Halloween is over, the costumes put away until another year, or to eventually be given away. The decorations are being taken down. And the rotting pumpkins on the stoop are (hopefully) making their way into the garbage can. For the most part, October’s holiday is behind us as we focus on the holiday season ahead.
But for one mom, Halloween is still haunting her. And it has everything to do with her son, and his choice of Halloween costume.
Before I tell her story, here is what “Cop’s Wife” (CW) of NerdyAppleBottom.com has to say:
My Son is Gay (Or he’s not. I don’t care. He is still my son.)
1. My son is 5 and goes to a church preschool.
2. He has loved Scooby Doo since developing the ability and attention span to sit still long enough to watch it.
3. Halloween is a holiday and its main focus is wearing a costume.
4. My son’s school had the kids dress up, do a little parade, and then change out of costumes for the rest of the party.
5. Boo’s best friend is a little girl
6. Boo has an older sister
7. Boo spends most of his time with me.
8. I am a woman.
9. I am Boo’s mother, not you.
Boo had decided in the weeks leading up to Halloween that he really wanted to be Daphne for Halloween. After much consideration (to ensure he didn’t change his mind, but not because he wanted to be a girl), his mom ordered the costume. Boo was thrilled. But as Halloween approached, her 5 year old son suddenly felt the pangs of stage fright, afraid to wear a costume that others might laugh at. But CW talked him into going ahead, since she knew that was what he really wanted to be. After all, “who would make fun of a child in a costume on Halloween?”
Halloween came, and he walked in proudly. Those who knew his costume in advance made sure to high-five him on his courage and awesome costume. But it was the reaction of 3 moms that floored CW.
“Two mothers went wide-eyed and made faces as if they smelled decomp. And I realize that my son is seeing the same thing I am. So I say, “Doesn’t he look great?” And Mom A says in disgust, “Did he ask to be that?!” I say that he sure did as Halloween is the time of year that you can be whatever it is that you want to be. They continue with their nosy, probing questions as to how that was an option and didn’t I try to talk him out of it. Mom B mostly just stood there in shock and dismay.
And then Mom C approaches. She had been in the main room, saw us walk in, and followed us down the hall to let me know her thoughts. And they were that I should never have ‘allowed’ this and thank God it wasn’t next year when he was in Kindergarten since I would have had to put my foot down and ‘forbidden’ it. To which I calmly replied that I would do no such thing and couldn’t imagine what she was talking about. She continued on and on about how mean children could be and how he would be ridiculed.
My response to that: The only people that seem to have a problem with it is their mothers.”
Read more in CW’s blog, “My Son is Gay”.
Nowadays, you hear a lot about people raising their children without gender roles. Recently I even wrote about Shiloh Jolie-Pitt who prefers to dress and act like a boy rather than the girl that she is. Parents are giving their daughters trucks and action figures, and giving their boys dolls and the like. Dressing a girl like a boy is not a terribly shocking thing to do. But people bristle when it comes to dressing a boy like a girl, even if that is the very way they want to dress. Boo is a little boy who was playing make-believe on Halloween, just as many children do at Halloween time, becoming someone he was not. Some kids chose to be horrifying zombies. Some wore horrific gashes, or the masks of murderers. Some were even scary politicians. Boo, he just went as a girl.
And this was intolerable.
In facing judgment from others, should we be steering our kids away from things that might, so-called, embarass them? Were these moms right, that Boo’s mother should have guided her child to a costume better suited for a boy to avoid any uncomfortable feelings on either side? Or should boys be allowed to dress like girls (or whatever they choose to dress as) for Halloween, or any other time they choose?