Buzz Lightyear…with Fairy Wings

October 27th, 2013

Our family decided on Halloween costumes several weeks ago.  Miss Mouse was to be a Frost Fairy, Buggie was going as a Dragon, Little Bird would be a frog, and I was dressing up as a butterfly.  The main components of the kids’ costumes all came second-hand from consignment shops and/or ebay and I picked up a new set of wings and an antennae headband for myself.  All set.IMG_4316

Half an hour before we were due to leave for Trunk or Treating at our church this evening, Buggie changed his mind.  No dragon.  He wanted to be Buzz Lightyear.

Ten minutes later, he changed his mind again.

Faced with the sight of Mommy and Sister donning their glittering wings, he went into full-on costume rebellion and ran through the house shrieking: “I want to be a fairy!!!!”

His sister was eager to oblige and offered to loan him any of her princess dresses for the occasion, along with a spare set of wings.  Five minutes before we needed to be out the door, Buggie was trying to pull a sparkling yellow ballgown (Belle’s dress from Beauty and the Beast) off the hanger in the closet.

Whooooo boy.

Parenting decision time.

Do you support your son’s desire to be the belle of the ball and send him forth bedecked in his finery?  Do you put your foot down and wrestle him into a more manly costume?  Do you have a conversation about gender norms?  Do you take into account his future mortification when pictures of him strutting his stuff surface ten years down the road?  Do you worry that perhaps you’re being overly supportive of his cross-dressing ways as a means of proving how cool and liberal you are?  Do you think that maybe – just maybe – you over-think things???

Josh saved the day with a compromise: Buzz Lightyear….with sparkly fairy wings.  Little man was immediately appeased and proudly headed out the door in his ensemble, much to the delight of our church friends.

It made me smile to see him charging through the parking lot with his light-up shoes and his glistening wings.

And it broke my heart.

He’s three today and he’s adorable and happy and completely unaware that he’s not “supposed” to wear fairy wings and princess dresses.  I adore his innocence in pursuit of the things that make him happy and I am deeply sad that it won’t last.

By this time next year, in all likelihood, if he tried to wear wings to a public party, his peers would laugh at him.  Set him straight about What Boys Wear and What Girls Wear.

I wish I could freeze him in this moment because he’s so totally uninhibited and unafraid.  He’s ruled entirely by what brings him joy.  It can be exhausting to parent that kind of carefree soul, but it is also beautiful.

I love watching him do flying somersaults off the couch…and tenderly tuck blankets around his baby dolls.

Sleeping Beauty for Blog

I love seeing him play fierce battle games with his plastic dinosaurs…then attempt to “breastfeed” those same dinosaurs, holding them lovingly to his chest and kissing their heads.

I love that his favorite toy is a stomp rocket…except when his favorite toy is his Sleeping Beauty doll we finally bought him because he coveted his sister’s princess dolls so fiercely.

The World hasn’t told him his place yet.  Toys R Us and their stupid color-coded catalogs haven’t managed to box him in, limit his play.  He doesn’t know that being called a girl is an insult in our world, or that he isn’t supposed to play the part of the sleeping princess, waiting to be awakened by true love’s kiss.

I’ll fight hard to keep The World at bay, but I know in my heart it’s a losing fight, so I’ll treasure moments like this while I can.




3 responses to “Buzz Lightyear…with Fairy Wings”

  1. Emily says:

    Oh goodness Kate. This brought me to tears, from the perspective of a mom and from Buggie’s perspective of a little boy who is still so sweet and innocent. You’ve definitely done something right along the way to raise such a well- rounded kid. Hopefully his enthusiasm for ALL kis’s toys continues . Treasure these moments as they come. (And how sweet of Mousie to offer her wings! She has clearly been unaffected by boy’s gender norms as well).

    • Kate says:

      Miss Mouse thrives on opportunities to be solicitous of her little brother. Well, when she’s not tormenting him, of course.

  2. Papu says:

    Hang on to these days as long as possible. He’s got it right.

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