I Support My Fairy-Loving Son

Nothing wrong with a little faerie dust

A sprinkling of faerie dust to cure your troubles

We walked silently to our friend’s house, save our shared footfall. Nick was unusually quiet, preferring to stare at the ground rather than the trees that lined our path. Something was bothering him, but I knew better than to ask him directly. He would tell me when he was ready.

“Nana,” he whispered, eyes downcast as he clutched the book we had just picked up from his school’s book fair. “Sometimes kids make fun of me for liking girl things.”

My heart broke a little.
Actually, it broke a lot.
Then my Nana Claws came out.

I wanted names, times, dates, locations. I would track these kids down and give them a complex so deep they’d be in therapy until their forties – buck teeth, morning meltdowns, seriously f@#$-ed up hair. How dare they hurt my son. How dare they judge his choices –

As I had.

Nudging him away from The Secret Diaries to Ninjago and World’s Scariest Animals Books 1-7!! Presenting his book to the cashier with a shrug and an eye roll, fearing the whispers about the boy with 2 moms who liked only girly things and really, wasn’t that the problem with same-sex households…

Did I think he didn’t see it? Was unaware of my silent disapproval? What kind of message had I sent him?

I took a deep breath and prayed for the clarity to see past my own ego, the one that wanted to make these kids pay for, well, being kids, and be the parent my son needed me to be in this moment, not the fearful hypocrite from 2 hours ago.

I leaned over and tipped his chin up so we could see eye-to-eye.

“How does that make you feel?”

He gave a little shrug. “Sad, I guess.”

“Sweetie, I know it’s a little hard right now, but it’s totally OK to like fairies. Do you know that one of the things I love about you is how you know exactly what you like?”

It was a quality I wish I had. Perhaps I did have it once, when I was his age, but it had dissipated over the years. Thank goodness for these children of mine, who were slowly returning the many things I had lost from my childhood.

“I remember one time, when you were 3, you took a huge bite of butter and when I asked you why you said, ‘’Cause I like it!”

His eyes went wide. “I did?!”

“You bet you did. That’s what makes you so special, kiddo. And I think being special is pretty awesome.”

He started walking again, this time with more pep…so much so, that it took me a few extended strides to catch up.

“You know what else, Nana?”

“What, Nick?”

“When I was looking at the books at lunch time, a girl leaned over and told me that she liked boy things.”

“Really? And how did that make you feel?”

“Happy.” He closed his eyes and wrapped his hand around his fairy necklace – a free gift with every Magikal Forest purchase. “I have magic in me,” he said, quoting a passage from the book.

I leaned over to kiss his forehead.

“You most certainly do.”

P.S. I did take this fairy opportunity to introduce Nick to Shakespeare by way of Midsummer Night’s Dream. A very accessible kid’s version is available here. We scored ours from the library.

Once an English major…

8 thoughts on “I Support My Fairy-Loving Son

  1. Love this post! My older son wanted a bright pink Barbie flip phone (toy) more than anything for his fourth birthday. My mother-in-law bought it for him and the picture I took of him as he opened it is one of my most favorite pictures ever: it shows complete joy. My younger son (when I worked the front desk of a nail salon) used to get his pinky nail painted pink and considered pink to be his favorite color for about two years. They gradually outgrew the pink preferences but one thing hasn’t changed: just like Nick, they know what they like. I think it says a lot about a person, no matter what the age, when they feel comfortable enough to like what they like without worrying about what other people think! Good job, Mom. (Nana. 🙂 )

    • Thanks, Melisa. It is so hard when you’re in the moment and coming face-to-face with your own biases. But then you see what you describe – that pure joy – and you remember what parenting is all about.

  2. Well you know I love any story that ends in a kid reading Shakespeare, right? Joey has been toting around a pink purse for 2 years. It made our Christmas newsletter. To each his/her own!

    • “Reading” Shakespeare is an overstatement of Nick’s activities. He likes the pictures. I’m also slipping in some Mendelssohn because I’m kind of a Tiger Mom that way.

      So is there anything that *doesn’t* make it into the newsletter?!

  3. I found this post when googling “my son likes fairies” I know my family won’t support me supporting my son in his like for fairies. But I love fairies and I’m secretly thrilled my son loves fairies too. He also loves monster trucks and car racing which I’m trying to find an interest in as well. As a single mum I’ve been told I need to find men to influence my son or he will turn out sissy. I googled because I wanted to strengthen myself for the attacks I know will happen I knew others must have experiences like mine so thankyou for this post.

    • Welcome!

      For some kids, it’s a phase (like carrying purses or wearing pink…or loving monster trucks). For others, it’s the start of a lifelong interest. What matters most is that we support our kids in their interests and they know that we love them no matter what.

      It’s wonderful what you are doing for your son. He’s very lucky to have you as his parent.

  4. Just surfed across your site and was moved by the maturity here. In case anyone is up for some cause and effect…. my father determined that I was a ‘gentle’ soul when I was about 4. So he promptly threw out all my toys and replaced them with plastic guns, grenades and enrolled me in martial arts. Nearly 40 years later I’m old enough to know: I have had issues with material ownership, discomfort and distrust around aggressive men, absolutely no father figure ever entered my life, and I’m regardlessly proud of my blackbelt and gayness. Kudos for letting your children have identity.

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