The Pink Purse

8.14.2013


We went back to school shopping yesterday and the conversation at the check-out went like this:

salesperson: I love that purse you have there.
Gunner: I'm a boy and I love rainbows and hearts.
salesperson: whatever makes you happy!

Salesperson is one smart chick. And of course when Gunner picked out a purse, Colt had to have one also, so for the better part of an hour, there we were, walking around the mall with my two boys swinging their little purses. I'm about 20% positive a few people gave them double takes and maybe even a stink eye here or there, but I can't tell you for sure because I'm also about 100% positive that I didn't give a shit. I wasn't looking at other people to see what their reaction was to seeing two of the most adorable boys on the planet carrying what were clearly "girl" purses.

I mean, it's such a non-issue to me that writing that top paragraph there seems like a waste of blog space. But that's just it, it's a non-issuse to me. And for now, it's a non-issue to my boys. It's how I'm trying to raise them and so far, so good. My boys have no concept of race or social status or so-called differences in others.

And the reason is because of this.

While we were sitting at the food court yesterday, there was an employee cleaning up around us, wiping down tables, etc., who happened to have down syndrome. Being the outgoing and talkative person that he is, Gunner struck up a conversation with her and at the end, asked if she could come home with him and play. It didn't matter that she couldn't exactly respond and converse with him like he is used to, all that mattered to Gunner was that she was a person and Gunner really really likes persons (his word, not mine ;) ). Not once has either of my kids ever asked me why someone looked different than them. Not once has either of them pointed out someone who was "fat, ugly, too tall, too short" or anything other than "hey mom, look at that kid over there, can I go play with him?"

Because in the words of one really smart man,
"A person's a person..." and well, the rest doesn't really matter now does it?

However I know soon, when they get out into the "real world" aka kindergarten and such, they will come home asking questions, repeating things that they have never heard spoken in our household. They will ask me why someone said something derogatory about one of their friends. They will want to know why the littlest kid in their class is always getting picked on. And I'm sure that one day, Gunner will no longer want to take his pink purse to school because he will get his feelings hurt one too many times by bullies making fun of him.

And that breaks my heart, because my boys have the sweetest soul.
They are kind, they are accepting and they just love all persons.

But that's not the real world.
I can protect them and teach them in this little bubble for a while, but inevitably they will have to experience hurt and meanness and prejudice on their own. I can only hope and pray that I have shaped them and taught them to be strong enough to handle it, to stand up to the bullies and even more important, to stand up for those being bullied.

Oh.

And in the words of another wise persons...

"Now swing that pink purse in the air, 
and wave it like you just don't care!"*


See also: 

*lyrics have been slightly altered


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51 comments:

  1. Raven, you are officially my parenting hero. The world is better off because people like you and your family are in it. :-)

    Sarah @ Life As Always

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  2. Oh my goooooshhh. Those fashion blogger pictures are too cute!

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  3. I LOVE this and I LOVE how you are raising those sweet adorable boys of yours! This world is a crazy place and us as mamas (and dads) can only protect them from the crazy in the world for so long and that terrifies me. Yes, if I could keep my sweet girls in a bubble forever I would but we all know that is not realistic. It matters what you do right now when their minds are so pure and innocent. You are doing a great job mama! I am lovin G mans purse....my daughter would love it too! LOVED the pics on ig that you posted of their back to school clothes...holy cuteness ( I mean holy bada**) Also, he is one great fashion blogger, he has all the model poses down and is by far the best one I have ever seen!!

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  4. At first it strikes me as 'different', but then I get to thinking and remember that my parents also raised me in a similar way. Just be accepting and tolerant of others. Except that one time when I tried to take my shirt off like the 'boys' when I was 3 mom did put a stop to that, prob out of fear of me becoming a stripper. Anywho, I grew up with a little brother who had a baby doll and I'm sure played with my barbies and played dress up with me. Had you had a boy and a girl no one would think it was odd they had a purse to carry around. I pray they become the leaders in kindergarten and teach others what you're teaching them!

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  5. Great post Raven. absolutely love it.

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  6. I absolutely adore you! So many times we see people judging others and questioning others choices and it is so sad to see. I love your zest for all who are different and that your cute little boys are following in those footsteps. I wish we were all a little kinder and more accepting of differences it is how we learn and grow.

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  7. My daughter is 3 and I've never ever told her she can't play with that truck she loves or have the blue and red Cars potty seat because it's for boys.

    One of the most important lessons my mom taught us growing up is that people are not their color, gender, sexual orientation, or disability and I want to make sure I teach her the same lesson.

    I know as a mixed race little girl living in the south she's going to come home crying some day because some jerk kid called her something very nasty and it just breaks my heart.

    I really look up to mothers like you!

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  8. You're a great mom Raven! Those adorable boys are very lucky!

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  9. You've done an AMAZING job raising your boys.

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  10. This post warms my heart. You've done such a great job raising these boys so far.

    I feel like bullying has gotten so much worse than when I was in school. It's really sad.

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  11. It makes me so sad to realize that school is the root of a lot of evils. A place that is set up to educate actually limits and inhibits us from being unconditionally loving. As a teacher, I witness it on a daily basis and I try SO hard to preach tolerance, acceptance, and kindness in my classroom.

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  12. I love your mothering tactic and I hope I can do just as good of a job raising my future children someday! It's so sad that children are picked in for being different. It really breaks my heart. My little brother played dolls and barbies with me all growing up and i played superheroes and sports with him too,, it was only once he started kindergarten that he began to only play "boy games" with me. It was a sad day in my eyes!
    xxoo,
    Jordyn

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  13. 1. Gunner makes the best fashion blogger I've ever seen.
    2. this post just about made me cry. your sons are so beautiful and so lucky to have an open-minded / hearted mother!

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  14. I love this so much <3 <3 <3 I love that you have raised you boys to be so open with themselves and the world and only wish that more people were like you. I have every intention of being the same way with my kids and I won't lie I am already nervous of what will happen to them once they go in the real world and start hearing close minded comments, and my kids don't even exist yet. It breaks my heart knowing the inequality still exists in general but I'm hoping for a better world for future generations. Keep up the amazing work mama!

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  15. I've read your blog for a long time but I'm one of those weirdos that never comments. But this? This is awesome. I don't have kids yet and won't have any for a little while.. But you are officially my parenting role model. I can only hope to be as awesome of a mom as you are some day!

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  16. I love that you are raising your boys like this. I speaks volumes about you and your husband as people.

    And you're right, they will end up hearing things at school and not understanding and asking questions. They will see kids being picked on. But you know what? They see everyone as just another person...so maybe they will be the boys that defend the kids getting picked on. The boys that go and sit with the new kid or have lunch with the poor kid who is sitting all alone. We need more kids like that.

    My brother was bullied relentlessly in school...and I'm sure he would have loved to have gone to school with more Gunners.

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  17. Being someone that was TORTURED by other children (and their mothers).. I adore the way you are raising your children and their precious little souls.. Raise on, write a book, and preach it girl-- the world needs more moms like you. You have my vote!

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  18. Hi Rave - love the purse and love your great attitude about raising your sweet babies!

    Yes, they may pick up a few bad things from school, but I think they will be fine - mine was - and still is at age 19! College next week, O - M - freakin G.

    BTW, it's me (formerly Taz) just changed my google profile after it got hacked.

    The email address @cox.net is still good if you want to email me!

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  19. Work that purse Gunner! I overheard the most annoying comment that a father made to his son as they were, i guess, walking to school "move your ass! you're acting like a little girl!" The boy had stopped to pick a dandilion. It makes me sick when people do ish like that. Its good to see other parents that dont lable things as being "for girls", i never thought this way and im happy that im not the only one!

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  20. I have raised my girls the same! They only play with cars, trucks, and balls! Oh wait...that's cause ALL my toys are A) either hand-me-downs FROM said boys above, or B) said boys above leave MILLIONS of cars at my house every time they leave!! ;) Now maybe they will finally get some girl toys when Gunner and Colt pass on their purses. (With the exception of the 5 dolls Rachelle has given them)

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  21. gunner has been looking extremely grown here lately.

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  22. I LOVE this Raven!

    My little sister has Downs, so this just touched my heart.

    xoxo
    Ally
    www.danplusally.blogspot.com

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  23. You are such a good mom (:
    What's even better though is that you're not an obnoxious liberal- just shows you can be conservative in politics but not a judgmental asshole

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  24. The fact that he struck up a conversation with someone with down syndrome AND wanted them to come home and play with him warms my heart. It hits close to home since my brother is mentally and physically disabled, and I just love the way you are raising your children. Such an inspiration. Keep doin' you, girlfriend.

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  25. Raven,

    I hope that someday, if I decide to have kids, that I am the kind of mother you are. I truly respect the way you raise your boys.

    Rock on with your pink purses and leopard print pants, boys! You got this!

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  26. My 22 month old LOVES Minnie Mouse. He doesn't like Mickey Mouse because "No bow"...These pictures we have of our little ones will be priceless at their grad parties! :-)

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  27. Oh how I wish more parents would parent like you. I try to teach my son to treat everyone with respect, no matter how "different" they are from us. He loves carrying around these dolls he has, and his Grandma on his Dad's side hates it. I could care less. I don't care what he's playing with as long as he's happy and being nice to anyone he's playing with. He love talking to random people too, as long as I am near him.

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  28. your kids are the greatest. end of story.
    and you're an awesome mom. keep doin what you're doin and even when the changes come... they'll still be the great boys you raised them to be and will continue their awesomeness.

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  29. You are such a great mom Raven. Love reading your blog because you are so down to earth about parenting your kids. When they go to school, all the values you've taught them will stick with them. You're kids are so, so great.

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  30. I Don't have kids but that just gave me chills ! More parents should think like you

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  31. You are an outstanding mom with amazing boys! You're teaching them to see the world in a beautiful light and that in itself is a beautiful thing.

    It is only my prayer that the world embraces them for who they are. We can only hope and pray. Kids can be cruel but your boys will be advocates for what is good and right.

    xo

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  32. I love this so much! And he rocks that purse!

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  33. It really should be whatever makes them happy! -Hanna Lei

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  34. Love it! Hopefully with all the good you have shown them they can help make some other children better as well :)

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  35. I babysat for family a few years ago who's little boy wanted an American Girl doll for his birthday. He had two older sisters who had them so of course if he wanted to fit and play with them he'd need one too. I remember the mom telling me that a neighbor of theirs, who happened to be a psychiatrist, told them how bad of an idea that was because of gender confusion blah blah blah. The little boys dad took him to the American Girl store in Chicago and let him pick out whatever he wanted anyway. I thought that was pretty awesome. I mean in the grand scheme of things, a 5 year old boy wanting an American Girl doll for his birthday is not that big of a deal!

    I definitely plan on bringing up my children the same way you have been doing with your sweet little boys. There is never too much compassion and love in this world:)

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  36. Mom of the year.*

    *and I'm not kidding one damn bit.

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  37. LOVE this :)

    You kind of rock at this mom thing Raven...just saying!

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  38. You are such a good momma <3 You rock those purses, boys!!

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  39. My kids have a very young downs aunt (She's 1 1/2 years older than my oldest) so there have always been questions regarding why she doesn't talk like the rest of us and why she looks different than everyone else, but we don't degrade her.

    My kids have grown up looking at pictures from my favorite summer job, a camp for special needs kids and adults. I've always had the pictures plastered on my walls, computer screen, etc. I still keep in contact with people from camp (workers and campers) because they are family to me. I'm just happy that next summer I get to introduce my babies to the actual camp since we'll be road tripping it back to Michigan :)

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  40. Ninh Hinh Nhi sợ ca ca lại bị tức đến mắc bệnh, cảm thấy rất căng thẳng, lo lắng đến mức nước mắt sắp trào ra rồi, hận không thể đánh tàn phế đám con cháu hoàn khố như Ninh Hàn.
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    Ninh Tiểu Xuyên ôm ba quyển sánh, trên mặt nở nụ cười nhạt, nói:

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