It was casual day at my five-year-old son’s school last week. He knew exactly what he wanted to wear: his rainbow unicorn leggings.
I remember the day we bought them. We went to a department store, and he stood in the middle of the boys’ clothing section.
“None of these clothes are pretty enough,” he announced.
So we went to the girls’ section. He chose the rainbow unicorn leggings and a fluffy top with a kitten on it.
My son has a great collection of leggings. As well as the rainbow unicorn ones, he has his gold ones and his Frozen ones. He wears them everywhere, except school. He’s been hanging out for a casual day when he can show everyone his rainbow unicorn leggings.
I was nervous.
When my son was little, it didn’t matter that his favourite colour was pink and he liked pretty things. But before he started school this year, I felt I had to gently explain to him than not all boys felt the same way.
But even as I was explaining it, I started getting annoyed with myself.
“Anyway, colours are just colours,” I added at the end. “They don’t belong to boys or girls. You just keep liking whatever colours you like.”
My son started school with a schoolbag that had a kitten on it. He wore his Frozen leggings on a casual day when everyone was told to dress in blue. He’s been growing his hair long and getting so impatient that he asked if he could have extensions. (No.)
I love his individual sense of style. But I’ve been quietly worried that the other kids might not appreciate his style in the same way I do.
Isn’t that what every parent fears – that their child will be teased or bullied? I just couldn’t bear to have him coming home in tears.