When a military mom and her Navy husband faced the challenge of making their relationship work with three children, two girls, and one boy, they were determined to make it happen. When their marriage was finally formalized on paper after two years together, their toddler son had an unexpected request: he wanted his mother to let him wear a dress to the wedding! Knowing she couldn’t say ‘no’ to his little heart’s desire, she gladly obliged.

Mom said, “We are a strong family unit and work hard at it. My husband is in the Navy, and I am self-employed as a gentle sleep consultant. We share care of my 6- and 7-year-old girls with their dad, who is an essential family member for us, and our 2-year-old son lovingly calls him “Grandad” — but that’s another story.”

Just prior to his second birthday, the young boy became passionate about all things girly when he developed a strong affinity for Minnie Mouse. He was adamant in wanting to wear what society typically considers ‘girls clothes’ and vehemently expressed displeasure if his parents attempted to dress him in something more masculine.

“His sister has a red polka dot Minnie Mouse dress, and one day about eight months ago, he brought it to me asking to wear it. I laughed and said, ‘little mate, dresses aren’t for boys.’ But then I stopped and questioned that. Why can’t he wear it? Who is he hurting? Who makes these rules anyway?”

The young boy enjoys donning beautiful garments regardless of the gender assigned to him at birth.

“When his sisters and dad saw him, we all just laughed and thought it was cute. He has no idea he is a boy yet and doesn’t bear the weight of society’s expectations. My biggest concern wasn’t anything to do with society. It was just that he would trip over something because the dress was quite long.”

For the special day, Mom purchased an outfit for her son so he could look just like his Dad. Unfortunately, the small boy was infuriated that anybody would dare suggest he wear anything other than a dress to his wedding.

Mom said, “From the look of sheer delight when he saw his sisters’ dresses for the day, I knew then we would most likely have to get him a dress to wear.”

His parents offered him a decision: the suit or the dress. In that instant, his eye was drawn to the beautiful dress and he knew it belonged to him at the wedding. Hence, they settled it; he’d be wearing a lovely gown for this special day.

“We didn’t want any of the children to feel uncomfortable, so we let them tell us what the boundaries were. My preference was to have both girls as ring bearers as I didn’t have any bridesmaids, but my oldest daughter felt like that was too much pressure, so I respected that.”

Mom continued, “You see, our beautiful sweet boy is 2. He doesn’t yet bear the weight of society’s expectations or gender roles. He doesn’t understand why he can’t wear what he wants, and to be honest, I couldn’t find a valid reason why he couldn’t wear a dress either! The last thing we wanted on the wedding day was to have a really unhappy toddler that was miserable and crying.”