Monday, February 3, 2014

Mud and Pink Tutus

"A few girls at school and their mothers have matching necklaces. Could we get matching ones as well?"

My son, whom we shall call Teddy, looked at me with his inquisitive eyes.

"Sure!" I tried to find mother and son necklace sets on Etsy, which is my go-to place for all things unique. Nothing quite fit the bill. The mother and son sets were in the form of a necklace and a matching keychain rather than two matching necklaces as my son wanted. I expanded the search to also include mother and daughter necklace sets.

"What do you think of this one?" I showed him a picture of a necklace set that had a silver circle with a hollow star shape in the middle along with a matching star charm.

Teddy beamed and said, "That's the one I want!" We then put in the order for the necklaces. He then rushed off to play with a spring in his steps.

Finally alone, I mulled over the implications of mother and son sets being a necklace (which is presumably for the mother) and then a matching keychain (for the son). I didn't see any reason why there couldn't be two matching necklaces for both the mother and son. After all, there are boys and men who wear necklaces.

I have a rather liberal understanding of gender and never raised my son with strict gender definitions. Ever since he was a baby, I encouraged him to explore to see what he liked. With an exception for the occasional doll, he was drawn to clothes and toys marketed to boys and identifies himself as a boy. He likes anything that is loud, fast, and has wheels of some kind. Orange is his favorite color. He also has his own pretend kitchen and enjoys "cooking" for the family.

I love my son for who he is and want for him to grow up to be his own person. I never quite understood what the obsession with genitalia is all about. After all, the body parts that we are born with does not always determine our gender.

When Teddy was in utero, my husband and I were told that he would be a boy. However, I would tell my husband that the only thing that we really knew at that point was that our son was simply a biological male. We would need to wait a bit longer to find out his gender and what his tendencies would be.

So far, it has been quite a fun ride! I really enjoy getting to know my son as he is and look forward to sharing the "star" connection with him as well.

Photo Credit: SashJewelry

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