"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." ~e e cummings

Monday, November 12, 2012

handsome in pink

At the beginning of last summer, I gritted my teeth and brought the boys to the Crocs-knock-off section of Target. I hate those damn shoes, but they're perfect for protecting toes on the pool deck and for hosing off after a trip to the beach.

Max, of course, pointed to the bright pink fake-Crocs. The right thing to do would have been to buy the bright pink shoes. I hesitated, though, because I assumed that he would soon outgrow his love of pink and would, halfway through the summer or sooner, refuse to wear them. And then what? Buy MORE stupid fake-Crocs? Instead, I steered him away...but I was careful not to disrespect the pink: "Oh, look, Max. They also have green in your size. Green like a crocodile...get it? Crocodile? CROCS?!" He thought this was hilarious and so agreed to the green.

I regretted my decision all summer.

Max loves pink. And purple and lavender. He loves sparkles and glitter and princesses and cupcakes. His Birthday Cupcakes were frosted in gooey pink frosting and dusted with lavender sprinkles. In fact, his favorite game in the entire world ever was brought to him as a surprise from the Great Pumpkin:

When he's not playing the game, he carries around the princess cards remarking on the princesses' beautiful "costumes" and commenting on their cupcake decorations of choice. He asks me to tell him the story of when Cinderella and the Prince fall in love in the beautiful castle. He recreates the scenes of Cinderella being bossed around by her evil stepmother (I'm the evil stepmother) even though he's never seen the movie.  He collects special, small, shiny things (like my jewelry and shiny coins) in his Treasure Box, which he used ($3 of) his Birthday Money from Great Mom Mom for:

What can I say? He didn't outgrow his love of pink. Not yet. But he might. Someday. Maybe it'll happen organically, as his tastes and preferences change as he grows...they inevitably do. Or, they'll change by outside influence. He'll start to hear about "boy" things versus "girl" things and maybe he'll feel pressure to follow the "norm."

But maybe they won't.

I know they won't by pressure from within his family.

We were in the car the other day and, all of a sudden, Max sighed and said, "When I'm big like Evan I'll have to like other big boy colors best, like red and yellow and orange and brown." I asked him why he would think that he would need to pick a new favorite color when he was five. He sighed again and said, "Evan's a big boy and he doesn't like pink." I told him that everyone has different favorite colors and it's okay if Evan likes other colors more than he likes pink. No colors are better than any other. I assured him that he will always get to choose his favorite color, even when he's a big, tall grown-up like Uncle Mike.

When my brother Mike was turning three, all he wanted for his birthday was the Barbie Corvette. But he didn't want the coveted-by-his-sisters name brand silver Barbie Corvette...he wanted the knock-off "11-inch Doll" car. Because it was pink.  His idea of playing with Mr. Potato Head was wearing Mrs. Potato Head's earrings and glasses and carrying around her purse, as is also true for Max. When he grew up, he wanted to drive a pink garbage truck. My brother's dreams may have changed and that chubby little toddler clicking around in red sparkly dress-up heels may have grown up into 6'4" hulking 215-pound Guy, but if Max ever asks, he had better own up to still loving pink.

Lesson Learned:

I love that Max loves pink. It fits his personality. It makes him happy.

And what makes me happy is that, as worldly and streetwise as his Big Kindergartner Brother Evan may be, he's not so jaded to be the one to burst Max's color bubble....

Talk of princesses and castles came up while the neighborhood kids were playing last week. One of the boys made a "yuck" noise and said, with confidence, "Princesses are Girl Things. Girls like princesses." Max just looked at him. Evan said, "Anybody can like anything they like." Well said, big brother. Well said.

And I've learned from my mistake with those bright pink crocs. Max had all of Target to browse for his new winter hat....and he found the perfect one.


  1. Looks like Target has exactly what I'm looking for. Thanks for the tip, Max; hope you don't mind me borrowing your style this winter.

  2. if I remember correctly, my brother's favorite color when he was 5 was Hot Pink! I think it's great that you all give Max the freedom to love beautiful things!

  3. Big Uncle Mike: <3
    Anna: can't stop this kid from loving beautiful things...maybe this way he'll actually wear his winter hat! :)