The other morning was a typical day at our house: I brushed Clyde’s rainbow-colored hair, adjusted his purple tutu, picked a small piece of lint off of his skin-tight “Got Funk?” t-shirt and sent him on his way to school. My husband sat back and watched all of this silently: it was only after Clyde was on his skateboard and out the door that he dropped his head in his hands and said, “What are you trying to do to me?”
“What?” I replied.
“You know what. A tutu?”
“It’s Tuesday,” I explained. “At Marshall, everyone wears a tutu on Tuesdays.”
“Everyone?” he pressed.
“Well, almost everyone.”
He wasn’t falling for it. “All of the girls, you mean.”
“Well, yeah,” I admitted. “All of the girls. And Clyde.”
He sighed. “That’s what I thought.”
“Don’t worry about it,” I assured him. “It’ll all work out.”
And it will. True, Clyde does like his tutu and his Rainbow Brite hair. But he also likes his skateboard, BB gun, and post-apocalyptic video games. He’s a demon on the soccer field, merciless in wrestling matches, and fearless on his bike. But he also loves dancing with Ballet Folklorico and playing the violin. His ideal job right now would probably be concert violinist/super hero/pizza tester.
Is he confused? No: he’s eight. When his sister was his age she wanted to be a Princess Veterinarian. (I was never quite sure if that meant she wanted to a veterinarian and a princess, a veterinarian employed by princesses, or a veterinarian for princesses. That last one doesn’t seem so far fetched if you look closely at pictures of the British royal family. Especially Princess Anne: talk about a horse face.)
But then, everything changed: these days she wants to be an anarchist. (Or maybe it’s “the Antichrist.” Either way—anarchist or Antichrist—she’s closer to being that than to being either a princess or a veterinarian.)
Still, despite this proof that all children (or at least ours) come out of their “girly” phases eventually, I can understand my husband’s point, especially as it would seem that Clyde had only just begun his flirtation with the Princess Lifestyle. (The tutu and rainbow-colored hair is a fairly new obsession—before that he was a straight-up jeans and Spiderman t-shirt kind of guy.)
And yet, despite everything, my husband insists that no matter what happens, he’ll be okay with it. Eventually. As he is fond of saying, “I’ll love Clyde no matter how he turns out—I just hope I don’t have to.” His determined acceptance of the whole thing is actually kind of sweet—so much so that I have been putting off telling him the truth about Clyde’s tutu love. This is a little but inexcusable, since I learned the truth myself the very first day after I picked Clyde up from school after Tutu Tuesday. Bracing myself to hear the worst, I asked him how it went—and his answer told me everything I needed to know.
“It was great,” he had replied, grinning from ear to ear.
“Really?” I pushed. “Didn’t the other boys tease you?”
“Maybe a little,” he replied. “But that was okay, because”—and here he gave me a conspiring glance—“you know what?”
“The girls? They loved it.”
I guess my husband can stop worrying now. And I can start.