Which one is the real mother/father? A question often asked of samesex couples and their children when they are out in public? Sometimes the question is meant to provoke embarrassment; sometimes the question the question comes from curiosity; sometimes the question comes from fear. Regardless of how it arises, it’s a question the couple, and their child(ren) inevitably face.
Jamie, our preschooler, just started a new school, with new friends. At school, Jamie likes to play with cars, dolls, action figures, do somersaults, finish puzzels, dance ballet, and engage in all sorts of activities that have nothing whatsoever to do with gender.
Eventually, Cedric grew and became a Knight in his own right. You know what comes next. He rescues a Kingdom from a dragon. And, a princess offers to marry him. So far, we have our average fairytale. Here’s where average stop. Cedric, would rather marry her brother the Prince.
“I am your mother, and I have the scars to prove it,” I thought. “I gave birth to you myself.” The more I thought about the grueling adoption process, the three failed adoptions we had had previously, and one of the roughest, first 18 months of life on record, I felt fairly secure I could call myself a mother. Moms, after all, endure it all. And, live on to fight another day. Here we all were. Living, happily, still fighting.
No. Just no. The premise of the idea: that every color is suitable for every person, is wonderful! Yes! This is exactly what we want to be teaching from the earliest age possible. Colors are, in fact, genderless. However (and I mean however in the strongest possible form of BUT possible), one actually has to carry through on a plan.
Pink Monster teaches us that with some work, you can transform your surroundings into a place where you feel comfortable. With some work, you can surround yourself with people who value you. Those are lessons that are never too early to learn.
Now, I want you to stop and think about all the pressure that we are currently under; these pressures are not ordinary pressures—these are not ordinary times. When you get into an argument—and we all get into arguments—ask yourself: if I had done this dumb thing, would I want to be forgiven? Is this thing so massive, that it’s worth holding on to? I’ll wait.
I am not, by the way, advocating free Get Out of Jail cards. What I am advocating is grace. It’s all about degrees. Don’t set a standard for your partner that you’re not willing to set for yourself. Don’t set too high a standard for yourself either.
Kelp we are told, was born deep in the ocean and looks remarkably similar to his friends–similar that is, yet different. There is this odd (but charmingly drawn) bubble around his head, and his body isn’t shaped exactly the same way as everybody else’s. He doesn’t like the same foods and doesn’t excel at the same things his friends do either. The great thing is though, nobody cares! His friends, all narwhals, love him just the way he is.
But this book is not about dress-up. This book is about self-discovery, about acceptance, and, like most of the books I’m drawn to, about unconditional love.