The super cute thing about the way a two year old talks is that when they mix up consonants, they don’t care. They just make the declaration as if it were the truth, “Happy Baletime’s Day, Mama.”
Today, I dressed my guy in his red skinny jeans, white button down and black bow tie.The icing on the cake was when when he insisted on wearing his new doctor’s coat over the top, complete with pockets for his fake syringe and thermometer. We were heading out to brunch with my parents (mom and dad, in case you were wondering). We stopped at the grocery store to pick up some gifts for them on the way.
I have a love-hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. Besides the obvious promotion of the day as a time you must spend money or you don’t really love your sweetie, I struggle with the face of the day being about heterosexual love. Radio ads about men needing to hurry up and buy their women flowers and chocolates. Billboards showing that perfect gift for her from him: a mass-made cubic zirconia necklace in the shape of a heart. At this point in my life, I know how to navigate this “holiday”. The struggle comes into play when I think about how I want my son to learn to navigate the day. I want to raise a kind, gentle man who is thoughtful of others on every day; one who can express his love for other men (whether or not he is gay) and for women (whether or not he wants to sleep with them).
On days like today, I think about things like this. He is only two and barely gets the idea of giving a gift anyway, but I still think about it. He hears the radio ads and sees the pictures on the billboards. I don’t want him to internalize that it is his job as a boy/man to express love through material goods. I want someone to put up billboards of two little boys picking flowers and giving them to each other or of two little boys hugging.
Regardless of how I feel about the day, M wanted to give his grandparents something. M settled on a balloon for his Pops and flowers for his Gigi. He decided that he found a balloon that said “I love you, Pops!” (which it did not). When we arrived at brunch, my boy walked in to the restaurant in his doctor’s coat, sunglasses on, flowers and balloon in hand. Every one in the place turned to watch him give the flowers to my mom and the balloon to my dad. It was a very sweet moment. I know there is a long way to go, but today I feel hopeful.
So, Happy Baletime’s Day to you all. May every day bring you more and more love. (As I write this, M, while attempting to fall asleep, is yelling, “Bless you! I wuv you!” Gotta love that boy!)