Friday, April 20, 2012
My Boy Loves....Beige? Yes, He Really Does.
"You know Mom, like our skin or like sand. I like it. I like blue too, but beige is my favorite." He looked at me with his big brown eyes. His innocent expression he felt calling beige your favorite color was the most natural thing in the world. Natural is not exactly how I felt about it. My expression involved some seriously raised eyebrows that would likely have defied a botox frozen forehead. I wanted to say "What?!!! Beige. You can't like beige. Come on pick a color any color." Instead, I took a breath, well, it sounded more like a choke I'm sure, but I chose not to respond right away.
He turned back to the imaginary game he had been playing with his cars. Suddenly, I watched him through a new lens. The lens I use when my kids have thrown me a a little curve ball letting me know they are not completely known to me. I choked the same way when my oldest daughter turned on a radio station dedicated to music from...wait for it...the 1940's. She's 15, a drummer and until that moment seemed destined to torture me with "alternative music" that occasionally involved a lot of screaming. This was not a joke to mess with her occasionally gullible mother. She often turns the station on while we are driving alone and has said she wished she could have lived back then. In my most sensitive motherly tone I informed her that was kind of weird and wonderful, but it reminded me of, god help me, my mother. I remember she just smiled and turned up some big band music.
Back to my boy and his fave beige. Of course this apple didn't fall far from my mother's tree because for a few moments his color choice was all about me. I was stunned. Where have I gone wrong? There he was on the floor near my feet pretending cars could fly and blow up midair and he's into beige? I felt my parenting must have gone terribly awry some where along the line. Christ, BEIGE???? My son likes beige. My son not only likes it, but REALLY likes it. He's only five and has no sense of adventure. I kept hearing his little voice repeating "beige" over and over in my mind. Beige is bland. Beige is safe. Beige is boring. My closet is bursting with all shades of that ubiquitous "non-color" and of course it's soulmate, black. Damn it, I thought. My lack of courageous fashion sense had damaged him. I felt kind of sad. All those years of playing it safe with all the classic "neutral" decor and it turns out I killed my son's creativity. Insane thinking? Probably. Sexist? Maybe.
When the five minutes of my obsessive ruminations finally subsided I came to my senses. There is nothing bland about a boy who knows what beige is and likes it at age five. I suspect this is only one of many surprises this little guy has in store for us.
"I like beige too." I told him, but I'm not sure he heard me. He has moved on minutes ago to more important things. Beige. I admit it. It's a favorite and I don't think I'm all that boring these days. It occurred to me it might be more accurate to think of beige as mere camouflage, a way of keeping your true color a little hidden.
Suddenly, it also occurred to me that beige would go really well with a certain red leather jacket in my future. Just sayin'. Beige doesn't always have to be so safe...