Tuesday, March 4, 2014

With bells on

The boy went to an amazing preschool. They taught him at his own pace and before he "graduated" he could read and do simple math problems. His teacher, Miss Sunny (how perfect is that name for a preschool teacher?!) was sweet as can be and he really thrived there.

One day when it was time for pick up Miss Sunny took me aside and I quickly panicked wondering what on earth he could have done. He was a sweet kid, never a biter or a pincher, a lover rather than a fighter. It felt like being called to the principal's office. In a low voice she let me know that all the boys were currently enamored with dress up an loved running around in high heels but not to worry it was normal and just a phase.

Uhm. Did she fail to recognize my son coming to school every day in Hello Kitty mary janes? Occasionally wearing nail polish or hair barrettes? I laughed inside at the time and just nodded saying it was no problem and thanks for letting me know.

Later on when I thought about it it made me really sad. Sad that she thought she needed to explain why I might come in one day to see my son dressed up and running about in heels. Sad to think that to some people this would be viewed as unacceptable and prohibited.

At that time I had no idea there was a name for what was happening with my son. The fact that he liked both boy and girl things never really registered with me as I frankly view impressing gender roles on children as silly. Let them play. Let them giggle and have fun and let their imaginations run wild. That's how they learn and thrive. I am forever thankful for Miss Sunny who let the boys run around in high heels and dresses during free play and who adored my boy no matter what he came to school wearing.

The boy circa 2004 at preschool in a glittery skirt, mismatched socks, and bells on his ankles.

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