your blog and felt that this was the right post to comment on expressing my thanks. Thank you for raising your son in the spirit of gender equality. He and others like him will help shape a better future for all of us. Oh, this sounds so pompous, but it's true. I don't have any children myself, so I can only praise those who do their part.

The way we are raised impacts the way we think- even if we don't have aggressively sexist ideologies impressed upon us, when we grow up in a world where boys just aren't supposed to like pink, we find it coded into our behaviour later. It's terrifying to realise that when I read about your son wanting a pink vest with flowers, my first thought was : "Huh! That's unusual."

No, it isn't unusual, we have MADE it unusual. Why was that even my first thought, when I know and understand that gender does not limit one's aesthetic choices? Why am I thinking like someone else, like someone I am not? Because I was raised in a world where few people even considered an alternative...and those who did had to go out of their way.

And you still do. And I thank you for it. Thank you for going out of your way to counter this ridiculous tradition of dividing colours, toys and activities by gender. Thank you also for doing it in a calm way that does not create alternative barriers.