Right before I took the photo above, Cedar said "Mommy, I never want to cut my hair. Can people keep curls as pets?"
People often ask me if I will ever cut his hair. Some have suggested, since Cedar has a bit of a feminine face, that it might be a good idea. Whenever we've asked him out of concern for it getting in his eyes, we get a passionate "NO!". Not a day goes by when we are out and about that Cedar isn't referred to as a girl by a stranger. But my husband and I have really desired to cultivate nonconforming gender ways of being and have just allowed Cedar to guide us with his interests and needs and what comes natural to him.
When we were ordering him some soft pajamas online, we asked him to pick out which style he wanted. He chose the purple and pink striped ones. My husband and I looked at one another and had one of those unspoken nods of understanding that there may be a journey ahead of us. No matter how liberal and open minded we are, we know there are others out there that are not and allowing Cedar to be and dress how he desires will be a constant choice to let go of those pressures of cultural norms. We know he is only about to turn four...but growing up near San Francisco, it is difficult for my mind to not go to those places of what may lay ahead for him.
We are blessed to live in a very open minded community. One of the reasons we love this place so. Although I still hear people around me say "he is ALL boy" or "girl or boy energy". I'm not sure why whenever those words are spoken, that it stirs something inside of me. Nothing negative but more like a fluttering or nervousness. I never felt this way before having a child. So my intuition tells me that there may be something ahead of me in my journey with Cedar that may have to break through those preconceived ideas of what kind of gender energy he has or what kind of gender he is more like.
A few days ago his babysitter Emily (and best friend) told me that they were outside playing and he outstretched his arms in a moment of complete abandon and yelled with his scruffy voice "I am Woman!!!" and as she told me this, we both giggled and had a knowing look. We knew Cedar in that moment just got the whole woman power thing and its wild because I've never yelled out that phrase to him. It completely came from within. Then of course shortly after that, he'll play with this tractors or cars and let the wild rumpus start. Or he'll be outside playing with our neighborhood girls sitting in his big yellow car making loud car noises and then stop to compliment them on their dress or skirt.
The other day I heard Cedar up in my bedroom. I walked in to find him putting my lipstick on his lips in front of my mirror and saying to himself "I love you". I fought that knee jerk reaction to stop him. Tears welled up and in that moment I realized that is what its all about: Loving himself. We just want him to feel free to be who he is and love who he is and have a strong self esteem. Whether he ends up being more gender-boy or gender-girl or gender-fluid, we hope for him to have a free and un-squashed spirit and we will nurture that in any way we can.