When it was time for 3-year-old Hendrick to get a new pair of prescription glasses, he had one request: that they be in his favorite color, purple.
His old pair was dark blue, and his mom, Erin Farias, was steadfast that he choose frames in a more "boyish" color.
"I didn't want him to be teased," the Michigan mother, who admitted to being unfazed last year when her toddler deemed a doll stroller his favorite toy, wrote in a Facebook post. "And I kept pointing to the green ones asking, 'Don't you like the green ones?' And here I was, the mom who passionately wants her sons to be who they are — telling my son which glasses he should love."
Still, she ordered him the green ones. He never relented, always asking for purple ones. When his pair became scratched and needed to be replaced, Erin faced the same uncomfortable scenario again.
This time, her response was different:
It didn't bother me that he wanted purple glasses. But it did bother me to imagine other kids in his class picking on him him for wearing "girl" glasses. Perhaps if we all let our children choose to love what they love, pink or purple would just be other beautiful colors not associated with a gender. I became another person contributing to the problem of gender stereotypes when I essentially made my son choose green glasses. When his new purple glasses arrived and I presented them to my sweet boy, he squealed with the purest joy. His smile radiated confidence. I'm sorry for trying to persuade you to not love what you love, Hendrick. Your smile is enough. May the world embrace my sweet, purple loving wonder of a boy – exactly as he is.