This is NOT an Apology!

by - April 26, 2010

"And what will she have?"

We were sitting in a diner that we frequent for their fish and chips and terrible coffee.

The she being referred to was Zander.

"Chocolate milk, please.  And she's a he."

And there's a double take and a blush and a quick apology and a dash to the counter to grab an Iron Man colouring book to replace the Disney Princesses.

Zander doesn't react.  He doesn't care.  This happens all the time.
It bothers me.  I'm shocked every time because when I look at Zander all I see is boy.  He dresses like a boy.  He talks like a boy.  He even smells like a boy.  He's gorgeous, granted.  But not girly.  Not by any means.

It's the hair.  When he was four years old he firmly decided that he wanted long hair like daddy.  He wanted to be a rock star.  And why not?  Where was the harm?  If it was terrible we'd just cut it.  So we let him grow it.  He entered Kindergarten with hair that slowly grew into his eyes.  He adopted this adorable hair flip to get it out of his way.  "No, mommy, I don't want you to cut it, I want to be a rock star."  So he tolerated the awkward growth and we stood by him despite the teachers recommendation to the contrary.

He's proud of who he is.  So am I.  His self confidence is inspiring.  The kids at school gave up teasing him a long time ago because he just didn't care.  And when Scott went on a field trip with them it moved Zander into a new level of cool.  None of them have Rock 'n' Roll Daddy's.

I don't know if he'll keep his long hair forever.  Every once in a while we suggest a hair cut but he confidently declines.
"What about Zach Efron hair, Zander?"
"Check out Zach & Cody's new hair cut - that'd look great on you"
"No thanks.  I like my hair."
And I like it, too.  I need to stop worrying that he'll develop a complex every time a waitress thinks he's a girl.  He knows who he is.  He likes who he is.  That's good enough for me.

He came home from school one day and told us that when he gets older he might do Cops for Cancer.  I was proud of him and devastated but I only let him see my pride.
"That would be amazing, Zander."  I would have to stand in the back of the gymnasium so he wouldn't see me cry.
"Yeah, maybe when I'm 12."
Okay, that gives me almost four years to prepare myself.

"Why would you let him grow his hair so long?"  We get asked this - pulled aside like it's some terrible secret and to this question I answer boldly, "Why not?"

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  1. And this is one of the reasons my next son will be named after him... besides that its an amazing name of course. :)

    Just for the record - the first time he came into my Sunday School class, I knew he was a boy. I was equally surprised when people couldn't figure it out.

  2. I was probably 28 before I stopped caring what other people think of me; it takes some people a life time. I'd say he's way ahead of the game and you are a wise mama to foster his individuality.

  3. I think your little man is amazing!! I wish that I had the self confidence that he did. :)

  4. Hi. I dropped by from Erika's blog. I loved this post. My son also has long hair and always gets mistaken for a girl. He also has a rock 'n' roll dad. But he only just turned 3. I hope he will have the self confidence of your son, weather he keeps the long hair (I hope so!) or not.

  5. ElisabethMay 05, 2010

    I love this, wonderful job mom and dad, raising a confident self assured boy who is proud to be himself.

  6. well put Elisabeth!.. you have great kids Alanna, i think it is really cool that zander is his owen person dosent do things just like all the other kids just to "fit in".. and wanting to cut his hair for cops for canser. wow he is a great kid! way'da go zander!


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