Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I have joked for a year or two about my little “metro” boy. Metro, metrosexual, a man (or boy in this case) with an interest in fashion, appearance, and design. When he was two, it was a cute photo op. Don’t all two-year-old little boys want to wear their sisters’ sparkly shoes? (Yes, many of them do.) What about three-year-olds? Don’t all boys that age wear butterfly wings? (Well, no actually, most of them don’t.) My son also likes cars and trucks and power tools. When left to his own devices, he draws “monsters with slime.” And also, he also picks out my accessories for me, with a special affection for huge earrings and my lipstick red patent leather 5-inch heels. He feels strongly about my hair. It was for him that I included one blue stripe in addition to the pink stripes I had been doing. And you know what? He is totally right. The blue stripe makes it. I did not, despite his urging, dye half of my head pink and half of my head blue. Even I have limits. But I’ll change my shoes or jewelry for him, and he is usually right, even though his shoe choices are seldom practical. The half blue/half pink thing probably would have looked pretty cool. He notices when my friends get new throw pillows, or a new mirror. He notices light fixtures. He notices when I do something different with my makeup.

My metro son is the only boy in his preschool ballet/tap class. Watching him tiptoe across the room on “relevé toes” in his generic black pants and white T-shirt from Target with all of the tutu-clad girls is one of the cutest things I have ever seen. The girl half of a set of boy-girl twins is in the same class, and the boy half is one of my son’s buddies. That little boy is “all boy” as they say (an expression I don’t particularly care for, but it is efficiently descriptive). On the first day of dance class, my son’s buddy walked up, literally with a football under his arm, while my son put on black ballet shoes. One of the things that was so beautiful about that moment was how excited the buddy was about my son’s dancing, and how there was zero tension around the contrast. We have so much to learn from kids. I cried a little, tears of happiness that I tried to hide.

On my kids’ second birthday, I made a list of future careers that wouldn’t surprise me. I wanted it in writing, so that if my son became an engineer or my daughter became a professional athlete, I could hold up that journal page and say, “See! I totally called it when you were two!” Well, he’s four, and I’m gonna put it in writing. If, someday, he comes to me and tells me he’s gay, I will say I always knew it.

Of course I don’t know anything. He’s not gay or straight. He’s FOUR. His sexual orientation right now is pretty much, “Hey, I have this awesome thing hanging here on the front of my body and I can touch it in the bedroom or the bathroom if I want, but not in the living room or dining room.” I’m just saying, you know, maybe. But just like my career predictions, (a) I may very well be wrong, and (b) I truly don’t care whether I am wrong or right. Maybe he will be straight and an interior designer or hair stylist. Or maybe he’ll be gay and will “cut down trees” (his own current prediction of his future job). Maybe he’ll be a stand-up comic, because that boy has some seriously genius comic timing. Or maybe he’ll have a job that hasn’t even been invented yet.

Maybe he’ll like girls. Maybe he’ll like boys. It doesn’t matter at all to me. I hope that, whether my kids are gay or straight, they will be able to marry whomever they want to marry in all fifty states in this country. I hope that so much.

But my son doing pirouettes and picking out my earrings was not the true inspiration for this post. This was. This week, I took the kids to Pier 1 for the first time. Oh. My. God. It was the funniest thing ever. Both kids enjoyed it, but as we walked in, my son’s eyes went wide, he gasped, and he said, “Wow! This place is fabulous!” He went from display to display. “These are the most fabulous pumpkins I have ever seen!” “These are the most fabulous candles I have ever seen!” And my personal favorite, regarding a display of decorative spheres covered in red glass mosaic tiles, “These are the most fabulous balls I have ever seen!”

I don’t know many four-year-old boys who would be that excited to be dragged along to a home decor shop. “Mommy, these pillows are fantabulous! We should buy some.” Fantabulous? No, I do not say fantabulous. I have no idea where he heard it. And it’s not just a mispronunciation of fabulous, because the sparkly silver napkin rings were deemed “fabulous AND fantabulous!” He even noticed the fabulous aprons, and pointed them out to me. At his urging, I bought one. And it is completely… yes, you guessed it… fabulous. Just like my amazing son.