Of the car variety, that is. Have you ever noticed that phenomenon? Someone mentions they love VW beetles, and suddenly you see them all over? Or you see a witty bumper sticker for the first time, and the next thing you know, it seems that everyone at Whole Foods is sporting the same sticker? Well, it’s been like that for me since starting this blog. Sometimes in very small ways, and sometimes in profound ways.
On the subject of bumper stickers, yesterday I encountered one that said simply “Support tenderness in men,” or something perhaps a bit more elegant than my own butchered rephrasing. I thought to myself, “tenderness:” we’ve always known that our boy was tender in many ways. And I think that we’ve tried to nurture that tenderness, knowing that the world can use more gentle and tender men. More men who are in touch with their emotions and able to show them. And even though this sometimes means big crying fits for Q, it also means that he loves the simple beauty of a tender rose or the wonder of a butterfly’s precious wings. So it’s nice to know that there’s at least a few others out there vocalizing their support for tenderness in men (and boys).
And then there’s our dear friend X, who loves Q like no other can. And who, as you may have read in his comment, also struggles with the idea of Q wearing dresses on occasion, although he knows that deep down this is a learning opportunity for all of us (boy is it!). I know he’s been thinking hard about this whole concept of Q in dresses, Q and his identity, and how Q’s identity pushes at social boundaries at times. He related to us that he recently visited friends who have a boy near to Q’s age. Who also likes to wear dresses. So it’s not an isolated phenomenon, realized X. And he felt less alone, I think. And a bit more at peace, I think. And I think that’s why I write this too, to reach out to find out that I’m not alone, to open my eyes to other boundary-pushing instances, which are popping up all around me, and to let others out there who have kiddos like Q or hope to raise kiddos like Q know that they are not alone.
So lately, in seeing things like other boys at Q’s school outwardly embracing the fact that they love pink, visiting a classroom there and learning that it’s the boys who most love to play with the dolls and that the teacher embraces this, and seeing another boy or two pushing the gender envelope with his clothing, I don’t feel so much alone. I think it’s that beetle phenomenon. I’ve been thinking so much about Q and his unique identity. And then made the leap to share that journey publicly. And now, that journey begins to cross paths with others who may be along similar pathways. I like the eye-opening that is happening here.