So how is everyone? It's been a busy holiday season at our house, with the kids just old enough to become whirling dervishes of over-stimulated, sugar-packed anticipation. Santa brought everyone very nice gifts, and we're heading swiftly into New Year's which, around our house, is better known as birthday season. Back-to-back birthdays, egad. Gods help us.
As I have done (and plan to do) every year, I got the kids matching pjs, which they opened on Christmas Eve. Squeaker found them in a store several months ago: "Mom! Look! Pink footie pajamas with Santas! I want them! Mom! Will you buy these for me? Please?" I didn't buy them that day, but I made a mental note. He mentioned them several times after that, emphasizing that they had to be pink, they had to have feet, and he wanted his sister to have the same pjs. "Same" is very big with Squeaker right now. He and his sister may not be genetically related, but by god, they can wear matching pjs!
So I found the pjs, in the right size, and on sale (yay!) and wrapped them up. The joy on their faces when they saw the soft pink jammies was one of the more gratifying moments I've had recently. "Same!" they both squealed, jumping up and down with excitement. They both eagerly got ready for bed and headed into dreamland with visions of sugar plums, etc., while Santa went to work bringing out the rest of the gifts.
The next morning, we took lots of pictures of the kids in their gift-frenzy, both grinning madly in pink-pj'd glory. And we posted them on FB, so the relatives could see how freaking cute they were.
For several days, folks were gracious in their praise of our beautiful kids and their adorable matching pjs. And then yesterday, a friend of the Mister's dove in with this comment to a photo on my page: "Stop dressing your son in pink!"
Well. Let's see. How best to proceed ...This lovely tidbit was shared by a woman who I'm not particularly close to. In fact, I'm not FB friends with her, and I haven't heard from her in several years. The only reason she could even see the kids' photo was because the Mister tagged himself in it. So it's difficult to presume that she was joking, since we don't have that kind of relationship. Nor do I have any reason to think she meant it as a funny comment. She's uber-feminine in her fashion sense, and has a tendency towards dating big uber-masculine guys. I'm 99% sure she was 100% serious. And somehow, after several years of not speaking to me, she decided that this obnoxious sentiment was the perfect way to say hello.
For various reasons, I've been doing a lot of internal work over the past six months. A lot of it has to do with stopping, taking a breath, and seeing if my habitual response is actually the best way to handle a particular situation.
In this case, my first instinctive response was to flame her with a long list along these lines:
"Who the hell do you think you are?"
"What damn business is it of yours what our son wears?"
"Whatever possessed you to tell me how to parent my kid?"
"Who says I'm dressing him that way? I'll have you know he selected those pjs himself!"
"What's wrong with pink?"
"What are you so afraid of?"
And, of course ... "F you, bitch, I'm proud of my son, and you can just stay the hell away from our family!"
But as I breathed it in and out, I decided to keep things minimal. I wrote "wow" and sat with that for an hour or so. I also had a long conversation with the Mister in which I questioned the wisdom of maintaining a friendship with someone who apparently places little value on letting children be themselves. Then I deleted her comment and my reply.
Because y'know what? I love the photo of my kids where she left her pile-o-shit comment. And I didn't want that thread dirtied up. I'm choosing to keep the joyful photo as it was meant to be -- a tribute to how gorgeous my kids are. It takes a pretty sad person to be blinded to that beauty by nothing more than a color that, once upon a time, signified the ultimate in masculinity.