On parenting a little boy who's been scared off wearing pink

Todd sez, "My 4 1/2 year old son (known affectionately as the Goon in my writings) has consistently identified with all things pink or otherwise considered "girly" since he could articulate a preference. I've written a couple of blog posts- one a year and a half ago, the other yesterday- describing my and my family's reactions to him. The post from last year shared our experience when he picked a pair of purple Dora the Explorer sneakers. Yesterday, I wrote about his experience realizing that other kids were going to think about him differently if he wanted to wear things that they'd associate with girls."

One of his friends in the neighborhood, with whom the boys played with almost every day, had told the Goon that no one would ever want to be friends with a boy that likes girl stuff. The Goon’s voice got softer and a bit more fragile. The Goon explained to me that if he liked girl stuff, everyone would laugh at him and no one would want to be his friend. So now he liked girl stuff.

As I’m writing this now, a week after he shared that with me, my eyes are tearing up. The world is a mixed bag of experiences- inspiring and disheartening, all jumbled together. I was hoping my boy wouldn’t see this ugly side of life yet. If you heard the plain vulnerability of his recognition of this fact, it would break your heart too.

The Goon and the Pink Backpack (Thanks, Todd!)