Recently, we attended a family wedding. When we first told Q about the wedding, he proclaimed his desire to wear his butterfly skirt and “get all fancy.” He was excited. But it wasn’t really the kind of place where that would work. I know, I know, we could have used it as a growing/learning/pushing boundaries opportunity, but really, other peoples’ weddings are about them, not about us and I think that toning things down, for want of a better word, was totally appropriate.
So we tried to get Q excited about a tie. It could have sparkles! Or Donald Duck! Or rainbows! Or something else wacky. He wasn’t buying it. I was certain we’d have a boy in black velvet pants (fancy yet hard to discern the material from afar) and a knit shirt. Not even one with a collar, as he’s really really not into collars.
Then out comes my brother at Christmas with a tie — a green, purple, and blue tie — some great colors. He bought it, cute guy, failing to realize that it was a kids tie (he’s got his first real out of college job, so we have to cut him some slack). He asked if Q might like it. We told him perhaps, but he never got to actually ask Q.
A month or so later, the tie arrived in the mail. And gracious could this boy have been more excited?!?!? A tie from Uncle S? It was like the best, fanciest thing he had ever gotten, according to his reaction. We had to put it on IMMEDIATELY. This involved wearing a tie with a knit shirt. And me watching a video to learn to tie it (I sheepishly admit). Thank goodness for the internets.
To capitalize on this excitement, I got two button down shirts the next day and he eagerly consented to trying them on with the tie. And then practiced cello in soft pants, button down shirt, and tie. My lovely wife’s jaw dropped upon viewing him.
Fast forward to the wedding and the real point of this post (other than getting back on the blogging bandwagon which I have recently fallen off hard). Q wore his tie, his button down shirt, his black velvet pants (and his snazzy zipper boots) to the wedding. And I can’t tell you how many people said the following,
“That boy or yours is so beautiful!”
And that, my friends, is amazing. Because, yes, I think he’s beautiful all the time. He loves feeling beautiful. But boys are so rarely equated with beauty. Especially in their “male fancies,” such as ties. And it’s not that I want the world to think Q is good looking. It’s the fact that folks could look at him and reach in their hearts to name their reaction and to call it beauty. Not to say he’s handsome. Or dashing. Or good looking. Or will make all the girls swoon. Or some other gendered compliment. No, they saw beauty. Which is what I see every day, but I think it’s hard for some to name when it comes to boys.