Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Gay Abandon

Daisy may be flighty but she is loyal. Three going on thirty, she is a social butterfly (although when I call her this, she shakes her head firmly, and tells me, “No mummy, I’m a girl.”) She has lots of little friends at playschool but two have captured her heart. One is a boy, Lewis, who is cute, and funny and very, very sweet. He admires Daisy’s ribbons, loves princesses and enjoys dressing up, making them a match made in heaven.

The other is a girl, Mia, droll and serious and very, very funny. She doesn’t like princesses, or pink but Daisy doesn’t care and worships the ground she walks on. Lewis wants to be a princess, Mia wants to be a prince and Daisy loves them both with gay abandon.

The other day Lewis revealed he was going to marry Daisy, and they were going to have two babies, but that Lewis’s mum and I could visit in case we got lonely. When I told Daisy, she looked a bit perplexed, “But I want to marry Mia!”

I suspect this was one of those ‘You must get this answer right’ moments we parents face occasionally. Luckily, I said “Well lovely, you can marry whoever you want.” On another day I might have explained society’s more traditional rules. But thankfully I didn’t, because her innocence and pure love and acceptance of her emotions is what will shape and form her in her life, and hopefully make her a liberal thinking, non-discriminating adult.

This all happened at the same time that a media furore was debating the BBC’s decision to hire a handicapped presenter for the children’s channel. A handful of parents had written in to complain that the girl with only half an arm was scaring their children and the BBC should be ashamed. I say the parents should be ashamed because surely it is them that has allowed the spectre of a disabled girl to frighten their children? Surely it was their place to explain that just because she looks a little different, she was just the same as them? I tuned in one day to see if Daisy reacted in any way, and also to use it as an opportunity to explain things if I had to. She didn’t bat an eyelid.

Pink lovers, fans of blue, princesses boys, and prince girls – they don’t matter to Daisy as long as they are the ones she loves. If only we could all be three again in our hearts.