You may remember my youngest is a crazy Pokemon fan. Like crazy. I’ve been subject to a number of Pokemon lectures, impromptu quizzes and shamings for my lack of knowledge.
So for Halloween this child wanted to go as Mimikyu. Like many Pokemon this one is not just one gender. The only costume we could find was clearly made for a girl. This child is not a girl. They didn’t care they still wanted it.
** Sidenote: There may or may not be posts in the future addressing how we’ve become a nation so rich and unencumbered that we’re over analyzing things and stressing everyone TF out. We’ve saddled our children needlessly with sexual realities that we as adults haven’t even figured out. Inclusivity is easy and from there we can stop over defining things. The big question is how do we live together happily and peacefully, supporting each other. But that for sure is another post**
This child has always marched to their own drummer. They love, love Steven Universe. They loved My Little Pony. We owned a lot of it. A defining memory was being in Target. My child was maybe 4 and for being good I was letting them get a My Little Pony. Some guy made a snide comment and the cashier who was gay (I know because we chatted briefly after) tore into him.
I was like holy bleep. But thanked the cashier for his support and we talked about acceptance and the need for non-judgment and basically there’s a time to keep you trap shut and just check out.
Flash forward. I live in suburbia. There is no elevated thinking or nuance or difference. It’s prime Al Bundy land and I talked my child out of going as Mimikyu and into going as Pikachu. This child is also very sensitive and they would have been hurt when the little jerks and their parent overlord jerks made fun of them. Which very likely might have happened. I mean the kid already gets made fun of for still loving Pokemon as much as they do because all the other kids have moved on to the next FOMO trend.
We talked about not going as something that might invite a negative experience. That and knowing it’s ok to want to go as Mimikyu but sometimes it’s better to avoid nastiness if you know there’s a good chance you’ll be met with nastiness.
I felt bad.
I didn’t feel bad.
I know my child knows none of this matters. That whoever they are is the right person. And those who love them don’t care.
In time I’ll teach them how to defend against small minded barbarians like some of our fellow neighbors. But that time isn’t on Halloween when it should be a joyful evening.
Still, I’ll look forward to when the last of the cro-magnons have died off.