I’m sitting here, at a local restaurant, and I just finished eating a bagel. Yuri has finished his bagel and is playing with a couple other children in the play area – both are a little bit older than him. The other children are brother and sister and both parties have already been warned to share and take turns on the slide by parents. Then I hear the little girl (who is closer to Yuri’s age than the boy) say, “Why are you wearing pink?”
Instantly I felt an urge to defend my baby boy. But there was no need to. I hear these words come from my little dude, “These are my boots. They have polka-dots on them. We went to [a local sports store] and mama got me these ones because I liked them… and I really like them.” This statement was made by someone of such small stature, yet it made a huge impact on my heart. I don’t need to defend him from other people’s children because he can do it by himself… just by being himself.
Yuri Taylor, just a boy of the age of three, has given me more inspiration in these short years than any of hundreds of people have given me in all of my life. I tell almost everyone I meet that I learn more from him than he does from me every single day. The story he told that little girl was the absolute truth. Exactly the way it was told. He needed rain boots, there were black ones, camouflage, and sparkly polk-a-dots – they all light up – and he wanted the polk-a-dot ones. I even tried to talk him into getting the black ones, but the words were pointless, he insisted on the polk-a-dots. I worried about other children hassling him and poking fun. What happened here today is exactly why I worry. Yuri was able to fade those fears slightly.
I don’t necessarily blame the parents for the little girls obvious boy-girl stereotype. It is something to hold against society. What’s it matter if a boy wears sparkles and polk-a-dots and pink? Or if a girl wears all camo and super-hero apparel? That ‘s just it – it doesn’t matter. If my kid really wants some pink, shooting star, and rainbow socks – not simple white ones – then he can have ’em.