He wants to wear a purse, so what?!
I don’t know where to begin. This holiday revealed many things:
- We are currently going through a family crisis that I have yet to write about, and not sure if I will. We have been resilient and supportive of one another.
- My husband revealed something that shook me to my core, and made me appreciate him that much more as a person. I’ll get to that in a bit.
- My son may or may not like to wear purses, and I’m okay with this. He is three years old.
For Christmas, my little girl received a toy purse gift set which included a purse, pretend lipstick, cellphone, and credit card.
Because of situation number 1 from above, I was not with my family for the holidays. Because of this, we Duo’ed the opening of our gifts and eating of our meal.
At some point, the camera was facing away from me so I wasn’t able to see anything, but I heard this exchange between my son and his Granny:
Granny: No, you can’t wear a purse. This purse is for Jellybean. Only girls wear purses.
Son: mumbled reply.
A few minutes later I heard her gently explain the same thing again.
I couldn’t see if my son kept picking up the purse and was trying to wear it as an accessory or if he was just curious about it and it’s contents in general.
As I listened, I realized that I wholeheartedly disagreed with what she was saying. I didn’t care if he wanted to wear a purse or not. He is 3, and probably doesn’t even know what a “purse” is. To him, it may be a colorful bag that he wants to play with. I feel that any negative significance about him wearing a purse is from the identity that is placed upon it, not because it’s wrong for him as a boy to wear purses.
I also realized that I had no clue about what my husband felt about this – boys wearing purses, our children’s sexual preferences, their gender identity– we had never talked about any of it.
I knew that my conversation with Granny about this would have to be in person. But I also wanted to know my husband’s position before I approached her. Would I be alone or would I have his support through it all?
Later, I told him about the incident and asked him his thoughts. Here is when he shocked the crap out of me.
One of my concerns is that if any of our kids are gay or transgender or whatever, they will already have to battle the world– I don’t want them feeling like they have to be at war with their family too. We should be their safe haven. A place where they are accepted regardless of anything going on in their lives or their preferences.
I was starting to ramble, afraid of what his answer would be.
He didn’t even let me finish my statements when he said, “I don’t care who they are with or what they do, as long as they’re happy. I agree, they shouldn’t feel like their family is fighting against them.”
I didn’t even know I was holding my breath. I love him, but this could’ve been a make or break for our relationship. Put simply, I was unwilling to budge on anything but total acceptance of who our kids want to be or what they identify as. In the back of my mind I knew his answer would signify a defining moment for us when I asked the question.
He chided me for even “thinking I would think differently.”
I know I can’t protect my children from every bad and negative thing in the world. I’m hoping that as they learn more about who they are, they are willing to accept and love their authentic selves. I believe teaching them to love themselves and have high self esteem will be a tough job for us as parents, but I think overall, if they know and understand that we love them, it will somehow make their life discoveries a little easier to handle.
As for my son, I will encourage him to confidently wear what he wants.