Milestone: Beanie

A few days ago, while cleaning out the boys’ closet, I was folding Beanie’s pile of colorful pants. Bean was sitting next to me, fidgeting with a Lego thingy when he noticed the pile of bright pants. He stopped, looked at them, and said “Mom, I think I’m going to give all my pretty pants to Abby. I’m going to wear boy clothes now.”

Peering intently at him, trying to hide my surprise, I calmly said “Oh- well, OK then.” I thought for a second, then asked “What’re boy clothes, Beanie?

“Plain stuff, bugs and snakes. A red shirt is a boy shirt, Mom.”

We gathered up his pile of pretty pants and carried them into Abby’s room, and he skipped off happily, in navy blue sweats and a plain red t-shirt.  Since then, he’s not even mentioned his flamboyant wardrobe. He’s wore khaki pants and boy shoes to church Sunday, and seemed perfectly happy to do so. And that, my friends, was that.

Mama is clearly having a harder time adjusting than Bean. We all worked hard to be open and not impose our prejudices- and he left his disco era by the wayside when he was good and ready. I’m proud of my boy, love him, no matter how he expresses himself, but I tell you what- it sure is harder to find him at the park now!

25 thoughts on “Milestone: Beanie

  1. Oh! I will miss his pretty pants. When my boys want to wear something a little wild, I always think, “It’s ok. Tracy M lets her son wear flower pants.” You can still be my inspiration in that regard.

  2. Ann Marie, thank you for the link. You are not the first person to tell me I need to listen to that talk- I guess I better listen! Thanks

    Mrs M, I’m so happy to be such an inspiration. Part of why he’s so totally ok now, I think, is because we never made it a big deal. He just… moved on.

  3. It’s so funny how they seem to just go through things. I agree with you. If you’d made a big deal out of it he’d probably have clung. What a big boy. It’s kind of sad to read.

  4. My older son who used to love pink above everything else just decided that pink was disgusting and doesn’t want any more to do with it. Not that he had a pile of pink clothes before, but I honestly don’t think there is anything wrong with a little boy enjoying a couple of pink bunnies on his slippers or something. I feel kind of sad that he feels the need to no longer enjoy a color just because of what others think (at least that is what I think is happening).

  5. That was a little sudden of a change! Maybe that’s why it was hard for you because it was unexpected. I mean, sending then to school is hard, but you know it’s coming!

  6. Isn’t it odd how melancholy it can be when something happens that you hoped would happen, but it means something else is over?
    Thanks for the wonderful mother that you are!

  7. It is great that he feels comfortable enough to express that part of himself and then admit to being done and moving on. Every step of that process you loved him, and accepted what he wanted to do. It wasn’t illegal, it wasn’t hurting anyone, just a little different. So now he’s learned how much you really love him, real life not just-because-I’m-your-mom kind of love. I say in the midst of everything you’re going through that is some kind of wonderful.

  8. After a while he may go back to expressing himself and his personality more in clothes. Our three boys (I can do the girls fashion some other day) wore shoes and hats, etc at home during playtime. After a while they too grew out of the habit.
    Until High school Fireman was always a head of a trend or just plain in left field with his choices of what was then not an option, Old men’s bowling shirts and vintage Hawaiian. Heaven help us if he wanted those things now!

    Painter was/is dark brown and looks fabulous in bright to pastel pink golf shirts…then now, he wears pink a lot! Which looks lovely accessorized with his new dark brown baby girl!

    Electricity has always favoured CALTRANS orange. (yikes!) If you’re not from CA, think bright halloween orange. yeah. ‘could spot *that* kid anywhere!

    There show choices are another comment…oy!

  9. And here I’ve been thinking of all the different ways you could incorporate pretty sparkles and bright colors into Halloween and dress-up costumes…

    Good for all of you to have been so supportive of the choices he’s made. It’s sad sometimes to see them begin to grow up (I almost teared up the other day when I saw a newborn and realized just how much my 5-month old has grown up already).

  10. Yay? Bummer? Isn’t it weird how it’s both…..

    I agree with others – a large part of it is because you didn’t make a big deal of it….

    I do wonder what made him change his mind, he’s not in kinder yet, so it’s not that. I guess you’ll never really know.

  11. (Oddly enough my six year old has the exact same pair of pants as those pictured.)

    I’m happy because you don’t need to worry and because you handled it all with so much love, but I’m sorry because it’s sad. Once I realized J wasn’t going to wear the stuff anymore, I felt sad that I hadn’t treasured the phase more. But I didn’t really want him wearing a dress to prom so I was glad. But sad. You know.

  12. Am I the only one who feels bummed? It was such a part of Bean and I’m going to miss it. Plus I can’t crack any more jokes about his cross-dressing influence on MY kids, so that kinds of sucks…

  13. No, I’m oddly a little sad. It’s not that I wanted him to be a cross-dresser forever- I suspect it was more about his freedom, his unawareness of how others perceived him, and his untethered spirit. Like it or not, he’s aware of social normatives, and he’s choosing to self-edit. That makes me a little sad. But it’s more a sadness of his getting older than a sadness of his love of pink frilliness. Although he rocked those glitter mary-janes like no other redheaded boy… 😉

  14. I must say I admire you tremendously, Tracy. I used to have a hard time when my kids didn’t match, but I’ve come to realize those things really don’t matter in the big scheme of things. I hope I will always have wonderful examples like you to lead the way! Thanks!

  15. Congrats – and condolences. My little twinkie wears whatever she wants that will fit the school’s dress code. It’s endearing and funny, simultaneously. I know how you feel – minus the cross-dressing possibility.

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