The lesson: being your own person. Marching to the beat of your own drum.
The little teacher of this lesson: my son.
So yesterday I took my son shopping for winter boots. His idea. He wanted a pair of warm and fluffy winter boots, just like me. So after school, off we went. We searched for boy ones, which turns out isn't easy. Most shops have only for girls. At last, Ackermans had a nice range of winter boots, soft winter boots, for boys. Meaning not rainboots, or cowboy boots, but soft, material type boots. With fur trim. For boys. In the boys section. Hooray! There were brown ones, light grey ones with white fur, and dark grey ones. My son immediately spotted the light grey ones with white fur trim. They had a zip on the side, which is exactly what he was looking for. He tried them on. They fitted. He loved them. Then we both noticed...uh oh...they had a little grey butterfly stitched onto them. Not super noticeable, but there it was. On my these winter boots that my son had searched for, and which I had just told him were boy boots. Now what? My son loves butterflies. He loves pink (he declares it to be his favourite colour.) He was thrilled with the butterfly attached to the boot. I was less so. So I picked up the charcoal boots, which had a grey fur trim and a buckle and no butterfly, and tried to convince him that they were better than the light grey boots. But he would not be swayed. I explained to him that although butterflies are lovely, and we love them, that other people would say they are girls' boots because of the butterfly. He shrugged and said "But they are not girls boots, they are boys."
I double checked. Yip; we were definitely in the boys shoe sections, and rows of these grey butterfly winter boots were hanging there.
So I asked him what he would do if someone teased him for having butterflies on his boots and he simply said "I will just tell them they are not girls boots. I like them."
I asked him three times if he was sure he wanted them. He was firm. He knew what he wanted and he wasn't fazed by the possibility of someone teasing him about the butterflies.
So now it was up to me. Was I going to let him get them? I know kids can be mean and cruel....but in the end I let him take the boots he really wanted. He was sure of what he liked and at this age, he doesn't care about something being "for boys" or "for girls".
I could learn from him. He isn't in the least bit worried what anyone else will say. He simply goes with what he likes. Go my boy, go!