I've always prided myself on being an enlightened human being. I'm not one to balk at unconventional things - mohawks, two people (of any combination of genders) making out on the subway, Bjork. But I've realized there's one thing that makes me feel the need to constantly explain myself: my son's pink car.
The spouse bought this "pushalong buggy" for K. about two weeks ago. We had seen one at the park and marveled at how ergonomical it was (the push handle on the back of the car for tired parents who don't want to get backaches is a godsend!) as well as how much it satisfied K. to just SIT IN THE CAR AND RIDE. FOR LIKE 20 MINUTES STRAIGHT. Anything that captures his attention for that amount of time is worth looking into, so we promptly set about to purchase one for our household.
Well, the day my husband came home with the car, K. was so excited it looked as if he might explode. We painstakingly pulled it out of the huge box and... to our chagrin... it was PINK. With PURPLE ACCENTS.
Without thinking about it, we exchanged glances, knowing that this meant we'd have to pack 'er up and take her back.
But maybe we should've taken a cue from our son. He didn't think twice (of course, because really, at 17 months of age, do you really expect him to say "Hold on, this is way to femmy for me! Send it back!") and lunged for the car, jumping in and saying, "Go, go!"
Well... it was then and there that we realized that despite the societal norms that we would be breaking by allowing our son to drive around in a pink car, what it really boiled down to was one thing: his happiness.
He has all his life to be put into boxes (real or metaphorical) and told what colors to wear, what sports to play, what friends to hang out with, etc. Sort of depressing, when you think about it. So for now, we will revel in the freedom that comes with breaking out of gender stereotypes! We'll embrace it, own it, live it!
Then again ... maybe not. Now, every time we go for a walk with that thing, I scan the landscape for people who may be staring at or approaching us and prepare my uniform explanation, "His dad bought this for him, and the pink was a mistake."
I can't help myself, I guess. But at least my son is oblivious... and happy.