My grandson’s pink birthday party

How a seven-year-old boy taught his grandmother the most important lesson of love

kid's birthday party

Becoming a grandmother was one of the most defining moments of my life. All I could think about was being a great example to my grandson. I dreamed about teaching him how to be a contributing adult, showing him how to be a wonderful parent, talking to him about the importance of an education, why relationships are vital and how to be a successful business person. I thought about how wonderful it will be to teach him about the love of Jesus Christ and how valuable that will be in his life. I never once thought: What if my grandson is a girl? The thought never entered my mind.

He was a sweet, happy, joy-filled baby.  His little fingers curled around mine like it was the very definition of love. He laughed a lot and smiled constantly. As he grew, we discovered that he was a very funny little boy. He was always ready to take centre stage and make us laugh. He fell into the “family comedian role” with the greatest of ease.

His favourite colour

He became a very decisive little person. When given a choice, he always chose the pink coloured toy or cup or paper or crayon. I purposely would offer him blue or green or yellow but this child was determined to have pink. And so it was that my grandson’s favourite colour was pink. It bothered me. When he came of age to go to school, he chose a pink book bag and insisted on pink T-shirts and pink sneakers. My daughter and son-in-law are very progressive parents and their son’s choices were respected.

My 1950’s Christian upbringing had me thinking they should have insisted he wear, carry, choose something more appropriate. I worked very hard to be understanding but in my heart I believed this was simply a phase he was going through and all this permissiveness was only encouraging him. Silently, I disagreed with this type of parenting. Instead I prayed for him every single day. I never missed. I prayed that this child be filled with strength and courage and wisdom. Each day he became more interested in “girly” toys and clothing. All of his little friends were girls and I felt my prayers were being unanswered. He got an American Girl Doll for Christmas last year and he has loved her ever since. He takes her to his friend’s houses and they play endlessly. However, each time I see him walk out of the door with the doll and doll clothes and his pink doll carrier, all I feel is sadness.

A special tea party

Young birthday boy smilingOn the day of his seventh birthday, he wished to host a tea party. A very pink tea party with all of his little giggly girlfriends.  The house was overflowing with the colour pink and to an outsider it would look like an absolutely perfect birthday party for a sweet little seven-year-old girl. It is not at all the path I would have wanted for my grandson.

In the real world, I do respect people’s choices. While I may not understand or agree, I do my best not to judge others. However, this is my grandson and I want the very best for him. It was a very confusing and emotionally charged day for me and I was doing my best.

I stood in tears in the shower that day, thinking about all the pink balloons that filled the living room, all the little girls in frilly dresses who would be his guests and of the beautiful pink tea party that would begin in just a few short hours. I prayed to God for guidance, like I had done for 64 years of my life.

Help me Lord. Help me to feel the way you want me to feel in this situation. I am confused and I do not know how you want me to be in this instance.

And in an instant I heard these words inside my head.

“I made him and I love him exactly as he is.” I had my answer.

And so, on my beautiful grandson’s seventh birthday, it seems it is his grandmother who had grown the most.

In a very pink shirt and a heart full of joy, little Jack taught his grandmother a valued lesson about love.


This article first appeared in the May 2016 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

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