My family and I went on an adventure yesterday to get new shoes for Baba, Khai, and Rowan. Mama didn't get to buy any new shoes because the children were too squirrely, but that's another story. I put one stipulation on my children - you may not get anything with a character. Then I set my children free in the kid's aisles to choose their shoes. I gave Khai instructions that his size was 11, so he should look for a box with the 11 on it. He came back to me with these:
I stopped myself before I said anything leading. He tried them on, jumped, ran, and generally exuded childhood glory.
"Do you really like them?"
"Yes mama, these are my favorite. I want to buy them."
Alright. So, I don't have a problem with him having pink shoes. I think they're lovely. My mother comes over and sees what he has picked out.
"Oh. I don't think so-and-so will like that."
"It's what he picked," I responded. "I didn't lead him. This is what he wants." We have more conversation, and, after my mother tries to talk him out of it by showing him every other shoe in the store, we do indeed buy them. He is so excited to wear them!
I just want him to feel like he can be whoever he wants to be. And why do we even have 'boy' shoes and 'girl' shoes? They're just shoes. Rowan is so strong, I know she'll be okay. Khai is so sweet and sensitive, and I know what it's like to be that way and get hurt. I know what it's like to be mistaken for the opposite gender, and to be teased for it. I just don't want that for my kids. I don't want that for anybody.
So, wear those fantastic shoes proudly, little bear. They look great on you, and I love you just the way you are.