Sunday, May 20, 2012

My Battle Cry

Kay.  As you've probably noticed, Micah has a bit of an issue.  A wear-his-brother's-jammie-top-on-his-head-and-pretend-it's-hair issue.  Concerning this issue, as Madonna would say, "I got something to say about it.  And it goes something like this..."

From what I can tell, his Green Wig Issue has two parts to it:  1)  It makes him into a girl.  He wants to be a girl.  He thinks girls are amazing.  He likes girl toys.  Girl movies.  Girl clothes.  2)  It's a security thing.  I notice that, when he's feeling deeply embarrassed, he pulls his "hair" down farther over his eyes.  He almost hides behind it.

Obviously, everyone has an opinion about Micah's Issue.  My visiting teacher, who is also Primary President, shrugs and says, "He'll get over it."  And she loves him and hugs him and talks to him just like he's any other kid.

I love her for that.

Some men I know think his phase is sick and wrong and that I need to take away his "hair" and shouldn't allow him to watch girl movies or play with Sadie's toys.  If I force his hair away, it will "cure" him of his Almost Certain Future as a Homosexual, right??

I hate them for that.

I applied a few months ago for Micah to go to Headstart. Part of their form asks if there are some issues our child is dealing with - kind of so that, if Micah had gotten into the preschool, they would know how to help him or whatever.  So on the form, I said that he wants to be a girl and is into girly things, and that he wears this long shirt and pretends that it's his hair. Just wanted to give them a heads-up.  I didn't say anything besides that, like, "I'm so worried that this will ruin his life...." or anything like that.  I just basically said, "Here is what he's doing, just so you know."

Well, I got a phone call from Headstart a couple of weeks later.  This gal on the other end of the line said that he would need to go on a waiting list, blah blah blah.  Which I knew would happen.  And THEN she went on to lecture me about Micah.  It's not what you are probably guessing - she didn't pass judgment on me for being too lenient of a parent, not tough enough, blah blah blah (what I've heard from the majority of people).  Oh  no.  She informed me that Micah is probably a homosexual, and that I need to not judge him.  That I need to be there to support him through his Almost Certain Future as a Homosexual.

I hate her for that.

Here's what I have to say about all of this -

I don't think that a three-year-old who likes girly things is necessarily going to turn into a homosexual.  He may; he may not.  I've had lots of people say stuff like, "My brother is gay, and he loved sports and guy things his whole life."  I've had lots of people say stuff like, "My brother is straight, but he loved girly stuff when he was little, just like Micah."

What he's going through right now isn't indicative of the rest of his life.  He's THREE YEARS OLD.

My husband likes beautiful things.  He loves picking out clothes for me.  He likes decorating the house.  He has a very strong sense of aesthetics.  Is he gay?  No.  He's not.

There are artists, danseurs (male ballerinas), writers, and interior designers who are gay.  There are also artists, danseurs, writers, and interior designers who are straight.

My job as a mom is to love Micah, no matter how things turn out.  I love him.  I'll always love him.  I'll always support him.  If he turns out to be gay, I'm not going to deny that it will be hard.  It's a hard road.   But I'm not going to push him away.  He is MINE.  I love him fiercely and deeply.

But, like I said, he may not turn out to be gay at all.  However he turns out, I am here for him.  Forever.  I love him.  Forever.

The insecurity issue - there are kids Micah's age who bring blankies to church or preschool.  And it's "cute."  Mikey's "blankie" happens to be a green shirt on his head.  But nobody thinks it's "cute."  They think that he's weird.  That I'm weird.  That I'm a bad mother.  That I'm not strict enough.  That, if I take away his hair, it will "cure" him of his insecurity.

I've got a question for you - is there a certain way you like to get settled down to sleep?  I, myself, like to lie on my side and cover up my outer ear.  It just feels secure and right to me.

Or do you know teenagers who wear the same hoodie every single day?  Even if it's a little hot outside?

What kinds of clothes do you like to wear?  I wear clothes that aren't clingey.  I don't like how clingey clothes feel and look.  I feel more secure when I'm wearing something that doesn't show all of my fat rolls.  

We all do things to make us feel more secure.

(He fell asleep in the runner's stretch on the couch.  I thought it was funny.)

Here's the thing - is his wearing of a shirt on his head hurting anyone??  Endangering anyone?  No.  If he wore, like, a bra on his head, that might be different.  Or, like, a hat that looks like a bare butt.  That would be a little disturbing.  But it's a green shirt, for Pete's sake.  For some reason, it brings him peace.  I'm not interested in taking his peace away.

I've prayed. I've read.  I've consulted doctors.  And I've decided to let him wear his "hair."  And I have a right to have made that decision.  Because he is MY SON.  I prayed to have him.  I wanted him desperately.  I vomited for nine months and endured agonizing pain and illness as he grew in my tummy.  I lost nine pounds and gained zero pounds as I worked to bring him here.

I held him and snuggled him and loved him.  I wrung my hands when he was failing to thrive.

I went through three years of two kinds of therapy to help him with the issues that stemmed from his low muscle tone in his facial muscles.  I potty-trained him.  I snuggle him.  I talk to him.  I read to him.  He and I garden together.  He knows the names of all of the flowers in my garden. 

He's sensitive.  He's talkative.  He has a great imagination.  He makes up songs and runs around and sings them.  He runs everywhere - he never walks.  He thinks dandelions are more precious than gold. 
 He could eat goldfish crackers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if I would let him.  And pop tarts. He la-hoves strawberries.  He calls them Daw-Bays.

There is so much more to him than his hair thing.

And I'm a better mom than certain people think.  There are battles I do fight with him - things like, "Don't throw things at peoples' heads."  "Don't scream in peoples' faces."  "Don't hit people."  I fight these fights to the death.  I don't just roll over and do nothing if his behavior is causing damage.  I choose not to fight this green hair battle.  And people can judge me if they want.  But they're not in my shoes.  I am accountable to myself and I'm accountable to God.  God knows my heart and knows that I'm doing the very best I can.  I talk to Him nightly about each of my children.  And I listen to His promptings on how to help them.  I do receive personal revelation for my children.  I'm capable of making decisions about my own kids.  My mother's instinct tells me not to make this into an issue.  To love him and let it go.

So, hate on, haters.

This is my battle cry.


Mindy H. said...

""I think his hair is cute... like long, green bunny ears. I also don't see any reason to worry. He is sweet and quirky...a great combo. The next time someone gives you lip, have them call me and I will tell them stories about kids doing actual worrisome things. There was a cute quote on pintrest this weekend that can be applied here. It was something like "don't try to change the haters... you aren't the jack@$$ whisperer."

hansjorgensenfamily said...

Good For You Karlene, I have always felt that if we are not our children's advicates, who will be. We know our children best and need to listen to the Spirit as it guides in raising our children.

jason0702 said...

love love LOVE this article!! more boys like me need (or needed) moms like you!!

megan said...

You are an amazing mom and person. No one knows what you go through each day except for you. If all the haters were in your shoes I think they would feel differently!! When people are actually the one going through it they look at it differently. It's annoying that some people judge you and what you do as a mother. They have no right!!

I had tears in my eyes as I read this Kar! I felt so moved and I could definitely feel the love and care you have for Micah and what he's going through. You ARE amazing and a GREAT mom for him!! He is yours and you know what's best for him!! Keep up the awesome work you're doing!!

Emily Empey said...

Very well said sis!

brooke said...

I really don't see any problem with his green hair.... it's just one of those things that he likes to uncle used to paint his nails when he was little because all his older sisters were doing it...Sam plays dress up with Leslie and he wears doesn't mean that he is going to be gay when he grows up. And it doesn't mean that Micah is either...He is a good kid and your a good mom..If that lady had said that to me...I would have told her to shove off! There is nothing wrong with him...he is perfect.

Emily Zoe Hale said...

I LOVE this post!

Patty said...

His shirt-hair goes great with his eyes.

Ben said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ben said...

I have to say that I've been one of the haters. Not of my son, but the hair in public. It's just weird and slightly embarrassing. I don't care about him liking girl toys, who cares. I've played with my share of barbies! And dressed in several girls clothes. In fact, there is a picture of my cousin, won't mention his name, Eliot, oops, and I dressed in ballerina outfits doing the standard pose. That may have been to much info for many of you, but I just wanted to say that what he is doing now has no relevance to what he will be in 20 years. What ever that will be he will always be my son and I will love him! Even if he does become an interior desecrator... I mean decorator and not an architect ;) This is a probably one of your best posts Kar!

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