My wife wrote an article on her Tumblr last night that inspired me to write some additional thoughts over at mine. I try not to cross-pollinate my two blogging mediums with like-for-like articles, but this, I feel, is a darn good exception to the rule. Here is a an amended version (combining both our posts) with additional links, minor adjustments and images to entertain. My wife kicks us off:I love that my 7 y/o son loves My Little Ponies probably more than my 3 y/o daughter. And that he says, with a certain pride, “I think I might be one of the only boys (that he knows, certainly) who like ponies!” We have never told him this for fear of him feeling self-conscious. I’m not sure where that came from, but…he’s cool with it. I’m happy.
I also love that my 3 y/o daughter loves Spidey WAY more than my son (though he has his own superheroes he prefers). She thinks she IS Spidey. I mean, the kid passed up aisles of princesses, fairies, and “girl” costumes, saw a toddler Spiderman and went I WANT TO BE THAT! The only stereotypically girly things she likes are the ponies, and ballerinas. Specifically Polina Semionova. (Oh, be still my heart, Polina!)
[youtuber youtube=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaO7bS5Ky6M’]What I love most is that no one we have encountered, let alone anyone we’re close with, has questioned, challenged, or been “concerned” about stuff like this. No one at my son’s school has said anything mean to him about his gentle nature or his preferences or the things he plays with. I am also super happy that he would react with utmost confidence if someone did say something. He’s cool with what he likes. Even if it’s Barbies sometimes, or My Little Ponies ALL THE TIME.
My wife hit the nail on the head here with her post. Y’know, we’re not perfect parents (shocking, right?) – and this isn’t a pat on the back to us: but if there is one thing I know we got right, it is the support we will ALWAYS have and ALWAYS will provide for our kids in EVERY life choice they make; be it relationships, sexuality, music, beliefs, sports, style or even those really important things like favorite comic book characters. Because of that, I truly believe that they, in turn, will show and share the same support to their friends – and strangers – in their life choices. As I sit and dwell on this, I cannot help but marvel at how better the world would be if this ‘crazy way of thinking’ somehow caught on.
Imagine a world that reformed to such ideologies could finally have real political discussions without all mudslinging, name-calling or bigoted spin. Soccer matches without the racist/abusive taunts (sadly, I would never take my young kids to any major professional European match because of the foul attitudes and hatred that ebbs and flows so freely at these events). Women and people of ethnicity holding powerful positions in business and government without newspapers/media bringing it up every two minutes and making a huge deal because it would be THE FUCKING NORM! Where folk could worship Pelor, Elune, Moradin or The Pope’s choice without fear of being mocked or shunned. Where children can go to school without the fear of being bullied because they wear glasses, play D&D, enjoy math, have two Dads, eat vegetables or wear a skirt regardless of their sex.
It is a world that, realistically, is not one we live in anytime soon – but that doesn’t mean we should give up or teach the next generation to ‘suck it up and deal’ because there is no hope for a brighter future. Rather, we should stand with them and support them to help usher in a better mental and emotional environment to live. It might take 50 years, it might take 300 years, but one day we can only hope that people will look back in history – to this period we currently live in – and see it as time when humankind dwelled in a world of oxymorons: Great enlightenment in science, technology and medicine yet still managed to remain incredibly narrow-minded, ignorant and judgmental.
I’m rambling – I had no intention of anything other than hitting reblog, but somehow 2.30am, a can of Dr Pepper and several cadbury mini-eggs aligned to create this. I do hope this makes some sort of sense. I will probably re-read this in the morning and die at typos, grammatical gaffs and whitlockish punctuation.
So, where was I before I digressed? Oh yeah, we will love and support our children regardless. Age 7 or 77, we will always be there for them. We don’t pressure, push, corner or even attempt to force our views in hopes to to create their outlook. They are forming their own and it is a beautiful process to witness. We will always teach them to show politeness and kindness to everyone they meet, respect people for who they are and that everyone is equal – no ifs, ands or buts. If they end up liking Frodo, Iron Man, Thrall, Picard, Han Solo, Cloud Strife, Parker and Alec Hardison – well, that is just icing on the cake!
And everybody loves cake.