I came across this sweet offering https://www.popsugar.com/moms/Halloween-Commercial-About-Gender-Nonconformity-44185728 back in October. It was shared by the Matthew Shepard Foundation. I carry Matthew Shepard nearly and dearly in my heart, because I am from Wyoming where he was murdered. If you do not know about Matthew Shepard and the foundation, see here: https://www.matthewshepard.org/
It opened my heart to the reality we live as parents. We can succumb to the pressure to enforce arbitrary societal constructs, which have nothing to do with our children, or we can allow them to softly fall away as we follow each of our children and support the healthy integration of unique and whole selves.
If we can manage the overflow of our own stories, judgments, fears, and overreactions–this advertisement is simply a sweet statement on tempering our own issues, while allowing space for things to be less rigidly compressed.
Parents support, they do not supplant. We respond, we do not detract. And then we must stay tuned as our children develop, teaching them to pick up their own pieces and speak their own stories. They are capable, and though we would love to, we should never aim to protect our children from suffering.
Though that would be a lovely world (one free from suffering), it’s not ours. They will encounter demands to assume a certain smallness, and they will be tempted to abandon vital parts.
So we must understand. If the world doesn’t know how to respond to our children, then we must ensure they are prepared to keep themselves safe. Safe, connected, and free from the pain that too often accompanies wearing ones unique wholeness full time. I want my children to know their whole selves are inherently valuable, and we do not cram ourselves into smallish boxes.