Pink Socks: the best part of homeschool

by Janelle Hanchett

The other day my son came out of his room squealing in delight about the following arrangement:


 He said “Mama! Ava gave me these socks and I think they go really well with the green in my Vans! Don’t you think?”

And I said they look amazing, especially with the baseball pants, and I kissed his head.

I considered writing a blog post about how my son is gay, but then remembered that  wearing pink (or full drag, for that matter) doesn’t make a boy gay. [That wasn’t a slight against that woman who wrote that post (how’s that for vague?) when her son dressed in drag for Halloween, but rather against people who make giant sweeping assumptions when their boys gender-bend a little, IN PRESCHOOL,which isn’t actually gender-bending at all, since they haven’t been “gendered” yet and therefore can’t “bend” it — and are rather, in my opinion, just displaying a simple appreciation for the color pink. Or ruffles. Or tutus. Or whatever. ]

He wore those socks all day, including to baseball practice. I prayed none of the shithead children would make fun of him. We dodged that bullet, this time.

He once went to school in a navy blue jacket with pink piping and got all kinds of crap for it, and he was only in preschool. He may or may not have ever worn that coat again. He also got his heart handed to him for bringing a stuffed white seal to show-and-tell, because it was a “girl” toy.

That one thrashed me.

And as he was flailing around in his bright pink socks all day, I thought to myself…now THIS is a serious benefit of homeschool. My kid can run around all day dressed however he wants and won’t be tormented because his choices don’t quite fit the world’s gender expectations.

Yes, I know. Someday he’ll have to face the homophobes and their children. And they will be mean, especially if he continues to dress in 1980s-throwback gear. And he’ll doubt and question himself until all the pink is busted out of his little soul…

Or he’ll ROCK THAT SHIT forever (which is what I’m kinda hoping for).

Because dude. The kid has STYLE. Here’s the outfit he put together for his dad’s birthday dinner:

I love you, Rocket, with your pink socks and plaid fedora and big open heart.

16 Comments | Posted in Sometimes, I'm all deep and shit..... | February 18, 2012
  • Mandy

    Love, love, love this. I always worry about my boy. Not because he loves the color pink, but because of the a-holes who might judge or ridicule him for it!

  • sean marie

    His sense of style is impeccable. I hope all the kids that make fun of him now are sad, lonely adults because your son is gettin’ all the hot bitches.

  • Shan

    Love him!

    I sometimes gives presentations in middle school classes. If colored paper is being handed out, the boys are more likely to grab that than girls. The whole Blue = Boy and Pink = Girl is fairly recent, so maybe it will also be short-lived.

  • Megan

    Omg that last picture, I die! He is so damn adorable. I secretly hope (although it’s not really a secret now) that my son is gay. Maybe a little odd? Ya. But I can’t help it. I love the gays 🙂

  • Jennifer @ Also Known As the Wife

    I will cut someone if they give Rocket any amount of shit. He is straight up stylin’ in the last picture! I wish my 33 year husband would dress half as well as your little guy. Maybe when he’s older he should consider opening up his own style consulting business.

  • Rebekah C

    I come from an extremely traditional background so I know all about how cruel family members, strangers and even “friends” can be to little boys who are exploring their world, “girly” colors and all (yes, I’m rolling my eyes). I’m grateful none of my family lives too close because right now, my son (who has only little girls living at home with him) loves all things that sparkle, are bright colors or are fun to wear. One of my favorite pictures of him is from the day one of his sisters dressed up as her version of Tinkerbell. He had a Tink dress on, a sparkling pink tiara, his favorite boots and was carrying a light-up wand. He was just SO cute (and pink and green? Totally his colors). Every single day, without exception, he swipes his sister’s silver glitter sneakers and clomps about in them. He’s adorable and no, I don’t think he’s gay (he’s two for crying out loud) but my MIL, who loves him dearly, is always a little concerned about how much he likes to play with dolls. It’s dumb. Why shouldn’t a little boy learn to “love” and “nurture” babies? What’s wrong with it? When did our society stop appreciating tender men? And so what if he does turn out to be gay? What difference does that make?

    In any case “pink” is only a “girl” color because we say it is. My girls wear blue (a “boy”) color and most of the time nobody thinks twice (though there was this one time when an elderly woman yelled at me that if I didn’t want her to think my daughter was a boy, maybe I should dress her like a girl. She was wearing a blue sleeper with green butterflies on it. Very masculine, that.)

    Oh my. Sorry for spouting off.

  • Marie Rossiter

    Holy Crap, that boy has more style in his little finger than I have in my whole wardrobe–or my husbands–or most people I know!

    Color me impressed!

    At one point, my then 9 year old daughter used to wear the craziest shit (mixed patterns, mismatched colors, etc.) One day, I finally told her she had to change before school. She asked me why and after stammering around like an idiot, I blurted out “The kids will make fun of you if you wear that! You don’t want your friends to make fun of you, do you?”

    Without missing a beat, this kid says, “My friends won’t make fun of me. That’s not how they are. And as far as the others go, who cares if they make fun? I don’t care at all what they think.”

    Yeah, and I’m supposedly the adult in the relationship. Shut my mouth. She now wears mismatched socks (has for years) and other stuff and other kids are now, too. Guess she was ahead of her time.

    Wish I was as cool as I my kid and had a fraction of her self confidence. We should encourage this in our kids–the rest of the world are the assholes.

    I, too, a sorry for rambling!

  • suzevans

    the look in his eye says it all. That kid rocks coolness.

  • Regina @ The Tampa Bay Saver

    This kid is awesome!!

  • Momtothree

    Hey, he is a sweet little boy. He seems sure of himself and his choices. That rocks. And the confidence your kids have, J ? They’re getting it from you …
    So you must be doing something right.

  • Kateri Von Steal

    That boy has some class and style!

  • Kimmie

    Thanks for this–I love it. We took the kiddos to a paint-your-own pottery place on Saturday, and Aiden picked out a heart-shaped plate to paint. At the dentist last month, he chose a pink toothbrush, and the prize he chose for a good check-up? A glittery yellow bracelet. I giggled. He’s just a kid. 🙂

  • Marisa

    I’ve never understood why our society thinks males and females should wear certain colors. Especially when they’re kids. Let them wear what they like! Who cares if they don’t look like a boy or girl or they do. Whatever. They are kids, and let them be kids.

  • Catherine@happinessafterheartache

    Having boy-girl twins really puts this kind of stuff in perspective. They’re only 2.5, but you’re right, some people would already have a “problem” with Will playing tea party or caring for dolls. However….no one has a problem with Ariel playing with trucks….gotta love double standards. Just keep on with the self-confidence is what I figure, then hopefully they’ll just keep doing what they love and not worry about what other people are thinking.

  • sonia

    my dear, dear, dear, eccentric 9 year old has had the pink ear-bashed out of him. and the purple, and the butterflies, and i weep quite often about it. and he IS homeschooled. that nasty woman-hating world has still got to him 🙁 x infinity

  • Cris

    OMG! your kid does have style! that’s an amazing outfit.
    I hope he never loses that spirit, ever! fuck the morons who say otherwise – what do they know, anyway?