I told my friend/colleague Amelia that I’ve been stealing her stories about her little boy and retelling them. “You want more?” she said. “Here’s the latest.”
Okay. So her son is about three or four, and he’s been in the same day-care for the past couple of years with a little girl named Natalie. (“I’m sure they’re smitten with each other,” I said. “You have no idea,” Amelia said.) Natalie’s birthday party was coming up, and Amelia’s son was invited to the birthday party. “What should we give Natalie for a present?” Amelia prompted her son.
“Princess stuff,” he responded immediately. “A princess dress.”
Aha, thought Amelia. A hundred bucks plus at a Disney Store, or something pretty plus something sparkly at a regular store.
So they go to a local store, which happens to be having a promotion for little girl’s dresses. Amelia’s son is entranced. Pink! Purple! Red! Yellow! “Mamma,” he gasped, “we have to buy her one of each.”
“Let’s just get one for now,” Amelia said steadily. “What color is her favorite?”
“Pink,” her little boy said.
(This is Amelia speaking: “Now, I know he doesn’t know what I mean, but I asked him: What size is she? And he said, Well, she’s just a little bit bigger than me.”)
So Amelia takes a pink dress from the rack, and holds it up against her little boy, to see how it will fit.
And she notices that all of the other mommies in the store are looking at her strangely.
This story goes on and on. They bought shoes, and glittery sunglasses (princess sunglasses) to go with the dress, and the little boy had a wonderful time picking out things for his friend Natalie’s birthday.
About halfway through this story, I fell into a deep reverie about how lucky Amelia’s son is, to have a mother who doesn’t judge, who doesn’t censor, who isn’t silly about these things.
God bless Amelia, and all the mommies like her.
Maybe there’s hope for the world after all.