Princess Solidarity

Last night, we had to run to the pharmacy and grocery store. N has croup and we were out of coffee. (I’m not sure which one is more horrible.)

My son was back in his yellow dress. I was relieved to see him playing as he sees fit — that other children’s slights have not stayed with him as they do with me. But as we got ready to go, I gently asked him: Do you want to take off the princess dress?

E: No.

My heart tightened as I contemplated a Saturday night at a busy strip mall. Scott asked if we should remind him of the possible consequences. I wracked my brain to recall the worst in humanity and the sharpest of comebacks.

Random stranger: You shouldn’t let him wear a dress.
Me: If it keeps him from growing up to be like you, we’re all good.

Random stranger: Faggot.
Me: Ignorant prick.

But I don’t know want him to think that these people are reasons to stay home.  To change.  To be afraid.  I want him to see a world of possibilities and goodness, and parents who can believe with him.

I could stand up for us. But what if a child said something again? I can’t cut down other people’s children like that. I just can’t be that adult.

So I ran upstairs and stood at my closet. I took a deep breath and ran back down.

E looked in my arms and his eye’s lit up: You’re going to wear you princess dress, too?

Me: Yes, baby, I am.

My daughter looked up and said: OOOOH… Me dress?

So I ran and got the other princess dress in their dress-up bin.

My husband walked into the room full of sequins and satin and said: Do you have something I can wear?

With my heart bursting, I said: Hold on.

I gathered my tulle and headed back to my closet again.

We squeeze Scott into a blue and purple stretchy dress and out we went into that hard angry world.

I tweeted and facebooked: “The entire family is wearing princess dresses. #solidarity”

I didn’t take many pictures because I was too busy being a part of a family.  A family who rocks.  And to whom not a single person spoke or smirked.  Most smiled!  And to the ones who didn’t?  I smiled at them anyway. Because that’s what princesses do.

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

66 thoughts to “Princess Solidarity”

  1. YOU GUYS ROCK. And although I know it’s a tiny bit chauvanistic of me, I’m giving double points to Scott for being a dad who will wear a dress in public.

    1. That’s okay. When you do the math and put man-in-a-dress who isn’t drunk or in a fraternity and multiple it by number of men who have never worn a dress and divide out the men who are homophobic, Scott TOTALLY gets double-points.

  2. I used to wonder when our kids were young… if I gave my son dolls would he play with dolls, our daughter tanks would see play with tanks? Or was there something internal that guided their choices. Interesting, and as we all grow and evolve our choices change yet again. Clayton for a time chose balls (stay out of the gutter- no pun intended!)- baseballs, soccer balls, kick balls, etc. When I would take him to the sitter I would have to bring along a trash bag full of balls, no kidding. Diane wore a tutu year round for about 1 1/2 years, even over her winter clothes! Never liked like dolls much though. Awesome to give permission to explore!

  3. Kudos to such a creative solution to your dilemma. And, kudos for letting your son be who he wants to be and protecting him from the meanies of the world.

  4. I think you guys made the right choice. If this is still going on come October, at least you know Fairy Princess Family is an option for Halloween.

  5. Thank you for sharing your courage, support and love for your child. I am the author of My Princess Boy which is about acceptance of differences. Your blog was posted on our My Princess Boy Facebook page and I wanted to tell you- kudos. To acceptance!

  6. I am so proud of you guys! I wish that everyone could be like you all instead of extinguishing their children’s creativity before they even get started in the world!

  7. Who wouldn’t want to be apart of a family who does this?! I LOVE IT! Would anyone bat an eye if everyone dressed up as football players? No! SO FUN! I think everyone in militia army fatigues might be a little scary, but THIS I love! Well played Mom. :o)

  8. AHHHHH!!!! This is AWESOME!! When I saw the Facebook message you were all wearing your yellow dresses, I didn’t realize you were out and about. GO YOU! And especially, GO HUBBY! THAT is a man.

  9. I think this is amazing! I always knew you guys were parents to live-up-to and respect but you definitely topped it now. Well done!

  10. So very wonderful. I love it. I only wish I could get my husband to this point. I keep sharing your stories like this, hoping he will see the beauty and fun in it.

  11. Sticks and stones may break your bones but princess solidarity kicks ignorance and intolerance’s butt every time! Thanks for sharing! Love it!

  12. Okay, I read a lot of blogs. And there are quite a few bloggers who I “love.” You know, that emotion you feel towards people you like/enjoy stalking/find funny/have somehow developed a weird online relationship with/think look pretty in princess dresses.

    But out of the whole wide Internet, I think you are the blogger with the most inspiring-ly awesome family. And that’s one reason (in case you were wondering) why I love you.

      1. Being double stalked? Now this I could get into.

        Also? I absolutely love that you’re the one who said it, as you also have an awesome husband that I’m all envious of.

        Yeah – that’s just how bad I am at writing. I not only end sentences in prepositions, I end some in “of.”

        Two in this comment alone.

  13. This makes me so unbelievably happy. My heart soared when I read you’d found a dress for your husband to wear. The word “awesome” gets tossed around so much, I think it’s lost it’s meaning. But when I say that your familial solidarity is “AWESOME,” I mean just that: awesome like the solar system, like the trees in springtime, like the Atlantic Ocean. AWE-SOME.

  14. A family that Princesses together kicks the crap out of stresses together.

    I live with 4 women. They don’t make me wear dresses, but if it made them laugh or smile, I’d do it. Of course I can’t wear pink, it doesn’t go with my skin. Also I don’t have any shoes that go with pink or light blur…I digress.

    funny post, I laughed twice

  15. You have got to be the more awesomest mom I know!!! I really need to learn a thing or two from you as I cringe when Liam asks for a “pretty” in his hair when all the girls at daycare are getting their hair done. Next time, I will think of you and your family doing errands in your princess dresses. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  16. Seriously, I read that post and wished I’d known you when my son was going through the princess phase. You handled it with such grace in a way that is so empowering to him (and your daughter, too!)… You guys all look awesome in your princess gear!

  17. These are the things that depress me about society.
    Why do people care so much.

    I’ve had more questions than I can stand from my in laws on my middle son, b/c he doesn’t do sports. as in, “is he alright, you know, “alright?”

    Drives me crazy.

    We’re all just people.

    And your son will remember what you did, always.

  18. You make the most adorable- and inspiring- princess dress family! Thank you for sharing. You guys are seriously awesome. I wish every parent could read your story about truly letting kids be who they want to be.

  19. both of you just racked up amazing amounts of awesome points. From a mom with gender bender children thank you for not shunning your son and embracing his clothing choices, even at an early age!

  20. It’s been a while since you posted this, but one of my friends pointed me to it. If you haven’t, you might want to look up the children’s book by Cheryl Kilodavis “My Princess Boy: A mom’s story about a young boy who loves to dress up.” It’s about a little boy who loves sparkly dresses. It’s a wonderful book.

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