The boy is nearly two.
He does normal nearly two things.
He plays with dinosaurs, builds with blocks, and runs outside.
And he cuddles teddies, pushes dolls in a stroller, and dances in a tutu.
One morning last week he chose what he wanted to wear for the day, straight from the washing pile. And this is what he chose.
He is free to choose his sister’s skirt. He can wear whatever he wants to wear. I am not lord over him.
He is a human being.
With big beautiful non-gender specific ideas. All his own.
I was surprised at his choice. But really I shouldn’t be. His innocence is age appropriate. And delightful. I’m enjoying it while I can.
As much as I want him to understand the world and fit in with it, I also want him to feel free to not conform. I want him to feel so secure in himself that he is liberated from expectations. I hope this freedom stays with him always.
When I posted that first skirt photo (above) on my Facebook page, a friend asked if my husband would be wearing a skirt with him too. She shared a link to a touching story about a father who wears skirts to support his 5 year old son’s choice to do the same.
The father, Nils Pickert, says this:
“Of course, the work of teaching our son how to interact with people — and how to get along with society and understand its rules and patterns — is mainly up to his mother and me. But he is my son, not my property. I don’t own him. If there is such a thing as owning a human being, he owns me. I made him, I dreamed of him, I longed for him; now he is in my life, and I am responsible for him as long as there is breath in me. So I teach him the rules and what to do with them. Not every rule makes sense. Some rules tell us to behave with violence and cruelty to other human beings, even if we have a distinct feeling that our actions toward them are wrong. It is not OK for anybody to mess with my son about his outfit. Hence I wear dresses and skirts so that any person who has a problem with that and feels the necessity to express his or her resentments can mess with me.”
This reminded me of my boy’s father, the remarkable and gentle man I married. He doesn’t care what people think of him. His heart is invested in his children. His devotion for them is pure. Yes, he would wear a skirt for his boy. Any day.
So I asked him this morning, would he like to wear a skirt with his boy who had chosen to be a fairy today? The boy didn’t need him to. But maybe he would enjoy the solidarity?
And so they danced together.
And picked flowers.
Just two blokes hanging out on the front lawn.
Unfettered. Playful. Tender.
And strong. Damn strong.